We had to settle for a draw from Sunday’s Premier League clash against Wolves, and here are three things that we noticed from the match:
LENO TO THE RESCUE
After a slightly shaky performance against Liverpool last weekend, Bernd Leno was back to his best here – and how we needed him to be. The Germany international was outstanding throughout, and his double save midway through the first half to deny Helder Costa and then Raul Jiminez earned a vociferous roar of approval from the Emirates Stadium crowd. He then made a fingertip save to push another Costa goalbound effort around the post, to the relief of the home fans. But it was nothing compared to the reaction when the Germany international saved from Adama Traore deep into stoppage time at the end of the game, when the Wolves forward really should have scored. This was Leno at his very best.
Our unbeaten run may now be up to 16 games, but after three draws in a row there is a slight sense of frustration at a slowing down of the momentum we had built up. That all three of those draws have fallen in the month of November will only add credence to those who fear the worst when the clocks go back. After all, according to the stats, November is comfortably our worst month in terms of Premier League points per game, and it will be up to Emery’s men to try to buck that trend when we return after the international break – with a trip to Bournemouth.
ANOTHER EARLY CHANGE
One of the most striking aspects of the Unai Emery era so far is the head coach’s willingness to make changes when he deems them necessary, no matter when that may be. Once again we saw another half-time substitution, this time Matteo Guendouzi replacing Alex Iwobi, and another shift in formation as we lined up in a 4-3-1-2 system. “It was a tactical change,” Emery said. “We wanted to play our right and left backs deeper and win back more possession inside with Sead and Hector.” The change made us a more dynamic prospect as the young midfielder sat deeper and passed through the lines, but ultimately it was another substitute, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, who made the difference with the equaliser.
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