Arsenal 4 - 2 Tottenham: 3 things we noticed from an Arsenal perspective | Premier League 2018-19
The much anticipated North London derby has come and gone. It is no longer news that Arsenal triumphed over their North London rivals by 4 goals to 2, thanks to a brace from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and one each from Alexandre Lacazette, and the man of the match, Lucas Torreira.
Arsenal were slight underdogs going into this contest, going by Tottenham's perceived superiority over The Gunners in recent seasons. They have finished above Arsenal for the past two seasons, which seemed to suggest there is a power shift in North London.
From this game, it is quite obvious for all to see that Arsenal have greatly improved under Unai Emery as manager. There are a number of things we noticed from the game, lets take a look at some of them.
#1 Arsenal are adapting to Unai Emery's philosophy
When Emery became Arsenal manager, he was quite clear about what he wanted from Arsenal. When he was asked about his style of football, this is what he said, as quoted by the Guardian UK
“My idea is to be protagonists,” he said. “The history here is a team that love playing with possession and I like that personality. When you don’t have possession, I want a squad that are very, very intensive with the pressing. The two things are important for me to be protagonists – possession of the ball and pressing when you don’t have the ball.”
From his above statement, it was clear that he wanted Arsenal to always dictate games with their style of play, and press the opponents to retrieve the ball, doing this with strong intensity.
Though the game against Tottenham likely motivated Arsenal to use the tactical philosophy almost throughout the game, we have seen in many games this season that the players are really buying into the coach's philosophy of pressing the opponents to retrieve the ball and counter with full speed and energy.
Arsenal pressed Tottenham for large parts of the game, in fact at a point, referee Mike Dean had to ask the Arsenal players who were doing the pressing from the Tottenham's 18-yard box to give them the required 5 metres mark, that is to show the level of intensity from The Gunners.
If Arsenal can continue with this intensity in games, it would be difficult for them to be beaten.
Unai Emery has also brought intense work rate to the team, as the Arsenal players seem to be running more and covering every blade of grass on the pitch.