Arsenal were toothless for most of the game as they missed key figures in the team due to injury. They went behind due to an individual error. But inspired substitutions from Arteta meant that Arsenal turned the tide with a 2-1 victory against Rapid Wien. The game also marked a full debut for Arsenal’s deadline day signing Thomas Partey
Leno’s attempted pass while trying to play from the back was intercepted by the home side culminating in an easy finish for the opening goal. David Luiz equalized with a powering header off a Pepe free-kick.
The two substitutes Aubameyang and Bellerin combined for the second goal to give Arsenal a winning start to the Europa League campaign. Let us look at the biggest lessons:
- Creativity is lacking – Arsenal’s approach for Houssem Aouar makes complete sense. Leaving Ozil out even despite getting Aouar has left Arsenal lacking creativity in the middle of the park. The absence of Ceballos and Willian meant there was no creative outlet in the middle of the park. This was evident in the fact that Arsenal had fewer shots on target while having the bulk of the ball. Arteta needs to set his formation correctly to extract the best out of his side.
- A debut to remember for Partey – Thomas Partey looked a cut above the rest of the players on the field. The midfield powerhouse barely set a foot wrong throughout the game and had the perfect full debut. With him in the middle Arsenal can afford another body in the attacking third. Arsenal have pulled off one of the biggest deals of the summer.
- Aubameyang still the main man – Aubameyang has been playing out wide in most of the games since Arteta took over. As a result, his productivity in front of goal has decreased substantially. But in this game, the Arsenal captain showed once again that he remains the talisman for Arteta. He needs to be in spaces where he has better sight of goal, and Arteta needs to ensure that.
- Pepe could be a dead ball specialist – Creating goals from set-pieces is something Arsenal have lacked for a while now. Pepe has shone in this department on a few occasions. But he needs to do it consistently. This will give Arsenal another dimension in attack and works against some of the stubborn defenses.
Author: Kshitiz Choudhary
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