London: Former England defender Martin Keown has asserted that Arsenal are defensively stronger without their star footballers Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil, following the club's goalless draw in an English Premier League (EPL) match against Chelsea.
"Without these two (Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil), Arsenal were much better defensively. They were disciplined, worked together and pressed as a unit to close down Chelsea," the former Arsenal player was quoted as saying by The Independent after the match ended 0-0 at Chelsea's Stamford Bridge Stadium here on Sunday evening.
German international Ozil was omitted from the squad that travelled for the away fixture, while Chilean Sanchez came off the bench in the 75th minute of the tie.
"There has been so much fear at Arsenal of losing Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil, this excellent performance at Chelsea without them made you wonder what all the fuss was about," Keown explained.
The former star defender, who made 310 appearances for Arsenal from 1993 to 2004, heaped praise on Aaron Ramsey for putting up a fine performance in midfield.
"With midfielders working around him, Aaron Ramsey was able to get on the ball more. He ran the show in midfield and it was his best display for years.
"For this Arsenal team, it was a chance to step up and prove that they did not need Sanchez and Ozil to perform. This showed the strength of their XI is better than any individual," the 51-year-old said.
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Updated Date: Sep 19, 2017 14:35:58 IST