Tactical analysis Arsenal - Manchester United 1-3 FA Cup

Arsenal – Manchester United: Solskjær stays flawless with smash and grab FA Cup win at Arsenal (1-3)

Sturdy defending and quickfire counterattacks allowed Manchester United to take a commanding lead despite Arsenal pressure. From there it was all about careful game management, a test which the new manager passed with flying colors. Arsenal were subsequently sent crashing out of the FA Cup, but a promising performance means there are positives to take for both sides.

Tactical analysis and match report by Martyn Davis.

A recent downturn in results — combined with injuries, transfer rumors and controversy — has made for a turbulent last few months at Arsenal. But if you look past the noise and sensationalist journalism, they appear to have made steady, if not entirely tangible, improvements under Unai Emery. Arsenal have continued to be a strong team going forward while beginning to smooth over some of their defensive problems. This was on full display against Chelsea who they beat 2-0 at the weekend. Emery sent out a strong lineup against United with both Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette starting.

Manchester United have become England’s team to beat in an incredible turnaround following Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s appointment as manager. An attacking style of play combined with a more positive atmosphere has created a degree of momentum at Old Trafford. The Norwegian coach made some interesting selections for this game. While the defense and midfield set up largely as expected, Romelu Lukaku found himself playing on the right of a front three — with Jesse Lingard through the middle and Alexis Sánchez on the left.

Arsenal start brightly
The home side’s 4 . . .

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Martyn Davis (20) is an aspiring coach and analyst who spends his time reading, learning and — more recently — writing about football tactics. He is a Liverpool fan who primarily watches the Premier League but tries to broaden his tactical horizons by watching as many different leagues and teams as possible. He writes for his own football blog as well as Between the Posts. [ View all posts ]

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