Arsenal get into top four

Arsenal get into top four

In the central match of the EPL’s 14th round another London derby took place. This time the event happened in North London, where Arsenal and Tottenham met at Emirates. The Gunners won 4:2 and overtook the Spurs in the tournament table.

Unai Emery started this season with 4-2-3-1 formation. However, a series of three draws in a row in the league against Crystal Palace (2:2), Liverpool (1:1) and Wolverhampton (1:1) made the Spanish coach reconsider the approach and offer opponents surprising variation of the team’s game.

First of all, Emery removed Mesut Ozil from the line-up. The German was left on the bench in the match against Bournemouth but never entered the pitch. The team’s formation also changed. Instead of 4-2-3-1 Emery used 3-4-2-1 and even 3-4-3, having left Mustafi, Sokratis and Holding in the center of defense and Koscielny and Kolasinac tried on the duties of wing laterals. That bore fruit and the Gunners won 1:2.

Emery changed nothing on the game with Tottenham. The same line-up as against Bournemouth came out. However, Ozil was absent even on the bench. Rumor has it that the German got injured, but there was no official confirmation for that.

Nevertheless, Iwobi and Mkhitaryan perfectly coped with advancement of attacks and a role of the first roadblock in defense. Torreira gave another terrific match playing alongside Xhaka on a position of a defensive midfielder and starting the team’s attacks. Thanks to high pressing, which Emery borrowed from last year’s Klopp, Arsenal opened the score, but then conceded twice after a free kick and non-standard action of Tottenham’s playmakers.

However, let out Lacazette instead of Iwobi and Ramsey instead of Mkhitaryan for the second half. Having refreshed the attack, the Gunners went ahead and scored three goals without a response. Statistics confirm that predicts the future: eight goals and seven assists this season were created by players, who were substitutes in Arsenal. Therefore against tired Tottenham after matches with Chelsea and Inter, the Gunners’ freshness in the end of the game was predictable.

Arsenal achieved the first victory against teams from the top six, continued the lossless series in all tournaments to 19 matches and rightfully occupy fourth place in the EPL after 14 rounds. The main battle for the Champions League zone will be between three London sides: Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham. Someone will fall out of it, but considering the current situation it will hardly be Unai Emery’s team.