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Arsenal news: Ian Wright baffled by Unai Emery’s tactics during Liverpool defeat

Arsenal legend Ian Wright has questioned Unai Emery’s decision to bench striker Alexandre Lacazette for the Gunners’ 3-1 defeat by Liverpool on Saturday. 

Emery opted against playing his star strike partnership of Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, dropping the Frenchman for new boy Nicolas Pepe as Arsenal lined up in a 4-4-2 formation. 

That decision did not work out favourably for the Spaniard. With a lack of pressure on full backs Andy Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold, the Liverpool defenders were able to roam forward and cause Arsenal problems. 

Arsenal boss Unai Emery benched Alexandre Lacazette during their defeat by Liverpool

Arsenal boss Unai Emery benched Alexandre Lacazette during their defeat by Liverpool 

That decision backfired on the Spaniard, with his side losing 3-1 at Anfield on Saturday

That decision backfired on the Spaniard, with his side losing 3-1 at Anfield on Saturday

By the time Emery introduced the 28-year-old striker it was too late, with the north London side three goals down after a Joel Matip header and a Mohamed Salah brace allowed the hosts to see out the contest, despite a late Lucas Torreira goal. 

Gunners legend Ian Wright has admitted he was ‘baffled’ by Emery’s decision not to start with a three-pronged attack in a 4-3-3 formation. 

Wright told BBC Radio 5 live’s Monday Night Club: ‘It was one of the things that I was baffled by. 

‘Before the game I was hoping to see Lacazette, Pepe and Aubameyang as I believe that Liverpool playing with a high line were there for the taking and I was really excited about that.

Gunners legend Ian Wright has questioned Emery's decision not to play the Frenchman

Gunners legend Ian Wright has questioned Emery’s decision not to play the Frenchman

‘And then to see the diamond or triangle given up space to Alexander-Arnold and Robertson was confusing for me.’

Wright admits the tactical tweak may have been used to settle the side into an alternative formation for when they play the weaker teams, but if that were the case, he believes the timing was poor from Emery. 

‘I don’t know if he’s doing it because he might use that system against lesser teams and it might work as he wants to keep it narrow,’ Wright added. 

Mohamed Salah scored a brace as Jurgen Klopp's side eased to victory on Saturday evening

Mohamed Salah scored a brace as Jurgen Klopp’s side eased to victory on Saturday evening

‘I thought against Liverpool it was a tactic that was handing them the incentive and I thought we played a bit too deep.

‘The chances we got were mistakes from Liverpool and in the main Liverpool were in control of that.

‘I would rather we just go there with potency that we have and show them this is what Arsenal are about now. This is how we are moving forward but it was a confusing one for me.’

Arsenal will hope to bounce back from Saturday’s defeat when they face Tottenham in the north London derby this Sunday. 

 

Original article: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-7398417/Ian-Wright-questions-Unai-Emerys-decision-bench-Alexandre-Lacazette-Liverpool-defeat.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ito=1490&ns_campaign=1490

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