Usually a game against Tottenham would deserve more than this, but it was dull.
Tottenham 0-0 Arsenal
Next up we need to overturn a 2-1 deficit against Sporting Lisbon in the Champions League. Welbeck gets the start up top, and Monreal’s fine form is rewarded with the left back berth.
We boss the first half, creating plenty with our domination of possession, but it takes a defensive blunder on 31 minutes to set up Alexis, who beats a defender before thrashing the ball into the top corner.
We lead on away goals, but our performance drops off in the second half. Lisbon are still doing very little. Eventually, Aaron Ramsey calms my nerves with an absolute stunner from 20 yards out. We’re through, and I’m relieved.
Arsenal 2-0 Sporting Lisbon
Our third important tie in a week comes in the shape of a tough FA Cup 6th round away game against Man City.
Remembering our last encounter with City, we start with the formation that blunted their attack so effectively in the second half of that game.
Both sides have an early chance, but then it goes quiet. 20 minutes in, Aaron Ramsey plays the best pass I’ve seen this season, putting Kessie through, and it’s 1-0. Then the quiet returns.
For quite a bit. In the 71st minute, Sterling strikes a post and City start to put the pressure on, but we hold. We hold.
Man City 0-1 Arsenal
Arsenal 2-0 Sunderland (Belotti, Iwobi)
Ryan Sessegnon makes his debut off the bench as a left winger, and swings in a great cross for Iwobi to finally score his first of the season. Coquelin also comes off the bench, marking his return from injury.
Crystal Palace 1-3 Arsenal (Mutch/Koscielny, Alexis, Giroud)
Jordan Mutch scores with the last kick of the game to spoil our March long clean sheet. With that comes an international break, and the end of our month. I’m very happy with our March – low on drama, but five good results.
The Champions League quarter final draw gives us…
Another award to stick on the mantelpiece…
And we’re still top.
The business end of the season is here. There are seven games crammed into three weeks of April, with three competitions on the line. Our FA Cup semi final is against Watford, with Liverpool facing Crystal Palace in the other tie. Next, a trip to Turf Moor. Apparently the weather looks dicey.