Southampton - Arsenal tactical analysis Premier League

Southampton – Arsenal: High Octane Southampton Impress on Hasenhüttl’s Premier League Home Debut (3-2)

Southampton’s high pressing and quick counterattacking took Arsenal by surprise. Some more proactive half-time changes from Unai Emery kept the visitors in the game but Charlie Austin came up with a late winner, meaning Southampton secured the first Premier League victory of the Ralph Hasenhüttl era.

Tactical analysis and match report by Martyn Davis.

Southampton made two changes from their 1-0 defeat at Cardiff. Danny Ings came in for Austin up front and Mario Lemina was taken out in favour of Maya Yoshida as their Austrian coach switched to a 3-4-3. Having suffered a loss in Hasenhüttl’s first game in charge, they were looking to make up for that with a victory over Arsenal.

Unai Emery made a whole raft of changes from Arsenal’s victory over Qarabag midweek, with only Laurent Koscielny staying in the lineup. Four changes were also made from the team that faced Huddersfield a week ago with Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Alex Iwobi, Nacho Monreal and the previously mentioned Koscielny coming in. Granit Xhaka dropped into a makeshift center-back role as Emery returned to a 3-4-3 formation.

Arsenal had been on a 23 game unbeaten run before this match and had seen performances improve over recent weeks, with a switch to a back three making the most of available personnel.

Southampton’s press causes Arsenal buildup struggles
Arsenal predictably dominated possession in the early stages of the game. Southampton set up in a 5-4-1 medium block A medium block refers to a team that retreats in their own half out of possession, generally only disrupting their opponents some way into their own half . . .

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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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