Costly Error Leads to Arsenal Draw At Burnley - Tactical Points
By Vinay Shankar
Arsenal experienced an incredibly frustrating draw at Burnley on Saturday despite creating several high-quality chances as another defensive mistake ends up proving costly. Unfortunately, while the performances are improving, silly mistakes are preventing us from climbing the table.
Here are out tactical points from the weekend's game at Turf Moor:
Chambers’ inclusion in the lineup was perhaps the most surprising but considering how teams have targeted Bellerin aerially, utilising him against ‘Brexit ball’ to keep McNeil quiet was crucial to restricting Burnley
Winning a good portion of aerial duels and restricting the crosses into the box is the most efficient way to stop the clarets from posing a threat and until Xhaka’s mistake, the gameplan was working to great effect. Odegaard and Aubameyang pressing in a 4-4-2 formation forced Burnley to rush things up and minimise the threat.
Burnley used the high press very effectively but goals in this game highlighted the risks and reward for playing through such a process. Willian and Odegaard drifted into the pockets to receive and with Burnley’s fullbacks pressing high, Aubameyang could drift onto the flanks to exploit the spaces.
Drawing opponents in for the press and play through it has been a hallmark under Arteta and over the last few months, we have become much more press-resistant but after the equaliser, the spaces were much tighter and the number of loose touches, errant passing started to build up.
This wasn’t the usual controlling performance that we have been seeing over the last few weeks as we were unable to sustain possession and create sustained pressure on the Burnley backline. But despite all that, we were able to create numerous high-quality chances with the finishing let us down.
We’ve come full circle from a team with poor creative metrics but exceptional finishing to creating high-quality chances let down by poor finishing. Being in the latter zone means the gameplan set up by Arteta is being executed but nothing to show for it at the end and the blame can only go to the players on that.
We’ve got to get the balance right if we want to salvage something from this season. The league season has already been incredibly frustrating so points dropped despite good attacking performances bodes well for the future but this will not work in Europa League ties. Finding that balance between creation and efficiency in front of goal is desperately needed to get deeper into the competition and remain in Europe next season.