Arsenal-Manchester United, two philosophies but the same determination
With a very young squad, Mikel Arteta led Arsenal to the top of the Premier League. Eric ten Haag has shaped Manchester United in his own way to bring the Red Devils back on track. A shock is expected this Sunday (at 17:30).
The madness of youth in front of an almost perfectly lubricated team. Arsenal host Manchester United at home to the Emirates Stadium this Sunday. A real showdown with the Premier League leader, fourth in the championship, needing just one point to climb to the podium.
Arsenal, championship rhythm
Since the beginning of the season, “Arsenal” continues to be impressive in the Premier League. Just two draws and one loss in 18 league games. Second attack in the championship thanks to fiery and complementary young players (42 goals, behind Manchester City and 50 walk-ons). A firmness was found behind it. After some trial and error at the start of the season, Mikel Arteta found the magic formula: 14 goals conceded, only Newcastle better (11).
Only one defeat for the Gunners in the first game of the championship, against Manchester United. On September 4, the Red Devils won 3-1 at Old Trafford thanks to Antony’s goal and Marcus Rashford’s double. “We have yet to learn», Mikel Arteta, fuming at press conference, has one of the youngest squads in the Premier League.
“There were important lessons to be learned from this gamethe Spanish tactician continues. Many times we were in complete control of the game, but we know that is one of Manchester United’s qualities, to keep on the counter. We have to be at our best to win on Sunday.»
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“Manchester United” is recovering
After three defeats in the first seven days of the championship, including a 6-3 defeat in the Etihad derby, Manchester United returned to their mistakes. Only since then has the club in the north of England produced a string of excellent performances. Just one defeat in the Premier League since October 9. With 12 wins in 19 days, the Red Devils can dream more than ever of the Champions League, still in contention in four competitions.
Fourth-placed Manchester United are level on points with third-placed Newcastle, six points ahead of Tottenham (and a game in hand) and eight ahead of Brighton. “I think we have a good group, we have a competitive groupErik ten Haag says simply and humbly.
However, the Dutch tactician has a lot to do with the Red Devils’ return to form. If the 4-2-3-1 is installed from the beginning of the season, the players are separated by lines. Now orphaned by Cristiano Ronaldo back in Saudi Arabia, Eric ten Hag can build his team as he pleases. Over the past few weeks, Luke Shaw has often played centrally alongside Raphaël Varane, leaving the left lane to young Dutch defender Tyrell Malacia, who is highly coveted by his coach.
A change that leaves Harry Maguire, who is part of this team, and Lisandro Martinez, who was hired last summer for more than 50 million, on the bench. Casemiro now finds his full size in the middle, most often accompanied by Christian Eriksen. Sometimes to the right, especially due to Jadon Sancho’s injury (“He still has a long way to go“Eric ten Hag explains), Bruno Fernandes, who is sometimes on the axis, is one of the main men in this team. In 18 league games, mostly with a goalie. Marcus Rashford, the boy of the club, is also returning to his glory with four goals in the last five games.
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A duel to restart the title race
“His work is truly impressive. I think he changed things quicklyMikel Arteta claims his colleague on the Mancunian bench. He has built a very clear style of play. The players seem to have got used to it, they have very good energy and a lot has changed in a very short time.»
“Arsenal are in great form but it is up to us to stop this good run. We know what we want to do and we need very high performanceEric knows ten Haag for his part.
A win at Arsenal could see Manchester United move back level with local rivals (Manchester City host Wolverhampton at 3pm) and just five points behind the Gunners. If the first crown in the championship will reach the London Reds after a 19-year wait, the fight for the title can start again. For the return round to the three craziest candidates.