Arsenal 2-0 Sevilla: Match Review
Goals from Trossard and Saka ensured a routine win for the Gunners, who move within a point of qualification for the UCL round of 16.
Arsenal made one change from their controversial defeat at Newcastle, with Leandro Trossard coming in for Eddie Nketiah. Captain Martin Odegaard and Gabriel Jesus were not involved as they continue their recoveries from injury.
Sevilla made a shock eight changes from their weekend draw with Celta Vigo. Key players Jesus Navas and Ivan Rakitic found themselves benched. Sergio Ramos also missed out through injury.
Following on from an entertaining encounter at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan two weeks ago, many expected another tight contest. However, it couldn’t have been more one sided as Arsenal dominated the struggling Spaniards from minute one. Gabriel Martinelli‘s deep corner was met at the back post by Kai Havertz, but the struggling German sliced his free header wide.
Without doubt, Sevilla’s line-up showed their priorities lie elsewhere. The seven time Europa league winners sat deep and didn’t commit men forward at any stage. The gunners amassed 72% possession in the first half with six attempts at goal.
Despite their control they struggled to create clear cut opportunities, with chances from Gabriel and Ben White put well wide. Arsenal are more conservative when starting games this season having yet the score in the first 15 minutes of any match.
Trossard opens the scoring
Sooner or later, Sevilla’s passive nature was going to harm them, and in the 29th minute Jorginho’s scintillating through ball found Bukayo Saka, who squared to Leondro Trossard to make it 1-0. It was no surprise the pair combined, with Saka assisting all five of Trossard’ s goals this campaign.
Sevilla didn’t react and continued to chase shadows. Their disjointed 3-4-3 vacated too much space to Arsenal’s attacking five, especially the tenacious Martinelli. The Brazilian found his passport last night, tormenting right back Juanlo Sanchez with 16 dribble attempts and 2 big chances created.
More of the same
Arsenal’s physicality and aggressive pressing was too much for Sevilla, with new coach Diego Alonso struggling to have an impact on last season’s Europa league winners. The Uruguayan switched to a back five in the second half to try and stifle Saka and Martinelli’s influence. Mikel Arteta opted to bring on Olexandr Zinchenko in place of Takehiro Tomiyasu for more creativity in the middle third of the pitch.
On the positive side, Sevilla’s new shape gave them much more possession in the 15-20 minutes following the restart. In all honesty, they still did very little with it and to make matters worse Arsenal soon made it two.
The substitute Zinchenko’ s clever throw found the onrushing Martinelli, who ran inside and played in Bukayo Saka. The Englishman looked offside at first but didn’t hesitate, running through before cutting back beautifully and curling home on 64 minutes to all but secure the win.
They nearly made it a third just two minutes later, with Ben white’s cross cleared by the Sevilla defence to Zinchenko, who lashed a volley to sting the palms of Dmitrovic.
Within Touching Distance
On the whole, the gunners will be pleased to get back to winning ways after back to back defeats. They sit top of group B, four points clear of second place Lens who they face next.
As for Sevilla it’s clear they’re angling to drop into the Europa League. The Spaniards didn’t register an attempt on goal until Mariano Diaz’s tame strike in the 97th Minute. They look like a club in turmoil, with Alonso’s side just four points off the relegation zone in La Liga.
Next up for them is a tough tie against Real Betis at home. Arsenal host Burnley on Saturday looking to get their title charge back on track.
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