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The Tactical View - How to beat Arsenal.

Chelsea travel to The Emirates this afternoon and ahead of the game I wanted to focus on two key areas that I believe are the Arsenal weakne...

Chelsea travel to The Emirates this afternoon and ahead of the game I wanted to focus on two key areas that I believe are the Arsenal weakness. If Chelsea are able to expose these today, we WILL win the game.

1. Arsenal caught ball watching in defensive areas. 

One thing has become apparent with Arsenal, they get caught ball watching at the back, lose their markers and it has cost them of late with the Liverpool game recently being the perfect example as I will show you below:

Liverpool have a corner which is cleared and Arsenal try to dribble their way out of trouble and lose the ball. Look at how many Arsenal players are on the edge of their own box:


They lose the ball and it get's played out wide:


Look at the Arsenal defenders. All caught group together allowing the Liverpool player plenty of space to pick up the ball just outside the box. Now watch what happens:


The only player marking someone is Mertesacker with EVERY other Arsenal player ball-watching! Benteke is unmarked and about to make a run in behind his marker and the eventual goalscorer Firmino looking to do the same to Monreal at the back post. Now watch:


Emre Can's shot is parried by Petr Cech but look at Benteke - totally unmarked and if the ball had come to him he would have tapped home to score. As it happens, Firmino scored.

Now against Bayern Munich earlier in the season - same thing costs Arsenal. The ball is played wide right and Bayern are on the attack.


The Arsenal back four drop off far too deep allowing Lewandowski and Muller to move into space awaiting the ball to be played into the box. Arsenal have two midfielders tracking back but do nothing to help. Now watch:


The ball comes into the box and Muller has a free header at this stage with Metersacker realising that he should be touch-tight. Notice at the back post again, there is a player that is left totally unmarked inside the box. The full back has been caught ball watching and has been drawn towards the cross coming in.

Looking at the photo, Arsenal should have more than enough defenders to deal with any knock down here:


The full back strikes the ball and it's deflected to Muller who fires home into the bottom corner.

2. The late run into the box. 

Another weakness of the Arsenal is their inability to pick up the late run into the box because yet again they get caught ball watching. Take a look at the Liverpool equaliser below:

The ball is played across Liverpool's back four pushed up over halfway because Arsenal are sitting deep. Look at the eventual goalscorer Joe Allen and his position. He finds himself in between two Arsenal midfielders.


Now watch what happens when the ball is played forward:


One of the Arsenal midfielders has decided to ignore Allen and go forward to press the ball. His team mate has spotted that Allen is making a run forward into massive space in behind but does NOTHING about it despite Bellerin already having a marker to contend with. Now watch:


As the ball is player over to the far post to Christian Benteke, Joe Allen has found himself unmarked on the edge of the box. The two Arsenal centre backs have a problem as they are already marking two attackers in the box. Now watch:


Benteke wins the header taking five Arsenal defenders out of the game, Petr Cech has remained rooted to his goal-line and Joe Allen has time to watch the ball onto his foot, to then volley home the ball to make it 3-3.

These are two key areas for Chelsea to expose this afternoon in addition to the goal threat we pose at set plays in Arsenals box!

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