Arsenal – Chelsea: Individual Errors Decide Fascinating Tactical Face-Off (1-2)
Mikel Arteta’s initial changes sprung a more than successful surprise upon Chelsea, which eventually, was counteracted by Frank Lampard’s own intelligent tactical alterations. In the end, the side on the losing end could feel most hard done by given the circumstances of their defeat.
Tactical analysis and match report by Peter Munnelly.
In his home debut as manager, Arteta took charge of a side that had posted only one win in any of their last fourteen matches in all competitions, including a 1-1 draw away to Bournemouth in the Spaniard’s first game in charge. However, those dropped points on Boxing Day somewhat hid the promise shown in Arteta’s first game at the helm.
Whilst there were very few changes in personnel – with only Granit Xhaka and Sokratis Papastathopoulos making way for Mattéo Guendouzi and Calum Chambers respectively – it was a surprise to see more drastic changes when it came to their setup. Already moving away from the 4-3-3 formation, Arteta switched to a consistent 4-4-2 shape for this encounter.
Chelsea manager Frank Lampard, despite losing at home to Southampton in midweek, kept faith in his recent move to a back three, which worked decently against Tottenham Hotspur the match before. There were also only two changes made here, with Mateo Kovačić returning in place of Jorginho and Mason Mount coming back into the fold ahead of Callum Hudson-Odoi.
Arsenal gain the upper hand early on
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