Sunday ,October 4:
Everton 1-1 Liverpool FT (Romelu Lukaku, Danny Ings)
Arsenal 3-0 Manchester United FT (A.Sanchez,M.Ozil,A.Sanchez)
Swansea 2-2 Tottenham FT (A.Ayew,C.Eriksen,H.Kane OG,C.Eriksen)
Few people would’ve considered Arsenal to win on Sunday after their shambolic defeat to Olympiakos in the Champions League on Tuesday. The Gunners though proved everyone wrong as they dismantled a slow and shaky Manchester United team within 20 minutes of the first half by scoring three goals without any replies.
Here are five things we learned:
Gabriel Paulista is a star in the making for both Arsenal and Brazil
Brazil has always been acknowledged on it’s attacking side of football rather than it’s defending. This point was furthered illustrated when Germany smashed seven goals past Brazil in the 2014 world cup. Eight games into the new season we can easily say that if Gabriel remains consistent enough he will easily be in the category of top defenders such as Mats Hummels, Javier Mascherano etc. Except the Chelsea game, Arsenal have kept clean sheets in all the games that Gabriel has featured in for the full 90 minutes. Gabriel managed the threat of Rooney and Martial with ease and made some decisive tackles to make sure Arsenal did not concede. Gabriel’s defensive traits are well known but his coordination with his defense line and Coquelin is what impressed us. On top of that his composure with the ball and passing prowess was well defined as 91% of his passes were accurate. Harder tests are coming up the road but Gabriel Paulista seems like a top quality defender already.
Louis Van Gaal’s tactical errors were the main reason for United’s loss
United started the match with Young, Smalling, Blind and Darmian in their defense. Darmian and Blind are unproven defenders while Young is a winger playing in defense. To protect United’s defense line Schweinsteiger and Carrick started in midfield. With this squad it seemed like United were setup to lose because these players were too slow for Arsenal’s movement, speed and passing. Darmian couldn’t handle Sanchez’s pace and trickery. On the other hand Carrick and Schweinsteiger had a torrid time against Ozil and Cazorla’s movement in midfield. With a lack of defensive resources Louis Van Gaal needs to manage every game differently if United are to win the Premier League this season.
Smalling and Martial were the only positives for United in this fixture
Anthony Martial failed to score a goal in this match but his skill, pace and composure caused a few problems for Arsenal’s defense. Mata, Depay and Rooney were all missing as attacking outlets for United as Arsenal were pressing in packs. Martial was the only player who looked likely to get on the score sheet during the match and he would’ve scored too if not for Cech’s wonderful save.
Chris Smalling has had a brilliant season up till now and if it wasn’t for him Arsenal would’ve scored two or three more goals. He was commanding in defense against Theo Walcott and was assured while in possession of the ball. Hopefully the England man will remain in this kind of form for both club and country.
Arsenal displayed a team performance managers dream of
Arsene Wenger would’ve been proud of his teams performance on Sunday as Arsenal showed everyone how a team should play. From goal keeper to striker Arsenal showed great commitment and desire. Arsenal were pressing from the first minute. The Gunners did not allow United players time on the ball, Mesut Ozil and Santi Cazorla displayed a wonderful set of passes and were looking to make things happen with each pass. Arsenals’s defense was rock solid with the help of Francis Coquelin. Finally, Arsenal’s attack was full of pace, determination and trickery. Ramsey was always available for a pass , Walcott caused all sorts of havoc by running the channels and pressing United’s players while Sanchez was just too hot to handle. Arsenal fans and Arsene Wenger will want their team to perform like this all season long if they want to have a chance of winning the title.
Peter Cech’s move to the Emirates has been vindicated
Many people had considered Chelsea to be the winners of the Premier League this season but eight games into the season Chelsea are standing at 16th place and don’t look like champions at all. Peter Cech though will be happy to have jumped ship as he is sitting at 2nd place with Arsenal and has played all eight games of the season. Out of those eight games Cech has kept four clean sheets but the crucial saves he makes are what count the most. His one on one save against Martial and his bottom corner save against Rooney were major indicators of his quality during the United game. His man management was also well displayed in this fixture. John Terry stated after this transfer that Cech will save 12 to 15 points a season for Arsenal and he seems to be spot on up till now. Arsenal look more like a balanced team in terms of defense and attack after Cech’s arrival.