Going to Goodison Park to face Everton in their weekend Premier League fixture, Arsenal knew one thing they had to do, pick up all three points at that ground (after failing to do so since 2017) to be firmly in the title race, like Liverpool and Tottenham, who’ve only dropped two points, and Manchester City, who still have a perfect record.
Fortunately, they overcame all odds and won. Leandro Trossard scored the game’s only goal. The Belgian replaced the injured Martinelli in the 24th minute of the game.
After the game, Trossard spoke to the media, and he hinted that the game played out as they hoped it would. Apparently the Gunners were keen to punish the Toffees through set pieces—and corners, to be specific. In their analysis of Sean Dyche’s team, Trossard notes that they knew they are good on set pieces, so with the many corners they knew they’d get (they got 11), they were keen to play short corners, one of which led to a goal. About their tactical approach clicking and he utilising his opportunity, the Belgian admitted on Sky Sports post-match, “They [Everton] have a lot of tall guys, and they’re good on set-pieces. We wanted to exploit them. We work hard on everything tactically.
“It’s always nice to help your team, especially with a winning goal. I think it’s a great action. I called B [Bukayo Saka], and he saw me with a perfect layoff. It went in perfectly, and I’m very happy.
“I’ve been practicing all my life on both feet, and you can see it helps you. It’s so helpful if you’re good on both feet — you can go both ways and score off either.”
Mikel Arteta on Arsenal.com also noted the tactical approach they had to put in their corners, admitting after the game that, “We prepare every situation in a way that we have to keep for ourselves. We don’t want to give anything, as you can imagine, to the opponents, but we try to practice set pieces.
“That’s something huge for us as well, because we generate that many; we are in the final third a lot, and we have to be really good at it, because it’s a way to win the game for all the clubs.”
Aside from the corner approach, every other tactical strategy Arteta intended his team to use was successful. His decision to start Fabio Vieira and David Raya instead of Kai Havertz and Aaron Ramsdale was also successful.
It was sad that Gabriel Martinelli, who was posing a threat for the Toffees earlier on in the match, had to be replaced. His exit should have had an effect on Arsenal’s tactical approach, but it didn’t drop our standards as Trossard was immense as his replacement.
What an exciting moment to be a gooner!
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