Arsenal beat Sevilla 2-1 away in the Champions League and thrashed Sheffield United 5-0 at home in the Premier League. The win against Sevilla is particularly important and impressive. Sevilla’s European home record is extremely strong, with this game against Arsenal being their only home loss in an European competition in over a year. Let’s dive into the details of these two games.
Arsenal 23-24 Matches 13-14: The Gunners’ Defense Was Quite Good Overall in Both Matches
Arsenal’s defense is quite good and it showed its quality in these two games. The Gunners’ defense limited Sevilla to only two shots on target in the whole match. Sevilla’s one goal is the result of poor defending after a corner. Still, the Gunners kept Sevilla’s attack quiet for the most part.
Tomiyasu replaced Zinchenko at left-back against Sevilla and did well, then did the same and even scored his first Arsenal goal against Sheffield United. Jakub Kiwior stepped in for Gabriel Magalhaes against Sheffield United and had a good game. Ben White, William Saliba, and Oleksandr Zinchenko had good performances in these two games. Gabriel Magalhaes excelled against Sevilla.
Raya is not inspiring confidence in many Arsenal fans at the moment. His mistakes against Sevilla didn’t help in that regard. Still, he cut out those mistakes against Sheffield United and played well in that match. Kiwior’s progression and Tomiyasu’s consistency is excellent news for Arsenal’s defense.
Arsenal’s Midfield Struggled a Bit Against Sevilla But Dominated Against Sheffield United
The Gunners’ midfield is quite good, as is clear in many matches. However, it is not invincible and it struggled a bit against Sevilla. Sevilla had the better of the possession, with 56.4% possession in the game against Arsenal. It is fair to mention that Odegaard hasn’t been at his best lately and that Rice played well against Sevilla.
Unsurprisingly, Arsenal’s midfield dominated possession against Sheffield United, with 67% possession in that match. Havertz had a pretty good game and Rice played well yet again. Emile Smith-Rowe’s performance against Sheffield United deserves a special mention, with Smith-Rowe looking lively and providing the assist for Nketiah’s third goal.
It is great to see Smith-Rowe getting back to his best. He is an asset for Arsenal, especially while Odegaard is not yet back to his usual self.
Arsenal’s Attack Was Efficient Against Sevilla and Overwhelming Against Sheffield United
The Gunners got four shots on target against Sevilla and scored twice. Gabriel Jesus was the star of Arsenal’s attack against Sevilla, providing a wonderful assist for Arsenal’s first goal and scoring the second brilliantly. Jesus is Arsenal’s Man of the Match against Sevilla. His injury is a major concern, especially with so many fixtures coming up soon.
Gabriel Martinelli is starting to return to form. Martinelli scored his first Champions League goal against Sevilla and got a strong shot on target against Sheffield United. It is fantastic to see Martinelli grow in confidence following his return from injury.
Eddie Nketiah is the one who’s claimed most of the headlines in the game against Sheffield United and rightfully so. Nketiah scored his first Premier League hat-trick against Sheffield, which included a fantastic long-range strike for his third goal. Nketiah is a good player and this hat-trick should boost his confidence. Hopefully, Nketiah will perform well against tougher opposition in future games.
Manager Ratings for Arteta: 8/10 vs. Sevilla and 10/10 vs. Sheffield United
Arteta deserves praise for how he managed both of these games. Against Sevilla, Arsenal defended well for the most part, were set up well, and were efficient in front of goal. When facing Sheffield United, Arsenal shut down Sheffield’s attack completely, dominated possession, and were ruthless in front of goal. Arteta also had the ability to rest Gabriel Magalhaes and Martin Odegaard against Sheffield United with no drop in performance from the team.
Additionally, both Tomiyasu and Fabio Vieira came on as substitutes against Sheffield United and both scored. Arteta receives an 8/10 manager rating for the game against Sevilla and a perfect 10/10 manager rating for the game against Sheffield United.
Arsenal Plays West Ham Away in the League Cup Next
The Gunners will travel to the London Stadium to take on West Ham in the League Cup next. This is a potentially tricky game against a good team. However, it is still a good bet that Arsenal will win, especially considering West Ham’s mediocrity in the Premier League so far this season.
Check back next week for more Arsenal content.