By Chris Harris
The formation which helped see off Manchester United at the weekend could become a common feature of Arsenal's season.
Arsène Wenger tweaked his tactics for Saturday's 2-1 victory, deploying Nicklas Bendtner as a lone striker while a fifth midfielder - Abou Diaby - operated in an advanced role when Arsenal had the ball but added ballast to the central areas when they lost possession.
Wenger has enjoyed success with a 4-5-1 formation before. Freddie Ljungberg played behind Thierry Henry during Arsenal's run to the 2006 Champions League Final, Alex Hleb flourished behind a solitary front man last season and Diaby filled the same role with distinction at Fenerbahce last month.
The absence of Emmanuel Adebayor and Robin van Persie forced Wenger's hand to some extent at the weekend but the Frenchman revealed that he could persevere with the formation even when his two top scorers return.
"I will use it again because going forward we have scored many goals but defensively we have conceded too many from outside the box," explained Wenger.
"I don't know [about what will happen when all the strikers are back]. I took this decision because I tried to balance the team with the players that were available."Copyright 2017 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source