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Analysis: Here’s how Unai Emery outplayed Sarri-ball – pure brilliance from the Arsenal boss

Analysis – Chelsea need Higuain soon, Arsenal respond well Arsenal rekindled their hopes of a top four finish by beating London rivals Chelsea 2-0 at the Emirates stadium on Saturday evening. The win keeps the Gunners at fifth place but they are now only three points behind the Blues, who currently occupy fourth place in the table. The first surprise of the game was Unai Emery changing his system for this particular game. In the last few weeks, we have seen Arsenal looking lop-sided in a back-3 system. Hence, the gaffer went back to the orthodox four at the back, however, this time with a diamond midfield. The home side began the game well, pressed high with attacking midfielder Aaron Ramsey virtually man-marking Jorginho. The two strikers, Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang worked really hard to make it tough for Chelsea to play out from the back. Arsenal As a result of the diamond formation, Arsenal were able to outnumber and out-muscle the Blues in the midfield in the first half, which ultimately turned out to be the game-defining half. Maurizio Sarri’s men had a similar experience when they met Tottenham at Wembley a few weeks ago, where Mauricio Pochettino deployed a diamond midfield. Chelsea’s middlemen couldn’t cope with the intensity of the Spurs press that day, and Saturday was nothing different. The problem that the Blues have is teams have studied and learnt how to counter the Sarri-ball. They have realised that by nullifying the passing strengths of Jorginho, the build-up play can be taken care of. The lack of a striker up front means the centre-backs David Luiz and Antonio Rudiger cannot always look long. The other midfielders Mateo Kovacic and N’Golo Kante are outnumbered because of the press. Gonzalo Higuain could be a key signing for Chelsea Hence, getting someone like Gonzalo Higuain is key for Chelsea. His running in the channel and physical play against the opposition centre-backs could help the team to play direct football rather than always starting the attack from the back. As for Arsenal, after a torrid performance at West Ham, it was a good response, and keeping a clean sheet against a quality opponent was a real bonus. Emery got his tactics and team selection wrong last week, and the opposite was the case on Saturday. Read More: Arsenal signing this rising Premier League star would be the answer to their defensive crisis All in all, the Gunners are in genuine contention to finish in the top four if they are consistent enough from now until the end of the season. Chelsea need to pick themselves up, failing which they might lose their fourth place very soon. The post Analysis: Here’s how Unai Emery outplayed Sarri-ball – pure brilliance from the Arsenal boss appeared first on SoccerSouls....


Published By: Soccer Souls - Sunday, 20 January

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