Arsenal probably lost any chance they had of winning the league tonight. They went 3-0 down, before clawing 3 goals back to get a point. They’re now 8 points behind Chelsea; Chelsea will either be 9 or 11 points ahead tomorrow night, or Arsenal will be behind Tottenham and in 5th.
There are very worrying aspects of the performance. The first goal was awful from all concerned. Hector Bellerin took pointers on positioning from Mathieu Debuchy; Francis Coquelin didn’t close down Junior Stanislas, which is literally why he is in the team; Alex Iwobi switched off; Petr Cech was beaten at his near post. The third goal also featured Cech getting nutmegged, at his near post, after Hector Bellerin was too easily beaten by Ryan Fraser. And the second goal, a penalty, featured Granit Xhaka daftly shoving Fraser over.
There are positives. Aaron Ramsey dropped into central midfield after Coquelin went off injured, and Arsenal were better. Lucas Perez came on, scored, and was one of the better players. And then there is Olivier Giroud.
Olivier Giroud understands this club. He understands this league. He understands the banter era, and the Barclays. He assisted Alexis’ goal, Arsenal’s first, after a cross from Oxlade-Chamberlain, with his back. An excellent move saw him play a looping pass up for Lucas, who volleyed into the far corner, to make it 3-2. And from Granit Xhaka’s cross, Giroud’s glancing header in the 90th minute brought Arsenal level.
And what did Giroud do? He celebrated by miming his scorpion goal from the weekend. And if you don’t find that utterly ridiculous and utterly amusing, then there’s no point watching football.
Look, Arsenal were probably not going to win the league, and there’s a lot of concern over the run of form away from game - 5 points from 5 away games, one win and one genuinely good performance - and Arsene Wenger should probably be in his last season at the club, given the increasing frequency of these types of performances, but sometimes, even among something that’s a complete shambles, there was something to enjoy, because this club is dedicated to banter.