Football News

Ljungberg urges Arsenal to learn from Man City’s “cynical” fouling system

By James Richards

Published: 19:20, 16 December 2019

Arsenal boss Freddie Ljungberg has suggested that his side need to learn from Manchester City’s “cynical” fouling system following their 3-0 defeat at the weekend.

The Swedish manager was frustrated by the way City kicked down his players every time Arsenal tried to counter, a tactical move which he hopes his side can learn from.

How “cynical” were City vs Arsenal? Five things to know…

  • Manchester City beat Arsenal 3-0 at the Emirates on Sunday.
  • City committed 24 fouls compared to the Gunners’ nine.
  • Four of Guardiola’s men were booked during the game.
  • Only one Arsenal player received a caution.
  • Ljungberg admitted his team need to learn to be more cynical like City.

That defeat means Arsenal have only won once in their last nine Premier League fixtures, but it was the way that City went about nullifying the host’s attacking moves that frustrated their manager the most.

In his post-match comments, Ljungberg was quite clear on where Arsenal need to improve as they prepare to take on Everton at Goodison Park this weekend.

“I think if you look at City when we tried to counter attack them, which was one of our game plans, they took four yellow cards by just kicking us down whenever we had a chance to counter,” he said.

“That’s obviously tactical and they worked on that. But that’s something maybe we need to learn, to be a bit more cynical when opponents have a chance to counter on us, because that is a bit of a weakness of ours, we need to take those fouls.

“I think it’s intelligent by City because they do it and it’s obvious to see. I said to the fourth official ‘that’s tactical, there’s no other way.’

“We need to be cynical as well if we know we’re a bit weak in the transition, maybe then we can take that free-kick and nothing happens.”

The win has put City back within four points of second-place Leicester City, while the Gunners are stuck in ninth spot, seven points outside the top four.

How to use smarterscout: the new football analytics tool

Sign-up here to use smarterscout lite for free.