Fine margins come up clutch
It’s not exactly rocket science to state that elite level sport is decided by fine margins. Had Gabriel Magalhaes been a shoe size larger, then Arsenal may well have been staring down the barrel of a defeat to Manchester United prior to the international break.
For Mikel Arteta though, those margins had been too small. The Spaniard had been asked to review his side’s season so far, prior to Sunday’s match, and admitted that he was happy, but said that he wanted to see more convincing victories.
The trip to Goodison Park certainly wasn’t that. From very early on it became clear that this game was going to be a close one. Arsenal’s record at Goodison Park over the past few years has been bafflingly awful given the two side’s differing fortunes, and this game threatened to follow a similar script to the one last season where the Gunners had lost in Sean Dyche’s first game in charge.
Arsenal submerged Everton in a red sea of attacking shirts, and through the snappy interceptions of Declan Rice barely allowed them a second to gasp for air. Still though clear-cut chances were hard to come by.
Gabriel Martinelli had seen his goal controversially ruled out for offside, but aside from that Jordan Pickford hadn’t really been forced to make a save. It’s in these instances where the work done in the week at London Colney comes up clutch.
Throughout the match Arsenal identified that short corners were going to be their best bet at causing this Everton side damage from set pieces. Although the Gunners are more physical than they used to be, Sean Dyche’s men are another level and engaging in aerial duel with them was never going to work out well.
This attempt to keep the ball on the ground was dangerous forRead on football.london