Sheffield United 1-0 Arsenal: 5 Talking Points and Tactical Analysis | Premier League 2019/20
Sheffield United got the better of Arsenal 1-0 in a tense affair at Bramall Lane on the 21st of October in the Premier League. The defeat meant that the visitors squandered the chance of moving back into the top four whereas the Blades jumped to ninth spot.
The hosts enjoyed the better of the early exchanges and put the Gunners under early strife. However, the visitors rode that storm and created a few openings for themselves.
Consequently, Nicolas Pepe was accorded the opportunity to finish off a breath-taking counter-attack. However, the Ivorian swiped at thin air from six yards out.
Thereafter, the Blades grew into the game and struck in the 30th minute when Lys Mousset poked the ball past Bernd Leno from close range.
After the break, the Gunners tried to prize open the Sheffield defence but they failed as the hosts saw off the game in exquisite fashion.
Here is a look at the talking points from the game.
#5 Arsenal dance to Sheffield tunes in the first half
Arsenal came into the game at Bramall Lane having lost a solitary game in the Premier League. Even though the Gunners hadn’t really been firing on all cylinders, they’d managed to do just enough to outwit oppositions. Thus, it wasn’t too unreasonable to expect the visitors to be relatively high on confidence.
However, throughout the first half on Monday, the Gunners danced to Sheffield United’s tunes as the hosts methodically turned the screw on their illustrious rivals.
The Blades started the encounter on the front foot and immediately put Arsenal under the cosh. The home side displayed extraordinary bravery and composure on the ball, meaning that they carved out several openings.
Sheffield were willing to switch the ball wide swiftly and that enabled them to whip in several dangerous crosses. Though those deliveries didn’t directly result in a goal, it led to a plethora of set-pieces, one of which the Blades converted.
A corner from the left wing was curled in delightfully towards Jack O’Connell. The Englishman towered above the Arsenal defenders in the penalty area and nodded down the ball for Mousset. The Frenchman did justice to the service provided as he made the net ripple from close range.
While the Gunners responded well after the concession, they still looked devoid of ideas in the middle of the park. Bukayo Saka and Joe Willock weren’t at their best during the period, thereby contributing to a lack of a cutting edge in the offensive third.
Apart from the above, the hosts also condensed the pitch extremely efficiently whenever the visitors tried to play out from the back. In the process, Arsenal were forced to lump the ball forward aimlessly; a prospect Sheffield’s triumvirate of centre-backs thoroughly relished.
Over the course of the 2019-20 season, several have lauded Sheffield for their application, doggedness and energy. However, against the North Londoners, they showcased another facet of their game in the opening period, one that helped them control the game wonderfully.