After an opening day misstep against West Ham, Arsenal have eschewed their normal early season jitters and put together a run that sees them challenging for the Premier League title. Culminating in a fabulous victory against arch-rivals Manchester United, Arsenal have dazzled the league all year.
Today we take a look at just how Arsenal have managed to become the world's in-form footballing side by breaking down some of the finest goals this season has offered us.
Theo Walcott v. Stoke City
Besides the typical possession play Arsenal has been known for, the speed on this team has added tremendous counter-attacks to its, dare I say, arsenal, of attacks. A brilliant tackle from Francis Coquelin disrupts Stoke's play and his sumptuous square ball to Santi Cazorla is practically a work of art. Santi, playing in his best position, launches the counter with a long range pass that seems destined to go out of play before Hector Bellerin outpaces the Flash and salvages the attack. His world class cut back finds world class striker Theo Walcott marked by all eleven Stoke City players, but the jewel of Arsenal's academy will not be thwarted.
Olivier Giroud v. Crystal Palace
Mesut Ozil starts the move by gegenghosting into the box to pick up an incisive pass from Santi Cazorla that puts him one-on-one with the keeper. Ozil does what anyone in this position would do, and hits a first-time volley to pass the ball to the unmarked Theo Walcott, whose return pass gives Ozil the perfect opportunity to lay the ball off for Aaron Ramsey. Ramsey of course makes no mistake from close range and passes to Mathieu Flamini, whose powerful left-footed pass gives Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain an open net for a beautiful pass to Olivier Giroud. Giroud, a bit unfortunately, scuffs his pass into the back of the net.
Alexis Sanchez v. Leicester City
Receiving a pass from Petr Cech on a goal kick, Sanchez brilliantly dribbles his way through Leicester's entire team. Sanchez beats his first man by swiveling counterclockwise to execute a perfect roulette, before deftly spinning a series of quarter turns to perform a flurry of stepovers. With a quick side to side flick, he beats two more men with an elastico, before kissing a long range shot off the crossbar to set himself up for a beautiful overhead kick. It's the kind of goal that only a team that eschews lager for electrolytes could possibly accomplish. And only fans with deep knowledge of five-star football skills can appreciate.
Alexis Sanchez Francis Coquelin v. Manchester United
Francis Coquelin dives in with a world class lunge to dispossess the inferior Morgan Schneiderlin. Without even looking up, Coquelin hits a mind-shattering cross-field pass that Francis Coquelin collects thirty yards down field. He loses the ball, but suddenly Coquelin is there to win it back. The young frenchman takes on three players before laying it off for Francis Coquelin. Coquelin spots the run of Francis Coquelin as he bursts into the box, and a quick one two between Coquelin and Coquelin leaves Coquelin one-on-one with the keeper, where Coquelin makes no mistake with an elegant two-footed tackle that sends the ball into the back of the net.
The Short Fuse has been taken over today by Cartilage Free Captain, SB Nation's Tottenham Hotspur blog! For the humor-impaired, articles posted today are intended to be parody and do not reflect the views (or even the writing!) of The Short Fuse writing staff.