Arsenal were dominated by Manchester City on Wednesday, April 26th, with the match ending in a 4-1 loss. This loss takes the title race out of Arsenal’s hands, as they would need to win out and for Manchester City to drop points for the Gunners to have any chance of winning the title. As Manchester City has won several titles in recent years, both their players and Guardiola have proven that they can close out title races without faltering. Let’s get into our Arsenal Week 32 match review.
Arsenal Week 32 Match Review: The Positives
It’s hard to find anything positive about such a disheartening defeat, but there were a couple of bright spots. Most notably, Holding scored (although it was just a consolation goal). Also, Ramsdale played well and made several good saves.
Holding scored a rare goal against City. However, it was just a consolation goal as Arsenal were already down 0-3 at the time. Also, Holding’s goal was overshadowed by multiple defensive mistakes.
Ramsdale Played Well
Usually, it’s hard to praise the goalkeeper when he lets in four goals. However, Ramsdale actually played fairly well. He made a total of five saves. Without him, this defeat would have been even more embarrassing for Arsenal.
Arsenal Week 32 Match Review: The Negatives
As you might have surmised from the first part of the article, there were plenty of negatives regarding Arsenal’s performance. Their mindset was wrong, numerous players had poor performances, and Arteta’s tactics didn’t work.
Arsenal Played With Fear
One of the most disappointing aspects of Arsenal’s performance was that they played with fear. This is never the right mindset, although it would have been more understandable for a relegation-threatened club. However, a big club which is trying to win a title should never play this way against a title rival. Both the players and Arteta deserve blame for Arsenal’s fearful mindset.
Partey Allowed DeBruyne to operate too freely
Thomas Partey was poor in this match. He allowed DeBruyne to operate with impunity in the midfield. This is the latest in a series of poor performances from Partey. This is particularly disappointing when you consider that Partey had been one of Arsenal’s best and most consistent players this season (until recently).
Arsenal only got two shots on target
Arsenal only managed two shots on target in this match. This speaks to a lack of service from the midfield and poor performances from the forward players. While Manchester City’s defense is often very stingy, to only get two shots on target is unacceptable.
Arsenal failed to dominate possession
Arsenal have typically had the most success this season when they dominate possession. This was always going to be a tough ask against Manchester City, but Arsenal needed to at least have the majority of possession to have the best chance of winning. Unfortunately, Manchester City had the majority of possession. While they didn’t exactly dominate the ball, Arsenal didn’t have enough possession (especially when chasing the lead).
Arsenal Week 32 Match Review: Manager Rating: 4/10
Arteta is partially responsible for Arsenal’s poor performance. In particular, he failed to instill the right mindset in his players. Also, Arteta had Arsenal hold (or at least try to hold) a high line against City. This didn’t work, and a mid-block would likely have been better. Given Holding’s recent struggles, Arteta also could have changed formation to keep him out of the starting lineup. Finally, Arteta’s substitutions, while reasonable, failed to change the course of the match.
Arsenal Play Chelsea Next
Arsenal play Chelsea tomorrow at The Emirates. Given Chelsea’s struggles, Arsenal should come away with all three points. However, it’s hard to be confident considering that Arsenal recently dropped points against Southampton. Nevertheless, I’d still bet that Arsenal can beat Chelsea at home.