Former Arsenal defender Martin Keown has urged the Gunners to not get carried away following their brilliant 2-1 win over Manchester City in the Premier League on Monday, 21 December. Theo Walcott and Olivier Giroud got themselves on the score sheet in the first half with Mesut Ozil orchestrating the play yet again, picking up both assists to take his tally to 15 for the season.
Keown revealed that Arsenal had come in with a plan that they executed to perfection on the night, sitting deep and inviting pressure from the Citizens but countering with pace when they got the ball. City had the lion's share of the possession but barring a great opportunity for Kevin de Bruyne in the first half, they did not have much joy in the Arsenal penalty box, which was marshalled well by Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker.
The Gunners have had some good results against the traditional top four this season barring Chelsea, winning both games against the Manchester clubs, while losing to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, not helped by some controversial refereeing by Mike Dean. However, Keown believes that there is still a lot of work to be done, with the north London club travelling to Old Trafford, the Etihad and Anfield in the second half of the season, where they have not had too much luck off late.
"When you beat your title rivals, it's the clearest indication that you're good enough to be champions. But Arsenal still have tough places to go before they can start thinking about that. Big clashes at the Etihad, Old Trafford and White Hart Lane await them next year, but they certainly look more assured in the big games now," Keown wrote for the Daily Mail.
The Gunners have opened up a four-point gap between themselves and City but trail leaders Leicester City by two points, who have been on a marauding run thus far. They travel to Southampton next on Boxing Day, while Leicester take on Liverpool, who are going through an injury crisis in defence, at Anfield.