Sheffield United – Arsenal: Arsenal Survive The Host’s Aerial Bombardment To Secure The Narrowest Of Victories (1-2)
Control of the first half afforded the visitors room to breathe, but that was not to be the case once Chris Wilder’s side found their feet in the second. After heaping pressure on their opponents, a hectic, end-to-end finale to this encounter resulted in twists and turns that fell in Arsenal’s favor.
Tactical analysis and match report by Peter Munnelly.
Without a goal to their name since the league’s resumption, Wilder’s Sheffield United have yet to re-establish the kind of winning form they were enjoying before the season’s forced disruption. Coming into this tie, they had suffered back-to-back 3-0 defeats.
Wilders made three changes in his starting eleven: Dean Henderson reclaimed his starting spot between the sticks, whilst John Egan returned from suspension to fill the central role in the back three, and up top Lys Mousset was switched out for David McGoldrick.
Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal were not exactly enjoying themselves too much, either. Despite winning at St. Mary’s three days prior to this, it was yet another questionable display. Having lost at Bramall Lane earlier in the season, it was reasonable to assume this side, which contained five changes, would once again suffer defeat, despite their opponent’s weak record against every other top team in the division.
Now switching to a back three, into the side came David Luiz, Sead Kolašinac and Ainsley Maitland-Nilesl; Joe Willock came in for Dani Ceballos centrally; in the frontline, Eddie Nketiah and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang made way, with the former facilitating the system change and the latter being replaced by Alexandre Lacazette.
Hosts pounce on a nervy Arsenal start