Arsenal preserve 100% European record and 5 more takeaways from Dundalk win

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Arsenal preserve 100% European record and 5 more takeaways from Dundalk win

1. Gunners get 6 wins from 6

Arsenal have become the only side in the Europa League and the Champions League to do so. Man City and Bayern Munich have 16 points in 6 games, everyone else amassed 15 or fewer.

The Gunners scored 20 goals and conceded 5 (2 of them tonight) on their way to convincingly topping the group and we are hoping this form will carry into knockout matches.

2. Arteta reverts to 3-4-3

While the starting XI reflected Arsenal's dominant status in the group and Mikel's overall rotation policy, the Spaniard's decision to go back to a 3-4-3 was unexpected.

He's used the EL as a ground for experiments mostly, and so a 4-3-3 was his go-to formation. However, before the game, he hinted that he doesn't have the players for that and voila. Is this a sign of things to come in the league?

Smith Rowe got his first start, while Ains played the wingback/central midfielder role he mastered so well last season - and both were really good. Full of energy, full of craft, full of end product.

Niles was more of an engine in our midfield with his pressing and quick passes, while Smith Rowe was a silky operator on the ball. Most of our good combinations came through him and it bodes well for the Englishman.

4. Balogun impresses with a cameo performance

The youngster got a goal and an assist in less than 30 minutes on the pitch and both actions showed different sides to his games. Both were highly commendable.

For the assist Balogun demonstrated brilliant strength to hold the defender off and lay the ball on a platter for Willock; his goal was a combination of a well-timed run and a composed finish.

Balogun certainly offers something different to Eddie Nketiah and there might be a question of giving the former more PL minutes based on the opposition. We do miss a targetman in our squad.

5. Pepe fades away on the right

The Ivorian was fielded in his more 'natural' role to accommodate Smith Rowe on the left and it's fair to say this was not Nico's best game.

Once again isolated from the rest of the team which favours the left side, surrounded by multiple Dundalk defenders, Pepe was only good in moments. Makes you think that the left wing is a better position for him.

6. Runarsson remains a dark horse

The Icelandic keeper was not tested enough during the entire group stage but there's a nasty feeling lurking just below the surface that he is ... dodgy. That he won't come through a real test.

Dundalk had 2 shots on target today and scored with both. Arsenal faced 8 shots on target in the 4 games Runarsson was between the sticks and conceded 3. These are not good numbers.

We are hoping it's nothing but it doesn't fill us with warm embrace to think that we are one injury to Bernd Leno away from fielding an untested and possibly dodgy goalkeeper in the Premier League.

AuthorAlex BaguzinSourceTribuna.com
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