Arsenal went up against Chelsea in a Pre-season friendly at the Emirates, both teams looked sharp although their starting XI looked far from full strength but the game was an entertaining one, Chelsea came out on top with a 1:2 victory.
The blues went up in the first half after Timo Werner's pass put Kai Havertz through on goal, the German midfielder made no mistake as he fired the ball past Bernd Leno to make it 1:0, the second half was an evenly contested encounter as Granit Xhaka levelled things up for Arsenal with a towering header.
The win was short lived, the gunners tried to play out from the back and a loose pass found Tammy Abraham, the Chelsea striker who had been linked to Arsenal coolly slotted home to restore Chelsea's lead, Arsenal fought for another equalizer but the Chelsea defence would hold firm.
Arsenal played very well in the game, the game was just a friendly but it also reflected some of Arteta's tactics, and we were able to notice some positives and negatives from the Arsenal team, here are 7 things we noticed.
1. The Defensive High Line
Throughout the Pre-season Arsenal have played with a defensive high line, against Chelsea the Arsenal defenders played very close to the center of the field and this afforded Chelsea the chance to score the first goal, with just one pass the blues were 2 vs 2 against Arsenal with little help coming Kai Havertz was able to score, on numerous occasions the Arsenal center-backs were exposed because of this tactics.
Some managers have been able to deploy the high line effectively but Arteta should consider re-strategizing if his team is going to be on the back foot every time the opposition plays a ball over the top.
2. Defensive Mistake
The Arsenal defence was very poor, if not for the brilliance of Bernd Leno the gunners could have lost by a bigger margin, they lacked composure on the ball and there were loose passes all over the place.
3. Arteta's Insistence On Playing From The Back
Since his appointment as Arsenal manager, Mikel Arteta's teams have always played from the back, the build up has always started from the goalkeeper and then to the defenders, the aim of this is to beat the opposition press leaving them open at the back, Mikel Arteta's team has been unable to do this consistently and they have committed so many mistakes by doing this, today the team was found wanting again.
As they tried to play out from the back, one of the Arsenal players made a back pass and the ball found Tammy Abraham and he made no mistake slotting past Bernd Leno.
4. Xhaka's Influence
Arsenal should consider keeping Granit Xhaka now more than ever, Thomas Partey sustained a first half injury and Xhaka was introduced, the Swiss midfielder was very impressive as he controlled the midfield, he also grabbed Arsenal's only goal of the game.
Thomas Partey's injury looks a nasty one which is why Arsenal should keep their most reliable midfielder.
5. Nketiah & Joe Willock's Influence
With Alexander Lacazette, Pepe and Aubameyang in the attacking positions, Arsenal looked a bit flat, but the introduction of Joe Willock and especially Nketiah sparked the attack to life, Nketiah was causing the Chelsea defence all sort of problems with his passing and composure on the ball while Willock nearly came close to making it 2:2.
6. Aubameyang's Misfortunes In Front Of Goal
Once again Aubameyang fails to score in front of goal, the Arsenal captain should be Arsenal's biggest goal threat but he has failed to score in any Pre-season game, today he played the full 90 minutes and he had numerous clear goal scoring chances but he couldn't take them, Mikel Arteta should be worried about the situation.
7. Sead Kolasinac Poor Performance
Sead Kolasinac will definitely struggle to play a game when the season starts, with Kieran Tierney and the impressive Nuno Tavares in the team Sead Kolasinac should consider leaving the club, today he was very poor and he was found wanting on many occasions especially when he came up against Tammy Abraham.
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