MATCH REVIEW THREAD: Arsenal 3-0 Dundalk. It was certainly an improved performance from 'The Arsenal'. In this thread, I will provide an in-depth review of the game. Likes/RTs so that more Gooners can see this would mean a lot to me, enjoy! 🔴🔴🔴😁
FIRST HALF: Regarding the shape, it was fluid and changing continuously dependent on whether Arsenal was out of possession or in possession. Arteta did however revert back to his hybrid 3-4-3 shape. In possession, once Runnarson had the ball at his feet, they moved into a 4-3-3,
with Xhaka at LCB, Mustafi at RCB and Kolasinac and Cedric playing as FBs. AMN would move into a central position, tucking into midfield. As the Gunners progressed further up the pitch, a 2-2-6 shape was adopted. Clearly, Arteta realised the calibre of opposition was low,
which enabled him to be more flexible/expansive, rather than playing the usual 2-3-5. AMN would play very wide, effectively as a winger, Nelson covering the half-spaces, Willock drifting in between the lines, Cedric overlapping/underlapping and combining with Pepe. Kolasinac
would move into midfield when attacks stemmed through the right. When passages of play were developed through the left, Cedric would drift infield, play deeper and maintain a pivot with Elneny. Out of possession, AMN would drop into LWB and essentially, it was a 5-2-3.
AMN played in three different positions depending on where the ball was in possession and when the Gunners didn't have the ball (LWB, CM, LW).

Regarding the first-half performance, it was one that saw Arteta's side dominate. Plenty of possession and control, with partnerships
developing from both flanks. The visitors did have an early shot at goal with Runnarson diverting the attempt away for a corner. But apart from this, they were pegged back and remained compact in their shape. A lot of attacks were coming through the right-hand side, with Willock,
Pepe and Cedric all playing within close proximity to each other, and combining well in tight spaces. A clear pattern which stood out was the way the three linked up and allowed Pepe time and space to cut in on his favoured left foot. Regarding Pepe's quality in these moments,
it was mixed. On one occasion a good ball was delivered for Eddie, who failed to keep hold of the ball. Whereas there were other moments where the Ivorian was wasteful. As the half went on, attacks started to develop through the left, with Reiss causing problems whenever he....
received the ball. Despite good moments in possession, the visitors were nullifying frequent clear cut chances from happening. The deadlock was however broken late in the half, from a set piece situation. The GK failed to deal with a floated corner from Reiss and Eddie, as he
always is, takes up a typical strikers position and capitalises on the error. Quickly after, the hosts doubled their lead. Pepe, who really should have played Willock through, has his shot blocked, which falls to Joe, who finishes the chance very well. Plenty of attempts on goal,
some good pieces of play and it's fair to say that Arsenal went into half time with a deserved lead.

SECOND HALF: Immediately, the Gunners kickstarted the second half with a bang. Joe's pass finds its way to Pepe, who shifts it on his weaker right foot and provides an excellent
finish, into the top corner. Although it proved to be the final goal for the Gunners, Arteta's side continued to control proceedings. Willock at the centre of many passages of play along with Nelson. Before coming off, Cedric delivered an excellent delivery for Eddie who couldn't
strike a clean enough contact. There were also two moments where Tierney found himself in good areas but lacked conviction in one of these instances. But overall, it was a convincing performance from the Gunners and Arteta will hope that the win breeds much-needed confidence
within the team, ahead of a huge clash against United on Sunday.

INDIVIDUAL PERFORMANCES: A debut was handed to Icelandic stopper Runarsson. And it was a game that saw the GK have minimal to do. What was good to see was his two claims from corners and his quick distribution
straight after, which clearly shows his eager and willingness to start attacks. Apart from an early shot, which he diverted away from a corner, he could have been reading a book. Xhaka was tasked to play at LCB in the possession and as the central CB defensively.
What this does show is that Arteta clearly favours a left-footed CB to play from the left, aiding fluidity and progressive play. Generally, it was a quiet game for Xhaka, with minimal to do. In possession, he provided some excellent forward passes which kickstarted a few attacks.
Defensively, he dealt with everything that came his way. Very similar descriptions could be given to Mustafi. After a poor performance against Leicester, he provided the team with a positive display, which Arteta needed from him since the Arsenal boss has limited options at RCB.
After displaying the team with an encouraging display against Rapid Vienna, Kolasinac provided another decent performance. Defensively astute and some good overlapping runs when he was given license to go forward. Moving into AMN, he certainly was tasked to play a number of
different roles. Playing as a LWB, CM and LW in the first half, followed by playing at CB and CM in the second half after Arteta made changes, demonstrated his incredible versatility. Regarding the midfield, Elneny was yet again consistent. Recycled possession well, was
disciplined in his positioning, kept things simple and always showed for the ball when the CBs or GK had the ball. Moving to the right, Cedric provided the Gunners with a steady showing. The Portuguese international was partnering Pepe well in the first half and delivered some
quality crosses in the danger areas, one of which Eddie should have done better off. Willock was outstanding and my MOTM. Excellent movement between the lines, combined very well with surrounding teammates, made frequent correct decisions in possession, was direct and finished
his chance brilliantly. Reiss was another standout performer. He understands space, two-footed, excellent close touch control, can go past players with ease and was a constant threat. A fantastic performance regardless of whether he played from the left or right. But his best
position is as an inside forward from the left. Eddie always takes up excellent positions. His knack of scoring goals comes from his intelligence in his movement. Great reaction and anticipation for the goal. Pepe was a lot more involved. Some mixed moments in the first half.
But what he did show was the quality that he possesses, and hopefully, his goal will provide him with confidence to kick on now. Substitutes were all positive and nothing to critique regarding their performances. Next up is United away, hope you enjoyed the read! 😁🔴🔴🔴
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