Unai Emery has brought new life to Arsenal.

The Gunners are undefeated in their last 19 matches.

Manchester United vs Arsenal, Thursday, 27 November 2021, kick-off 8.15pm (UK) is live on Amazon Prime [get a free 30-day Amazon prime trial here].

Multiple performances have had supporters singing, “We’ve got our Arsenal back.”

There are many reasons that have led to the revival at the Emirates, and the 4-2 victory in the North London Derby showcased all of them.

1Tactical flexibility

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 02: Alexandre Lacazette of Arsenal celebrates with teammates after scoring his team's third goal during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Tottenham Hotspur at Emirates Stadium on December 1, 2018 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 02: Alexandre Lacazette of Arsenal celebrates with teammates after scoring his team’s third goal during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Tottenham Hotspur at Emirates Stadium on December 1, 2018 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Unai Emery has used a variety of formations successfully this season.

Having a gameplan tailored to the opposition is a vastly different approach to the previous manager, who attempted to impose his will on the other team come hell or high water.

Earlier this season, Emery used a 4-2-3-1/4-3-3 with successful results. The Gunners have also come out in a 4-4-2 several times, utilising the partnership between Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

This weekend he deployed a 5-2-3 system that proved wildly successful against Tottenham. The trio of centre-backs effectively neutralised Harry Kane. The attacking wingbacks were then free to venture forward. But what really made the system “click” was Emery’s tactical substitutions after the break.

Arsenal have very much been a second-half team so far this season. Several matches have seen them come out flat, only to come roaring back in the second half. This victory was the best second-half comeback yet.

Bringing on Ramsey and Lacazette brought more creativity and added hold-up play. The result was better control of the middle of the pitch, especially on the counter. Ramsey provided two assists, and Lacazette got what proved to be the match-winning goal.

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 02: Aaron Ramsey of Arsenal reacts during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Tottenham Hotspur at Emirates Stadium on December 1, 2018 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 02: Aaron Ramsey of Arsenal reacts during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Tottenham Hotspur at Emirates Stadium on December 1, 2018 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Emery’s tactical flexibility, both in schemes and adjustments when things do not go as planned, are a major factor in Arsenal’s success this season, epitomised in the 4-2 victory in the North London Derby.

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