Arsenal left-back Sead Kolasinac has praised the aggressive attributes of his side after their crucial 2-0 victory against Chelsea.
The Gunners brushed past their London rivals at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday evening, closing the gap between fourth and fifth to just three points.
How good were Arsenal against Chelsea? Five key things to know…
- Chelsea defeated Arsenal 3-2 at the start of the season, but failed to score on Saturday.
- The Blues registered just one shot on target as Arsenal stifled Maurizio Sarri’s attack.
- The Gunners have been heavily criticised in the past for their lack of aggression, but Kolasinac believes this current side are more assertive.
- Arsenal made 35 successful tackles to Chelsea’s 13 and averaged a better tackle success rate (73 per cent).
- Kolasinac has been instrumental to Unai Emery’s more forceful attack, creating the second-most chances of any Arsenal player (21).
Arsenal registered their first clean sheet in eight top-flight games and Kolasinac was quick to lavish praise on his team-mates for their “physically and technically” authoritative display versus their west London counterparts.
When asked what the key to his side’s crucial victory was, Kolasinac told the club’s official website: “Our aggression – we were very strong in the duels and had two really good chances in the first 10 minutes.
“We didn’t take them, and that pushed us on further, along with the fans’ support. We really deserved to go in front and what was so important was that we scored the second before half-time too.
“That brought us stability, and then in the second half we had to defend, which we did. I’m pleased we kept a clean sheet too and that, together with the three points, made it a very satisfying evening.”
Kolasinac: ‘Back four worked really well’
Arsenal manager Emery has often tinkered with his tactics this season, notably playing a back five in recent outings, but the Spaniard reverted to a four-man defence against the Blues.
In last weekend’s match against West Ham, Emery opted for a five-man defence, but his side failed to really impose themselves against the Hammers.
On the 60th minute Aaron Ramsey entered the field for Shkodran Mustafi and the Gunners immediately looked more imposing, but it was ultimately too little too late at the London Stadium, as the east London club claimed a 1-0 win.
And so, having seen a more promising display for the final 30 minutes against West Ham, Emery was perhaps encouraged to abandon his five-man defence for the match against Chelsea, deploying three central midfielders, which worked a treat for Kolasinac.
He added: “I think we worked really well as a back four today, but you can’t forget the work of the midfielders who were excellent – Matteo on my side, Lucas and Granit in the middle.
“They had to run a lot and they did that for the team. That made it easier for us.”