You’ll have to bear with me today on the usual ramblings, because it was the mother-in-laws birthday yesterday and the whole family was down from the north for a meal. I thought I’d be able to slink off for the second half but that was not the case, so today’s perception on the game last night is based purely on ‘vibes’ I get when looking at the result, stats, as well as the occasional live text check in online to see how we were doing.

So for me it all starts with the result which, given we don’t exactly have the best record away in Spain over the years, is a very good one and one that we can be very happy with. The draw in the other game between PSV and RC Lens means that we are back at the top of the group, it is now back in our control and if we can win our home game against Sevilla in a couple of weeks time, then depending on what happens in the other game, we could be on the verge of qualification. A draw in the other match on game week four and a win for Arsenal, for example, would put us on nine points, Lens on six, then the other two sides on two points and only able to accumulate a maximum of eight points. So after a disappointing night in France, we are probably only a win and a draw away from qualification and that is thanks to the boys doing the business in Andalucía yesterday evening.

Mikel kept most of his team in tact from Saturday and I can understand that; Tomiyasu was very good against Chelsea so deserved the start, Partey we now know picked up an injury in training (which in itself is a worry if that’s going to keep him out for a few weeks) so Jorginho kept his spot, then the Raya question was answered by giving him a start. I think most of us just want transparency and equity amongst the competition for the ‘keepers, but it was the right call to keep Raya in last night, because you don’t want to dent his confidence by making a move that could be construed as him being ‘dropped’. Having read a few comments on the game last night, however, it sounds as though there was another errant pass in the first half and a couple of iffy moments in the second too. I’m not going to labour any point on that, however, as I couldn’t watch the game and so it would be unfair on him for me to dig him out when I haven’t actually seen what happened.

I did, however, watch the two goals on replay and my, there was some stellar work from Gabriel Jesus on display for both. On the first one, the Saliba clearance was perhaps a tad fortunate to drop to him, but his turn to create space and bamboozle two Sevilla defenders was impressive, but that was followed up by the perfect kind of pass to set Martinelli off on a one-on-one with the ‘keeper. It was as cool and calm as you like as he rounded him and tapped in and given the timing of it too – just on halftime, it was the perfect end to what seemed like a good half.

Then Gabriel Jesus decided to get in on the scoring action himself in the second and his finish was the kind of well taken effort that makes you wonder how he doesn’t bag a lot more simpler goals. Great control, couple of little touches towards the goal from the left hand side, little shift of the ball and then foot wrapped around it to swerve it out of the ‘keepers reach. Brilliant stuff.

And then, by the sounds of it, we pretty much controlled the game. Looking at the stats come the final whistle it seems as though Sevilla had more ball, more passing and more attempts than us, but by the sounds of it that was more down to after we conceded from the corner, than for most of the game. It was a bit odd that we left Gabriel Jesus on the tall centre half (I think it was the centre half) for the corner, but thankfully that didn’t cost us eventually.

And so we’ve gone away to a tough and hostile ground and we’ve done the business. It sounds as though it was the perfect European away night in the end and Arteta will be happy with what the lads delivered. There’s a little bit of worry about the Partey injury and if he’s out for any length of time then it will of course be yet more concerns we should be having about his availability long term, but we have to wait and see how bad it is in the coming days and when Arteta delivers the next press conference injury update. The other slightly concerning news was Gabriel Jesus asking to be taken off, but the fact that he came out for interviews and said himself that he has had an initial test and hopefully it isn’t too bad, should allow us a little less concern. Our next game is at home to Sheffield United and if he’s out of that but it ensures he’s back the following week, then we should be able to handle it. Better to be safe than sorry with him and Partey and so I suspect the club will be thinking long and hard about whether to bother risking for the weekend. We’ll find out either tomorrow or Friday I suspect. For now we can continue to bask in the away day victory and even though the Chelsea result wasn’t the best performance, any lingering doubts or concerns from that display can be assuaged somewhat with a good away win.

Onwards and upwards and I’ll catch you wonderful humans in the morrow. Have a good one.

Quick p.s. – I quite like that green kit. It’s growing on me. More of that during the season please.