Eleven conclusions from the game:
Rosicky’s first half performance was a joy to behold. As was so often the case last season, when TR7 plays our whole team has shape and focus, and plays with real determination. The difference between the first and second half could not have been bigger. It was as if our team had no spine anymore without Rosicky. The only good thing to take from this is that if – and that is a big IF – he can stay fit, our first team is bound to become stronger in the next few weeks.
Vermaelen is good at leading by example but he is best when he is being led by a level-headed co-defender with great organisational skills. Tonight he missed Mertesacker’s defensive leadership. Squillaci; what can I say? Ineffective and rusty, and he should really be moved on. But that will not happen until his contract runs out.