All through the season we have seen how Unai Emery has made changes to the Arsenal team and tactics during the half-time break, and it has usually been effective and we are top of the scoring charts in the second half of games. Against Brighton though it had the opposite effect, as Arsenal had been fully in control for the first half hour of the game, and it was only one of our usual defensive errors that gave Brighton the equaliser.
Unai Emery admitted as much after the game: “Yes, I think the key to the match today was the first 45 minutes, when we controlled the match as we wanted to. We scored and we had the advantage, with another two good chances for Aubameyang to get the second. Their goalkeeper saved with two good actions and from then, they equalised.”
Emery took off Mesut Ozil at half-time for Iwobi, and 15 minutes later swapped Lacazette for Ramsey. Emery again agreed that this didn’t work. “In the second half we tried again to control the match, to create the chances, but we didn’t do that. We had control with possession but not with creating chances against them. It wasn’t enough to win the game today.”
He was then asked why his substitutions didn’t work this time, and he replied: “Tactically, some matches I did that and I wanted to control it better with the positioning on the pitch. But in the second half we couldn’t do our ideas on the pitch for imposing ourselves and this imposing positioning can give us more options in attacking moments to score. We created less chances in the second half and not clear [chances].”
Well Unai, if you take off your most dangerous striker and your most gifted midfielder, you are hardly going to create more chances are you?