Vitória Guimarães – Arsenal: Emery’s Side Held To Draw By Organized Vitória (1-1)
Vitória’s defensive organization made this game an uneventful affair from an attacking point of view, as Arsenal were often stuck in their u-shaped circulation and unable to make breakthroughs. Eventually Arsenal took the lead from a Shkodran Mustafi set-piece header, but were unable to hold on as Bruno Duarte secured a late equalizer for Vitória.
Tactical analysis and match report by Josh Manley.
Arsenal were in a strong position in their Europa League group coming into this game, as they had won all of their previous three games. In the Premier League, things have not been going so smoothly for Unai Emery’s side. They currently have four wins from eleven games and are without a win in their last three league matches.
In their latest game, a draw against Wolves, Unai Emery had experimented with a 4-2-2-2 shape to try and freshen things up. For this game, he changed things again, this time opting for a 3-4-3 shape. Shkodran Mustafi and Rob Holding returned to the lineup to play alongside Sokratis in defense. At the top end of the pitch, Nicolas Pépé, Gabriel Martinelli and Bukayo Saka made up the front three. Alexandre Lacazette started on the bench, while the likes of Mesut Özil and new captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang did not travel to Portugal with the squad.
Vitória were still on zero points in the group prior to this game, giving them very slim chances of knockout qualification. They lined up in a . . .