How Arsenal's controlled performance overcame Leicester- Tactical Points
By Vinay Shankar (Tactical Analyst)
An encouraging comeback, followed by a controlled performance after another soft, quick fire goal continuing the trend from recent games:
The rotation of personnel was crucial after a gruelling night in Athens, but considering how poor our bench has been this season, it was going to be tough against a Leicester side that has been punching above their weight this season.
One of Leicester’s main tactics from the smash and grab at the Emirates was their pressing of Xhaka to prevent ball progression. For the first 30 minutes of this game, the tactic was effective as Elneny was unable to provide support to wriggle out of the pressing traps.
One of the reasons behind Pepe’s resurgence recently was the understanding he’s developed with Cedric, whether on the right or the left. The Portuguese unselfishly made overlapping runs, allowing Pepe to be isolated against the opposing full-back and the Ivorian was a consistent threat throughout the game.
After the initial surge, Arsenal’s press compressed the spaces in midfield and prevented the balls into the channel for Vardy to make his living.
Once the comeback was complete, Arsenal managed the game well and made it a very stop-start affair. Xhaka was crucial in this endeavour as his ability to shield the ball to win fouls and cut off any slack fouls helped slow things down. Willian was effective as well as he provided some much-needed ball retention to ease any pressure built.
Without Maddison, Leicester failed to cause any problems and their primary tactic was deep crosses to the far post. Their only major chance was in extra time from a lucky ricochet. So a very controlled performance defensively against an injury-depleted team overachieving this season.