Arsène Wenger says he told the team to play quicker and with more switches of play in the second half of the match against Swansea to try and turn the result around.
Arsenal were 1-0 down at half-time and had created very little in the first 45 minutes. In fact, the Gunners had only two shots on target in the first period, from angles that weren’t very likely to result in goals. Something certainly needed changed at half-time.
Whilst many fans were calling for a substitution or a formation change, Arsène explained after the game that the solution was simpler than that, saying (via Arsenal.com): “At half-time, “I could be worried because we were 1-0 down and I knew that Swansea had conceded only one away goal the whole season.
“For us it was important to play quicker, sharper, with more penetration, changing sides quicker and putting them more under pressure, which we did in the second half. In the first half, we looked dominating but a bit laboured, too slow in our game.”
In the end it worked for Wenger. In particular for Granit Xhaka, who played a couple of lazy passes in the first half but came alive in the second, switching the play a lot more quickly and effectively. It was his driven pass into Lacazette’s feet that eventually led to the opening goal, and his cross-field ball to Kolašinac that gave Sead the opportunity to assist the second.
The Gunners managed to turn things round, and get another three points on the board, which was key ahead of the match against Manchester City at the Etihad. But I highly doubt Arsenal will be able to turn things round for another win if they go behind to the league leaders next weekend, so they’ll need to get things right from the start next time.