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ANALYSIS: How Arsenal's Combinational Play Totally Destroyed Aston Villa's Game Plan

Arsenal won a very interesting encounter with Aston Villa at the Emirates Stadium last Friday with a 3-1 scoreline. The goals were scored by Thomas Partey, Pierre Emerick Aubameyang, Emile Smith Rowe and Jacob Ramsey.

Aston Villa came to the Emirates Stadium with a clear game plan to press aggressively high against the Arsenal defence and force mistakes on which they can capitalise. The Villains also planned to make the game as physical as it comes because Arsenal has a reputation of folding up when playing against physical teams.

But Arsenal was able to destroy Aston Villa's game plan with excellent combinational play which will be explained in this article. (Combinational play means a series of passes between players to create space or goalscoring chances either on the attack or counterattack).

1. Emile Smith Rowe And Nuno Tavares: The two youngsters dovetailed each other excellently and every time Emile Smith Rowe had the ball, he always had two options. Dribble on the inside or give it out wide to Nuno Tavares and expect a return ball.

In the pictures below, we can see Emile Smith Rowe and Nuno Tavares combining excellently to create space close to Aston Villa's box with Smith Rowe receiving it in an excellent attacking position likewise Tavares receiving his pass in a shooting position.

2. Bukayo Saka And Takehiro Tomiyasu: The Hale End Academy graduate and Japanese full-back from Bologna FC complemented each other perfectly. When Bukayo Saka had the ball on the flank, Tomiyasu darted inwardly to create a passing triangle and give Saka the chance to face either Matt Targett or Tyrone Mings in a one on one situation and vice versa.

In the picture frames below, we can see Saka either out wide and facing a defender alone or Tomiyasu doing the same. This prevented Aston Villa from making too many forward runs from the left-hand side.

These combinational plays pinned Aston Villa for a large part of the game and they could not impose their physicality because they were mostly close to their box. It is no coincidence that they conceded a penalty after much pressure.

It is obvious that Mikel Arteta's tactical set-up is starting to shape up and the fans would be hoping it continues to evolve positively.

Content created and supplied by: Bigsagna (via Opera News )

Arsenal Aston Villa Emile Smith Rowe Emirates Stadium Jacob Ramsey

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