3 positives & negatives as Premier League title charge continues
Arsenal bounced back from their Europa League defeat to secure an impressive 4-1 victory at home against London rivals Crystal Palace.
It was the Eagles’ first game since sacking Patrick Vieira, and the visiting side were unable to achieve an upturn in form at the Emirates. First-half goals from Gabriel Martinelli and Bukayo Saka, who later doubled his tally, ensured the Gunners went in at the interval two goals to the good.
Despite that, there were still some recurring issues on display once again in this game, some of which have already cost us dearly this season.
3 positives and negatives as Premier League title charge continues
Positive #1: European woes behind us
After a potentially soul-crushing elimination from the Europa League in midweek, a win in this game was vital if the positive atmosphere surrounding the club was to be maintained heading into the international break.
The victory bolsters our lead at the top of the Premier League table to eight points, suggesting that any effects from our European disappointment will not be long-lasting. Just as important was Martinelli putting his shortcomings behind him, after the winger saw his penalty saved midweek, and he did just that – opening the scoring in the 28th minute in this match.
A sign of champions, or in this case potential champions, is the ability to overcome setbacks and this Arsenal side have demonstrated once more that they have the requisite mentality.
Negative #1: Another set-piece goal conceded
Another game, another goal conceded from a set-piece, and more specifically a corner. In recent weeks, Bournemouth, Sporting CP and now Crystal Palace have all scored against us in this manner and it is becoming very concerning.
For the majority of this season, we have been fantastic at both scoring from and defending corners. However, since the turn of the year, the defensive side of our game in this area has regressed and we are no longer as solid as we once were.
It is becoming a common talking point at this moment in time, and Mikel Arteta was asked how he intends to resolve the issue after the game.
“By training more, by being conscious of it and don’t give any hope to the opponent that it’s a weakness. We have tried to train it, but obviously we didn’t have a lot of time with the amount of games we have played in the last three weeks but it’s something that for sure we definitely need to do better.”
Perhaps then, our exit from the Europa League will afford the manager time he needs to rectify the situation on the training ground in the coming weeks.
Continued on the next slide…