For years now, Arsenal fans have dreaded international breaks. While a sober analysis might paint a more balanced picture, it felt like every time Arsenal would lose a player or two to injury. In light of that constant fear, the past week and a half's results have been mind-blowing.
Not only did Arsenal manage to avoid any serious injuries (*knocks heavily on wood hoping Alexis Sanchez was not lying in his text message to Arsene Wenger*), our players straight up dominated.
In World Cup Qualifying matches for Chile against Brazil and Peru, Alexis scored three goals and had an assist. Arguably, his most impressive moment was his pass to set up Chile's second goal versus Peru (full highlights of that match here, Brazil highlights here) which will not be seen on any stat sheet. Whatever niggle he suffered in his groin in the Manchester United match clearly did not inhibit his play for Chile and Arsenal fans will hope that the Chilean's sizzling form continues against Watford this weekened.
Mesut Özil had himself a fine showing as well, particularly in Germany's second match of the Interlull against Georgia. In that match, he earned a penalty and had a brilliant assist to give the Germans all three points.
Aaron Ramsey's Welsh side qualified for their first major tournament in 57 years (!) after the first matchday and he celebrated qualification by scoring the opener in Wales' 2-0 victory over Andorra.
Theo Walcott continued his blistering form by scoring a goal for England against Estonia and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain got off the schneid with a fine finish against Lithuania. Kieran Gibbs also got a start in the second match.
Petr Čech did not start the Czech Republic's first match against Turkey, which they lost 2-0, but was in goal for their 3-2 win over the Netherlands, which ended The Oranje's hopes of qualifying for Euro 2016. The best moment from that match has to be an own goal by someone I've never heard of in my life and have absolutely no memories of, Robin van Persie.
Olivier Giroud scored twice for France against Denmark in Les Bleus 2-1 win. The goals were aided by a terrible performance from Kasper Schmeichel, but the Frenchman, who clearly needs a confidence boost after a clear demotion to Arsenal's No. 2 center forward, can use all the positive moments he can get.
Santi Cazorla was yet another Arsenal player to end his scoring drought over this international break. The diminutive magician started and scored two for Spain in their first match against Luxembourg.
Even GET OUT WHILE YOU STILL CAN Joel Campbell got on the scoresheet with a fine finish against the United States last night.
In U21 action, Serge Gnabry and Chuba Akpom both scored goals and Hector Bellerin started Spain U21s 1-1 draw against previous Euro U21 champions Sweden.
Truly, some sort of blood magic must have been performed by Wenger after the humiliation against Olympiakos. Here's to hoping the good form continues.