Analysis: Arsene Wenger v David Moyes - a look at the tactics and line-ups in the 0-0 draw between Arsenal and Manchester United
We take a look at how the two managers compared at the Emirates
Thursday 13 February 2014
David Moyes and Arsene Wenger faced off at the Emirates Stadium where Arsenal and Manchester United played out an underwhelming 0-0 draw.
Here, we take a look at how the two managers compared.
Wenger admitted pre-match that Mesut Ozil's form had not been up to scratch, but he persisted with the £42million signing. Ozil showed flashes of ingenuity, but he quickly faded and was lucky not to be substituted. Olivier Giroud had a stinker for Arsenal, but the out of form alternatives on the bench - Nicklas Bendtner, Lukas Podolski and Yaya Sanogo - would have probably done no better. Moyes picked Antonio Valencia ahead of Ashley Young and Adnan Januzaj, which backfired as the winger had a poor game.
Both teams lined up in a 4-2-3-1. The two central midfielders in either team operated well to nullify the threat of Wayne Rooney and Ozil respectively. Moyes' decision to play Mata on the left did not come off as the Spaniard looked isolated on the flank. Only when he ventured into the middle did he look a real goal threat. Wenger likes playing Tomas Rosicky in big games, but he barely featured out wide on the right.
Wenger, wrapped up in his big coat, barely got out of his seat throughout the match, preferring to allow his players to sort themselves out on the pitch. Moyes, acutely aware of what damage another defeat could do to his season, was the exact opposite. The Scot bellowed instructions to his players constantly. There was a particular focus on trying to get Robin van Persie to come wide and stretch the Arsenal defence to try to get Rooney to pierce the centre.
Moyes was forced into a change at half-time when Rio Ferdinand came on for the injured Rafael. Although Ferdinand had not played a league game since November, he performed well and Moyes had no other alternative. United lacked any real punch so it was strange that Moyes did not introduce Januzaj until the 73rd minute. Valencia, who was replaced by Young in the dying minutes, gave United defensive solidity, but he should have come off earlier. In a similar fashion, it was somewhat baffling that Wenger did not introduce the raw pace and drive of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain until the 75th minute, especially when Rosicky was toiling throughout.
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