Arsenal – Valencia: Valencia’s Lead Slips Through Their Fingers In A Match Decided By Deflections And Set Pieces (3-1)
Valencia manager Marcelino surprised by deviating from his usual preferred formation for this Europa League semi-final. Rodrigo Moreno was the focal point of Valencia’s attack in a lineup packed with nominal central defenders. Initially Valencia dominated the home team, but the attacking prowess of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette helped Arsenal seize the day in this hugely bitty encounter.
Tactical analysis and match report by Peter M.
As the football season reaches its boiling point, it is now that the true grudge matches come to the fore.
Arsenal have suffered through some horrendous form of late, losing three games inside one week, conceding three goals in each of those. From his 4-4-2 setup on Sunday, Unai Emery made just three changes, including a reversion to the 3-4-1-2 formation. Cup-keeper Petr Čech, replaced Bernd Leno while Alex Iwobi and Henrikh Mkhitaryan made way for Laurent Koscielny and Mesut Özil.
Valencia’s surprise defeat at the hands of SD Eibar on Sunday might also have unsettled the camp on the opposite side as Marcelino made a number of defensive changes. To begin with, up till the moment of kickoff it was unclear just what system the manager might field given there were six defenders listed on the team sheet. As it turned out, Marcelino had actually opted for a 5-3-2 formation, which featured . . .