4. Lucas Torreira is important
The half-time withdrawal of Lucas Torreira had a noticeable impact on the Arsenal performance. While Matteo Guendouzi battled hard in the Uruguayan’s absence and certainly provides more drive in possession, the tidy passing and industrious tackling of the diminutive, snappy holding midfielder was missed.
Torreira suffered a blow to his back and head when jumping for a ball with teammate Nicolas Pepe just before half-time. The extent of the problem is not yet known, but the impact on the midfield is quite. The double-pivot of Guendouzi and Granit Xhaka has been exposed before and was again here.
Guendouzi lacks the positional discipline and wherewithal to anchor the midfield, while Xhaka’s immobility and one-footedness limits his true impact also. Torreira aids both of these issues. He sits deep, he shields the defence, he moves the ball quickly, and he has the speed to cover the ground. Arsenal missed him here, and will miss him if he is out for any period of time.