Arsenal welcomed Sheffield United at the Emirates Stadium today and they were hoping to get a win so that they can avoid going into the bottom half of the Premier League table but they however failed. The gunners took the lead at the end of the first half through Gabriel Martinelli but The Blades went back into the game in the 83rd minute thanks to a powerful shot from Fleck. Here are a few talking points from the game.
Arsenal came into this match with Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Bukayo Saka as their fullbacks despite these two not being natural defenders but they both put in a decent shift since Sheffield United are very good at going in behind, fullbacks with their overlapping centre backs. Bukayo Saka wss very instrumental in Arsenal’s first goal as he sent in a cross to Martinelli after a receiving a great pass from Lacazette and the Brazilian international put the ball into the back of the net.
Arsenal seemed up for it in the first half and created some chances but most of them weren’t threatening enough for the Sheffield United goalkeeper, the visitors too did have some chances to take the lead as well in the first 30 minutes but failed to convert them and the gunners punished them through Martinelli in the 45th minute.
Sheffield United were a bit more confident and ambitious in the second half since they were looking for a way back into the game but this also gave the gunners a chance to counter attack them, Mesut Ozil was sometimes driving forward but then misplacing his passes when trying to connect with the front three. Lacazette was mostly in midfield as his new role under Arteta requires and he failed to get any real clear cut chances at goal aside from that late close range free kick that he didn’t put on target.
Nicolas Pepe was having a lot more fun with the more space he had in the second half but his best run saw him get clipped in the penalty box but the referee and VAR believed that there was no foul made. Lacazette replaced Nketiah but the young Englishman failed to make an impact.
Sheffield United finally got an equaliser in the 83rd minute after Fleck’s shot went past Bernd Leno due to a slight deflection to make it 1-1. This continues a trend of the gunners conceding deflected goals as the one against Crystal Palace was also off a deflection.
And so it ended 1-1 and Mikel Arteta will have to work hard to try to make his team finish off matches early to avoid dropping any more points.