Arsenal v Wolves

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Video

Why did Aubameyang find it tough against Wolves?

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang had a difficult afternoon in front of goal in our 1-1 draw with Wolves on Sunday.

Auba hit the post from a centre courtesy of Hector Bellerin, but he was unable to find a way past Rui Patricio in the opposition goal.

In the latest episode of The Breakdown, Adrian Clarke looked into why the Gabon international had such a frustrating afternoon - and this is what he said:

Sticking with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, it was surprising how difficult Arsenal found it to get him into the game during the second half.
 
While Arsenal’s leading scorer didn’t especially enjoy the first half, he was heavily involved in the action, getting 28 touches on the ball in the first 45 minutes. A goal threat was lacking but he linked up just fine.

Aubameyang pushed on as part of a front two after the break, but the move didn’t click. Unable to free himself up from his markers, with his runs often not spotted by teammates, the striker had a paltry nine touches in the second period.

If he’d been more involved, maybe he’d have tucked away that golden chance - his only touch inside the box - with more confidence.

Finding a way to partner him successfully with Lacazette remains a work in progress.

The Breakdown

Why we struggled against Wolves’ vice-like grip

Henrikh Mkhitaryan came off the bench to secure a hard-earned point ahead against Wolves on Sunday.

In the latest episode of The Breakdown, Adrian Clarke analyses the match in detail and focuses on:

  • Why we found it tough against Wolves’ system
  • How Unai Emery adjusted his tactics throughout the game
  • Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s struggles on the left wing
  • Bernd Leno’s man-of-the-match performance

Video

Watch all the action from the draw with Wolves

Henrikh Mkhitaryan came off the bench to score a late equaliser and earn a hard-fought point against Wolves on Sunday.

After the visitors had taken the lead within just 15 minutes, we were indebted to Bernd Leno who made a string of fine saves to keep us in the game. 

Unai Emery shuffled his deck on the hour mark and after Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang had hit the post, substitutes Aaron Ramsey and Mkhitaryan combined to level the score and extend our unbeaten run to 16 games. 

Click ‘Play’ on the video above to watch our highlights package and then don’t forget to check out more clips below:

 

Video

Deconstructing Leno's masterclass v Wolves

It's fair to say that we had Bernd Leno to thank after Sunday's 1-1 draw with Wolves at Emirates Stadium.

The Germany international was in inspired form, making a string of fine saves throughout the course of the 90 minutes.

Leno came to the fore and this was arguably his best performance in an Arsenal shirt so far - and here's what Adrian Clarke said about it in the latest edition of The Breakdown:

You know you've been in a game when the goalkeeper is everybody’s man of the match, and that was certainly the case for Arsenal against Wolves. I'm sure you'll agree that Main Man has to be Bernd Leno.
 
We know Leno is good with his feet but we witnessed some really sharp throw-outs from him in this clash too.

Distribution-wise he's been an excellent addition to the side. From a counter, this incredibly sharp right-handed reflex save was followed up by a very brave dive at the feet of a front man. And in this clip I enjoy the way Leno pushes the ball away from danger with his diving stop.

Wolves were potent on the counter all game, but Leno’s speed across the turf was crucial in denying them a goal. Here, he narrows the angle superbly and stands tall to make a great body block, and late on he made a similar move to make life harder for Traore. Once he chops the ball back inside it buys the German time to rush him and that makes the difference.

Leno’s quick brain and footwork is an asset to the team. Without him, Arsenal would have lost the game.

Press conference

How Emery changed our system at half-time

Another game, another goalless first half.

After a frustrating opening 45 minutes where we failed to make the breakthrough, Unai Emery brought on Matteo Guendouzi for Alex Iwobi and changed our system.

But what was our head coach's thinking behind these moves? This is what he told the media in his post-match press conference:

on what he said at half-time…
We spoke about these things. It was very difficult to find a goal or break through their lines defensively. Their transition was a very good transition. We didn’t want to concede another goal because it makes it more difficult, but our idea changed a little bit because we spoke at half-time. We needed to take more risks in the match. The risks were thinking that we could win but we also needed good balance in the transition against a good team with good transitions. I think the team played with character and we had chances to draw before our goal. We also continued to look for ways to create and to win the game but then we drew. In the last five or 10 minutes, we had the same idea with the risk but also thinking to win. At the end of the game we could say, ‘OK, the two teams both deserved it’.

on Matteo Guendouzi coming on for Alex Iwobi…
It was a tactical change. We wanted to play our right and left backs deeper and win back more possession inside with Sead and Hector. Sometimes we did this situation well and we created chances to score. Their work was good defensively because their block was very high.

on whether first-half performances worry him…
When you are playing over 90 minutes, the two teams start the game with more intensity. Little by little over 90 minutes you need to impose your game, your job and your individual quality or physical strength. In the first half, they were also very good and it was not easy to play against them in the individual duels. Maybe it’s one thing we can improve but that comes naturally in our work.

Press conference

Emery’s press conference: read every word

Unai Emery cut a slightly frustrated figure after our 1-1 draw with Wolves at Emirates Stadium on Sunday.

Our head coach was asked about Bernd Leno's performance, how he tried to change things at the interval and Matteo Gunedouzi's influence.

Here is a transcript of his post-match press conference:

on a tough hard-fought point…
Good evening. Yes, we know they are very competitive team and also organised and good on the break. In the 90 minutes tactically, it's enough today for a win. For us, after, when we were drawing, we continued taking risks because we wanted to win but also conceded some chances for them. Then, we finished not happy with this point but we also recognised their work.

on what he said at half-time…
We spoke about these things. It was very difficult to find a goal or break through their lines defensively. Their transition was a very good transition. We didn’t want to concede another goal because it makes it more difficult, but our idea changed a little bit because we spoke at half-time. We needed to take more risks in the match. The risks were thinking that we could win but we also needed good balance in the transition against a good team with good transitions. I think the team played with character and we had chances to draw before our goal. We also continued to look for ways to create and to win the game but then we drew. In the last five or 10 minutes, we had the same idea with the risk but also thinking to win. At the end of the game we could say, ‘OK, the two teams both deserved it’.

on whether Bernd Leno had his best game so far…
We knew that today we needed the goalkeeper with his performance, because when we are taking risks in our attacking moments, and to give them a transition and options in the transitional moments we would need the goalkeeper. Today I thought his performance was good for us.

on Matteo Guendouzi coming on for Alex Iwobi…
It was a tactical change. We wanted to play our right and left backs deeper and win back more possession inside with Sead and Hector. Sometimes we did this situation well and we created chances to score. Their work was good defensively because their block was very high.

on Granit Xhaka's performance…
He has a big commitment to us and also character. His performance and his quality is good for us. We need everybody - also for me and for the team - to have more consistency but it's something that comes with working in our way. I think the most important thing in this way is to be with confidence and improving little by little with lots of work. I think we are doing it and Xhaka is doing it also.

on whether first-half performances worry him…
When you are playing over 90 minutes, the two teams start the game with more intensity. Little by little over 90 minutes you need to impose your game, your job and your individual quality or physical strength. In the first half, they were also very good and it was not easy to play against them in the individual duels. Maybe it’s one thing we can improve but that comes naturally in our work.

on taking off Mesut Ozil and an update on Danny Welbeck…
I decided that we had two players on the bench like Mkhitaryan and Aaron Ramsey, attacking players. I wanted two attacking midfielders, so I made the change for this reason. Danny Welbeck's injury is a big injury. We spoke with him yesterday and today. We support him with our personal relationship between the player and the staff.

on whether it’s a broken ankle…
Yeah. He had an operation on Friday. 

on whether we’re likely to see him again this season…
I think it’s better for the doctor to say to you. It’s a big injury but the outcome… the doctor can answer that better than me.