The matchup between Sheffield United and Arsenal saw Arsenal carry their lackluster away form to Bramall Lane. Sheffield United came away with the 1-0 home win on the excellently executed set-piece goal by Lys Mousset. Arsenal’s poor result brought them to only 1 win in 5 matches away from home.
This tactical analysis will breakdown three key aspects impacting the match. The first aspect is Chris Wilder sent out Sheffield United with a clear attacking tactic to unbalance Arsenal. Next, a breakdown of Wilder’s intentional plan to exploit Unai Emery’s defensive corner setup. Finally, Arsenal had non-dominating domination of possession.
Sheffield United lined up in a 3-5-2 formation to begin the match. Dean Henderson in goal behind the three centre backs Jack O’Connell, John Egan, and Chris Basham. Enda Stevens and George Baldock provided width in midfield with John Fleck, Oliver Norwood, and John Lundstram manning the centre. Goalscorer Lys Mousset and David McGoldrick comprised the forward line.
Arsenal countered with a 4-2-3-1 setup. Bernd Leno in goal with a back four of Calum Chambers, Sokratis, David Luiz, and Sead Kolašinac. Granit Xhaka and Mattéo Guendouzi sat in front of the back four. Joseph Willock was in the middle attacking role flanked by Bukayo Saka and Nicolas Pépé. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was the striker.
Sheffield United Target the Left Side
Chris Wilder had a clear intention to attack down the left side of the pitch against Arsenal. The following graphic shows how committed Sheffield United was to the tactic. According to WhoScored.com, 56% of the Sheffield United attacks were down the left side. That is a stunningly high amount signalling a clear tactical strategy.
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