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Sheffield United 1-0 Arsenal: 5 Talking Points and Tactical Analysis | Premier League 2019/20

EXPERT COLUMNIST
Top 5 / Top 10
Modified 21 Dec 2019, 00:49 IST

#4 Arsenal’s alarming lack of offensive quality

Pepe missed a gilt-edged opportunity in the first half
Pepe missed a gilt-edged opportunity in the first half

Arsenal arrived at Bramall Lane having scored 13 goals in eight games. And, though that represented a decent average of 1.625 goals per game, it fell short of the enormous attacking standards the Gunners have set for themselves in recent years.

Thus, the visitors were under a hint of pressure, especially against a side of the ilk of Sheffield United. And, unfortunately for Gooners, they compounded those fears with an utterly dreadful offensive performance.

For large chunks of the game, the Gunners looked bereft of ideas with their approach play becoming massively predictable. They weren’t able to find spaces between the defence and the midfield, meaning that they were restricted to shifting the play from side to side without ever threatening.

Moreover, their stubbornness to play out from the back resulted in Sheffield hassling and harrying them at every opportunity, thereby preventing the Gunners’ creative weapons from scything through the rear-guard.

Throughout the game, the away side created only one chance of note and that too came off a brisk counter-attack. Apart from that, they failed to unlock a rugged defensive door, despite the myriad combinations they tried.

Over the course of the past couple of seasons, Arsenal’s defence has unsurprisingly come under the scanner. However, they’ve always had the luxury of falling back upon their attack. 

Yet, if displays like the one that transpired on Monday becomes the norm rather than the anomaly, the Gunners would have a major problem on their hands.

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Published 22 Oct 2019, 07:49 IST
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