I’m not going to lie, by the 80th minute my nails were in tatters and my bottom lip had been bitten to pieces. I shouted, I flailed my arms in exasperation and I even had my face in my hands in disbelief. Then, finally, a decision went our way in the strangest manner possible, or at least not the strangest, but the most unlikeliest manner.

We were awarded a fortunate corner after tireless chasing by Ramsey, Giroud was hauled down in the box, denied a goal-scoring opportunity and Arteta buried the penalty with a cool swagger and a steely determination. If ever there was a player who has given everything this season, Arteta is that player. He has been exceptional all season. It says a lot about him that he can play to such an impeccable standard every game and we hardly notice it because it is the norm. He is consistently played as a holding midfielder/deep-lying playmaker and whilst that has never been his position in the past, he has grown into the role. He isn’t a Frimpong, he isn’t a hard-as-nails, physical presence but he plays his position extremely well and a lot of good things come from his intelligent passing and control of possession.


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