Norwich City – Arsenal: New Beginnings, Same Old Problems (2-2)
Counterattacks, set-pieces and penalties were at the heart of a truly chaotic encounter which teased a winner but failed to deliver one. Early optimism for Arsenal quickly flatlined as they, once again, proved to be architects of their own downfall.
Tactical analysis and match report by Peter Munnely.
After claiming three crucial points at Everton last week – their first victory since defeating Manchester City – Norwich had reason to believe they could challenge a ramshackle Arsenal side that came into this game off the back of seven consecutive matches without victory - in all competitions, that is.
Norwich manager Daniel Farke made only one change, in the form of Ibrahim Amadou replacing Alexander Tettey in deep midfield. A win here would potentially move his side to within one point from safety, whereas a victory for the away team would help them keep tabs on the sides storming away above them.
Now with a fresh face in charge following the club’s dismissal of Unai Emery on Friday, Freddie Ljungberg was hoping he could cash in on some of that new manager bounce many seem to get lucky with.
His first eleven was quite different to the 3-4-1-2 setup fielded in Arsenal’s last Premier League outing. Looking to bounce back from a 2-2 draw, there, he opted for the 4-2-3-1 system here. The changes included Shkodran Mustafi replacing Sokratis Papastathopoulos in the center of defense, Calum Chambers and Sead Kolašinac occupying the fullback positions ahead of Héctor Bellerín and Kieran Tierney respectively, and Granit Xhaka returning to the lineup in . . .