Arsenal suffered a 1-0 loss on Monday at Sheffield United in the Premier League applying more pressure on manager Unai Emery. The Gunners stuttered during their away performance at Bramall Lane, and the Blades took advantage as they claimed three points with Lys Mousset’s first Premier League strike. Football fans can book Premier League Tickets on our website on exclusively discounted prices.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer produced a tactical master class to nullify Liverpool’s threat during their visit to Manchester United on Sunday. Jurgen Klopp’s team rescued a point in the dying embers of the 1-1 draw at Old Trafford but Solskjaer will have been left enthused by his side’s display.
With Mesut Ozil left at home in the capital, Emery’s side once again lacked a creative edge during their second Premier League loss of the campaign. The Spaniard started Joe Willock ahead of Dani Ceballos, and the forward-thinking Kieran Tierney was denied a first Premier League start.
Emery’s tactics failed at Bramall Lane and his starting selection lacked the endeavor expected of a team as talented as Arsenal. The Gunners were second best despite dominating possession, and their lack of finishing made it an easy night for the Blades’ defense.
Sky Sports MNF highlighted Arsenal’s poor away record under Emery, featuring 10 defeats in 24 games and just two clean sheets. If Emery moves forward without the presence of Ozil in his team, the Gunners coach must harvest creativity from another source.
The service to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was not from the highest echelons, and with a weak defense present there is every chance results could start to slide.
Before Sunday’s north-west derby, the combination of Liverpool’s recent winning streak with United’s poor form suggested an away victory for the league leaders.
The match didn’t pan out as expected, and it was Liverpool chasing the game for much of the contest. Solskjaer surprised fans with a 5-3-2 system which Klopp couldn’t break down until the 86th-minute.
The United coach’s tactical acumen has been questioned since the end of last season when his team’s results collapsed in the final weeks. However, the Norwegian answered his critics by nullifying Liverpool’s forwards and placing Klopp’s full-backs on the back foot for most of the game.
United took the lead after Marcus Rashford tucked away Daniel James’ cross after 36 minutes, and Liverpool had to wait until four minutes from time before Adam Lallana’s equalizer.
Klopp has often been lauded for his tactics since taking charge on Merseyside, but Solskjaer won the battle of the minds during a pulsating match at Old Trafford.
Loser: Liverpool’s Midfield
Liverpool’s central midfield has been the rock that’s allowed Klopp to give a raiding license to his forwards. The tactics have worked perfectly over the past two years, but there’s evidence the Reds need to improve on the ball in midfield.
United was able to frustrate Liverpool by cutting off any supply from the wings and turning the match into a battle in the center of the pitch.
With Mohamed Salah out of the team through injury, Liverpool lacked a presence in the final third, and Klopp’s midfielders failed to create a threat to support Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino.
Managers will have watched the way Solskjaer set up his team, and it will not be a surprise to see Liverpool’s future opponents target captain Jordan Henderson and his fellow midfielders. This is Liverpool’s only true weakness and it could cost them vital points in the months ahead.
Winner: Chris Wilder
When Wilder introduced overlapping center-backs to his team last season, fans and pundits rightfully scratched their heads.
However, Sheffield United was promoted to the Premier League playing a clever brand of football, confusing their opponents in the process. Wilder has managed to adapt his approach to the top-flight, and Arsenal had no answer on Monday night in Sheffield.
The 3-5-2 system Wilder employs is similar to Solskjaer’s tactical choice against Liverpool, and the success is present for all to see. English sides appear to have a problem with the system, and the campaign could develop into a successful experience for Wilder and his hardworking unit.
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