Report: Sheffield United 0-3 Arsenal (inc. goals)

105

Result: Sheffield United 0-3 Arsenal
Competition: Premier League
Date: 11 April 2021
Venue: Bramall Lane

Arsenal: Leno, Chambers, Holding, Mari, Saka, Xhaka, Partey, Ceballos, Pepe, Martinelli, Lacazette

Subs: Ryan, Bellerin, Cedric, Gabriel, Elneny, Azeez, Willian, Nelson, Nketiah


Alex Lacazette scored a brace and Gabriel Martinelli netted his first goal of the season as Arsenal ran out comfortable 3-0 winners against bottom-place Sheffield United.

On a night when the Gunners were rarely troubled by the Blades, Mikel Arteta’s side even managed to end a 15-game run without a clean sheet.

The only negative was an injury to Bukayo Saka who went down in the second half holding his thigh.

Pre-game

Unable to call on Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Emile Smith Rowe, Martin Odegaard, Mikel Arteta was forced into a raft of changes from the side that started Thursday’s clash with Slavia Prague. Intriguingly, in the absence of Kieran Tierney, he opted to play Granit Xhaka at left-back. He had Pablo Mari and Rob Holding inside him with Calum Chambers playing right-back. In midfield, Dani Ceballos partnered Thomas Partey while Bukayo Saka took on the number 10 role. Gabriel Martinelli and Nicolas Pepe were charged with helping out Alex Lacazette in attack. Youngster Miguel Azeez made a ragtag bench.

First Half

Given Sheffield United’s form this season, it shouldn’t have been a surprise that Arsenal dominated the first half but with this current crop of players, you’re never quite sure what is going to happen.

To be fair, we looked sharp from the off – Saka, played in by Martinelli, fired over Ramsdale’s bar inside two minutes – but we didn’t exactly go hammer and tongs at the Blades. We worked neat triangles and tried to find ways through the home side’s low block, but only Martinelli looked like he was drooling at the chance to get on the scoresheet.

You might argue the Brazilian was too eager to score. Having not found the net since that goal at Stamford Bridge, he seemed to be hellbent on putting things right. He hit the side-netting on 24 minutes and forced Ramsdale into a save when he cut onto his right foot. A minute later, he went to the touchline and pulled back for Chambers who had a shot at the back post cleared by a defender. Just before the

A goal had been coming and when it finally did it was really classy. Partey, Saka and a Ceballos backheel freed Lacazette and the Frenchman took a touch before stroking home. It was a just reward for a decent, busy half by the striker. (1-0)

The home side had chances of their own. McGoldrick dragged wide as early as the 10th minute and Egan forced Leno into a save.

The Gunners might have doubled the lead just before the break but Martinelli’s sidefoot effort after a corner fell to him was again blocked. The youngster let out a huge screa of frustration. He really, really wanted a goal.

Second Half

Arsenal seemed comfortable luring Sheffield United forward and then trying to work the ball through the lines when we stole the ball. Xhaka’s ability to spread play from left-back lead to a charging run by Chambers and ended with Lacazette curling wide after he was teed up by Pepe.

With a lead to protect we were more conservative than we needed to be and the game drifted into the hour-mark and beyond with neither side really doing much.

More worrying than anything the home side was doing were the injuries our players started picking up. Martinelli turned his ankle and required treatment before Saka went down holding his thigh. The England international was immediately replaced by Willian and once he reached the bench he had a huge icepack strapped to his leg. He’ll presumably be a doubt for Thursday’s game in Prague.

If that was a worry, at least Martinelli put a smile on the face of stressed supporters by finally getting his goal. The Brazilian stole in at the far post to tap home after Pepe had forced Ramsdale into a save. It was the easiest goal the 19-year-old will ever score but he absolutely loved it. (2-0)

Alex Lacazette sealed the win with five minutes remaining as he latched onto a fine through ball by Thomas Partey to whip the ball first time past Ramsdale. It was his 50th Premier League goal since he joined from Lyon in 2017 and his 15th of the season. (3-0)

The win moves the Gunners up to ninth in the table and provides a timely boost ahead of Thursday’s must-win Europa League quarter-final.

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Jack

Am I the only one that really liked Xhaka at LB? Maybe just the opposition but I felt really comfortable with him there

Thessaloniki

Definitely the opposition. Imagine a fast tricky RW in a foot race

goonshow

Alexander-Arnold woulda skinned him horribly!

goongot

Him and ceballos made up for partey. It was like ceballos was legs in attack and xhaka the same in defense. Truly shows the importance of tierney that we need two guys to replace what he does.

goongot

not partey, i meant tierney

Jac

I think you’d have felt very different if there’d been a pacy winger running at him all game.

Maniac

A well-deserved, much needed win today. 3 points in the league at least keeps the hope alive of European spots, a first clean sheet in 15 games, a comfortable away win. Exactly the type of performance we needed before we head off to Prague.
 
Also some great performances today – Lacazette really bounced back after a Thursday night to forget, Martinelli back on the scoresheet after so long out from the squad and a surprisingly tidy display from Xhaka at left-back. Dare I say, one of the best games he’s played all season?

Biggles

It was a competent performance, but let’s not get too carried away on the strength of a win over the club that’s well adrift at the bottom of the PL. While a EL qualifying place via the PL isn’t mathematically out of the question, it’s still looking unlikely given the games in hand and/or points difference for teams above us. So, we played well and deserved the win but the opposition must be taken into account. Lasting success in the PL doesn’t come from beating the worst team, by some margin, in the league. Hopefully, it will boost us for… Read more »

Crash Fistfight

It would probably be a Europa Conference League (rather than EL) place, by the way. I can’t see us getting 6th place even with a good run.

Chamakhyungpark

He was O.K but we were never in any trouble when they had the ball.

Adnan

You ain’t alone Jack. I liked him too. He was putting passes together and switching play nicely. Definitely something to consider for Thursday. hope saka is fine. ceballos looked tidy too. fingers crossed for the injured to be fit. timely boost for Thursday.

Der32

Xhaka was majestic. His vision and calmness shone through somehow as deep lying LB.

Johnny 4 Hats

If you were picking an Arsenal player of 2021, Xhaka would be there or there abouts.

Everyone need competition and I feel like us finally signing a CM has got Xhaka motivated again. He’s never had a rival who has threatened to keep him out the side since he arrived.

Here’s to competition in all places. Turns out it’s pretty good if you have lots of good players in your squad. I knew we were going wrong somewhere…

Lion

Thank you sir!

Thierry Bergkamp (non negotiable)

Just proves how bad the squad has been. Overall Xhaka has been average, albeit one of the best in patches

Johnny 4 Hats

Ceballos is so much better with the back of his foot that he should have got a part in Tenet.

Thierry Bergkamp (non negotiable)

Tenet? Never heard of it

Crash Fistfight

It hasn’t come out yet. It’s travelling backwards in time, so when you start watching it next year you will have watched it in 2020. Or something.

It was all a load of bullshit, really.

goonshow

So you actually wrote this comment next season then? How are we going… Top 4?

The Arsenal

Xhaxa is our most important player. Therein lies the problem.

mrugunner

no wonder we are 10th then

goonshow

Easy tiger… he was good, defs. But he remains painfully slow. And the half-dozen times he would either surge forward himself – or receive it at pace from the back – only to stop dead and put his foot on the ball, waving that bloody pointy-finger thing he does – to no-one in particular, whilst we lose any momentum…
Does my head in, it does!

Lion

Xhaka has a very wonderful football brain. He can pass it short or long better than most in the league. That’s why coaches need him no matter what fans say. Good game granit Xhaka. #TheRealArsenalCaptain

backsakacrack

What are you talking about? He can pass but is an absolute tug boat of a midfielder that wouldn’t get in any of the other 8 teams above us.

Lion

Total lies.

backsakacrack

I don’t judge a player on his performance against bottom of the division.

I judge him on the last 4 years and he’s taken us backwards as a club. He was never suited to us or the league.

goonshow

Actually not.
Dozens of needless (and sometimes dangerous!) freekicks given away when his pace lets him down and fouls…
Repeated standing on the ball for while he dithers with waving finger to no apparent player and for no apparent reason…
Infrequent – but calamitous when they do occur – losses of complete control, costing us matches…
4 or 5 backward or square passes for every one decent attacking pass he makes…
He IS a great distributor of the ball… but that is ALL he is – imo, too many other failings to be a PL Top 4 first choice player.

GABBI

Just the opposition. Also he offers nothing going forward, doesn’t overlap. this can be good as he makes us more secure at the back since he’ll probably never be out of position and we won’t be open to counter attacks. But it will affect our attacking game and would limit us to only attacking from the right and when teams figure that we only attack from the right its easy to stop a threat from one source than it is from two sources. So yes good against this opposition not great going forward against better opposition

Goonstein

Never in danger. That first goal gave me flashbacks to the Wilshere goal against Norwich. Great stuff.

Johnny 4 Hats

Not too bothered about it but Mikel does seem to pander to the fans / journo’s a fair bit.

He was repeatedly asked about Auba as CF and suddenly he tried it. Then there was a lot of talk about bringing ESR into the fold and he quickly appeared in a starting XI. And now Martinelli has been given a start after a fair bit of pressure.

I don’t know if it’s just a coincidence. Maybe it is.

myrtle

Not so sure to be honest, if anything he was slow to pander.

Fans were calling for all three of those to happen for weeks before he eventually tried them out

Crash Fistfight

What has that got to do with Goonstein’s post?

A M

good confidence boosting win #COYG
hope to see more of martinelli saka and pepe in prague
and hopefully either esr or odegaard recover
good performance overall, onto thursday

Bergkamp2Wright

7 more wins and we might get europa!

backsakacrack

I’m hoping for a final day st totteringhams that pushes the spuds down into the europa conference.

Bergkamp2Wright

Do we dare to hope?!

Wiltoooooooooord !!!

Actually .. if we are anywhere near something call consistent we have two so called difficult matches against EVE and CHE.

Spuds got EVE, VILLA, LEEDS, LEI .. that with a moral shattering EFL cup final thrashing ..

EVE have a must win game vs spuds, but they can choose to drop points against Villa, West ham, City after losing against us ..

Very much a possibility .. we just have to do our job .. being consistent .. as we have been th…

Bergkamp2Wright

Consistency is absolutely the key but I think if this team has proved anything this year is that they are totally inconsistent.

goonshow

And therein lies the rub.

goonshow

How good would a quick 8 match unbeaten run be right now?

Fatgooner

So we beat a shit team 3-0: so what?

Let’s do the business on Thursday night.

BTW: well done Arteta for risking our best player in a meaningless game. Let’s hope Saka is fit for Prague.

Chamakhyungpark

We won 3-0. what more do you want?

naked cygan

not to be behind sp*urs.
not to be 9th.
not to go into Thursdays gave, having to win.
to bee fighting for a top 4 spot.
beat Villa.
don’t start willian on Thursday.
I could go on….
please don’t get carried away by this win.

A M

being carried away is wrong, but being happy with a win after a week full of shit results is not wrong
even if it against the basement club, nothing wrong in being positive
something even more positive? man utd lost to them at home
have a blessed day

Chamakhyungpark

Yeh sure but we won this game 3-0 so there Is not much point complaining today. Thanks on to the next one.

goonshow

Blimey… you’re not at all demanding, then?

A M

hopefully it’s just a dead leg
so what if it’s a shit team? at least it boosted our confidence before thursday
you are one of the people that blogs mentioned in his article, never satisfied with the outcome

Fatgooner

It’s a shame that Laca couldn’t finish like today when it bitterly mattered last Thursday. Today’s game was effectively a friendly: both teams were not going to get anything from a win. That’s why I don’t care about it.

Let’s win on Thursday: IT’S COMPETITIVE FOOTBALL THAT MATTERS!

Fezec

Other things that are shit;
Washing up after a roast dinner
A hangover after a great night out
Sand in your toes when you’ve been to the beach
Man U winning (even though they beat sp*rz)
Coming on to an arsenal blog after a good win and finding miserable cunts moaning about bollocks

Max

come off it man this thursday is wot bitterly matters

Paul Roberts

Agreed fats.

goonshow

Yeah – and if Giggs hadn’t scored the marauding stonker a decade or two ago, we’d have another FA Cup in the cabinet.
FFS mate – look forward and support your team.

Ordnance Dave

So we lost to a shit team: let’s all go fucking mental!
Let’s do the business on Thursday night.
BTW: well done Arteta for not playing our best player in a premier league game. Let’s hope Saka is fit for Prague.

I love wenger

Don’t get the downvotes, a massive risk to play Saka tonight,as played out.

Walter White

You can say that about all players who should start on thursday.

I love wenger

Saka just came back from an injury, how’s that the same as all players?
He is arguably our most important player at the moment.

davorsuker

Just take a deep breath, man! It’s ok, we just won 3-0.

Jac

It wasn’t a meaningless game. Europa League is very doable. And 3-0 is better than most teams managed against them, including the best teams in the league.

goonshow

Meaningless? What if we’d Arsenal’d ourselves in the foot (again!) and lost this? What if we’d played like muppets and scraped through 1-0 with a crappy goal? What if Laca hadn’t set his confidence to rights and Gabi hadn’t got the goal he so desperately needed?| What if Pepe and Saka hadn’t had a fairly comfortable hour to continue developing the fantastic understanding that is so plainly growing? What if Partey hadn’t dominated and put the Scouse nightmare behind him? ‘Meaningless’? Only to a know-all, sitting on your sofa, second-guessing the blokes who have to find some depth of character… Read more »

Robh

So nothing can make you happy under these circumstances apparently. Why bother watching or following the team of a 3-0 win garners a negative response?

Lion

Some fans just want to cry all the time. Be happy. We won. Martineli started and even got a goal. Laca looked confident and got two goals. Partey had a wonderful assist. At the end of the day we can only beat the ones we face!!!

goonshow

Maybe just kick the Schnauser, rather than posting that drivel.
After you finish your half empty glass of (very) bitter.

loose_cannon

Yes it was only the basement team, but my god we needed that. Let’s take that into Thursday.

Congratulations on 50 EPL goals Alex, it took some time but you’ve hit a remarkable landmark. Martinelli – Good determination to keep playing and he was rewarded well for it. Chambers – He runs like grandad but boy does he have a great right peg and a good cross to go with it. Ceballos – A more confident and assured performance today. Much better than recent games Partey – Much better performance and wonderful assist through the center of the pitch. Pepe – A decent game and many chances created but no goal contributions for Pepito today. Holding – His… Read more »

yen

Chambers doesn’t feel that slow to me. I mean he’s no Usain Bolt but he doesn’t feel much slower compared to Bellerin of today.

A M

won’t pepe get the assist for gabi’s goal?

Salibaba and the Forty Thieves

Ramsdale parried his shot to Gabi. Sometimes they get given as assists and sometimes they don’t.

Hopefully the statisticians give it to Pepe.

Thessaloniki

Quietly, Laca has 13 goals this season. 7th best in the league.

john

So Tierney, odegaard, smith row and Saka, all 4 of our creative players in trouble for thursday!

pepe should start and hopefully, bellerin overlaps him well.

Cranky Colin

The criticism of Laca and Partey on this site on Thursday last ………jeez what is it with our fan base?

A M

some of it is justified, some of it is plain knee jerk

Cranky Colin

Now, that is a sensible comment….thankyou

A M

🙂

Crash Fistfight

Did they not warrant criticism for their performances on Thursday? Are you saying that criticism can only be reserved for long-terms levels of shitness?

goonshow

Constructive criticism usually informs and enriches. However too many on this forum resort to highly-charged vitriol and extreme views that offer little other than to crucify players on one or two poor games. How do you imagine Laca – as a mature pro – felt after Liverpool? Dozens here were accusing him of not giving a damn, being a has-been, only in it for the money, take you pick… And yet he steps up and answers this in the most eloquent way possible. Love him or not… the fella has character and has scored some valuable goals for us (enough… Read more »

Gunnar Eli

Happy for martinelli. And classy goals from Lava. Gooooooood day.
Roma, Malaga and Arsenal all win.. happy day indeed

Thierry Bergkamp (non negotiable)

Yeah Lava was red hot today

Swifty

Lacazette was excellent today.

John

Bluntest blades I’ve seen in my life. Man, they were terrible.

Qwaliteee

Thank fuck.

If ever we needed a shit opposition to be comprehensively and unquestionably shit, it was last night.

onenil

Clean sheet and Laca scoring? I’ll take that

John

Excellent!
This stat at the end of the game got me wondering.

  • Arsenal have won 66.6% of their six Premier League games this season without Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (W4 D1 L1), compared to 36% of those with him in the team (9/25).

It’s admittedly a rather small sample size of games w/o Auba, but still, it’s a concerning stat. Build the team around him, or build a team without him. Don’t keep doing what we’ve been doing with him for most of the season, because it hasn’t worked.

Sell Auba Saliba

If we wanna play ball the way Arteta wants it, he cannot be in the team as he is not a baller.

A M

him and laca worked under emery’s 2 striker formation, but not in a 4231
ideally we should play him up top with wingers+playmakers feeding him, the way we did against leeds
cavani is doing such a good job at man utd inspite of being 34, auba can do it too

Lion

Always endeavor to read beyond the stats. Stats have a way of telling lies

John

Please elucidate further.

Lion

We had a very bad first round as a club. It contributes alot to those stats I believe.Auba was practically the go to guy for the team less than a year back.

That said, auba has really had a poor season by all standards. It doesn’t matter where he has been played. His season has really been poor. But I do believe there is still alot in him especially if he is played as a striker.

So, should the team be built around him? No.
Should a team be built without him? No!

Qwaliteee

🤣

Apologies, I’m just thinking of the general response you’d have got if you’d put that somewhat overblown term of phrase to an average member of the North Bank in the 70’s or 80’s….

goonshow

Huh? I am that ‘average member of the North Bank from the 80s

Qwaliteee

Erm….check out who I was replying to, smart arse.

And anyway, how am I expected to know anyone’s history or background – it was a joke for crying out loud. (The word elucidate didn’t get bandied about too much, as I recollect)

Seriously, I know we’re having a shite season, but ffs lighten up…🙄

Qwaliteee

Well, that was certainly better. Yeah, crap opposition, but you can only beat what’s put in front of you and it would be churlish indeed not to give credit where it’s due. Lovely opening goal, a throwback to those halcyon Wenger Invincible days when we used to pop in at least two of those per game for fun. Just a shame it’s taken these boys nine months to do it. Pleased for Partey and Laca who both had excellent games. Let’s hope that Saka’s injury isn’t as bad as it appears and that we can carry on the good work… Read more »

SB Still

I feel sorry for Sheffield but we needed it today

Thierry Bergkamp (non negotiable)

Good win against a bad side.
Saka’s injury the only downside. That’s why I said earlier that I wasn’t happy with him starting

Walleye

I love martinelli’s vision and desire. Just like with esr and saka, play him he is ready.
anyone have a firm opinion about saka as a 10? I have been wondering if he could do that
oh hell he could be a gk if he wanted.

Biggles

We really needed a win – and we got one. It was a competent performance. But, it was against the worst team, by some margin, in the league. It may be a sign of how desperate we’re getting that a few Gooners are seeking to extrapolate all sorts of things from this result. Let’s get things into perspective. Haven’t we all been on the roller coaster that is Arsenal this season not to get too carried away?

Daan

Sorry to go off topic but do some of you also encounter the problem of not being able to see the articles of Arseblog news on the internet?

Having this problem for quite some time now but I don’t know if it is the site or my browser or something

gee

i thought i was the only one experiencing the glitch!!!

ArseCLE

Having same problem. For months, I have just google searched arseblog news and the updated articles come up in the google search, but not when I go directly to the site.

Aleksander Włodarz

good work, job done 👍🏻… this can’t erase the Liverpool game though. Keep your tails up and don’t forget to bring some bullets with your guns to the mighty Slavia game!

The Arsenal

I love watching Martinelli achieve things on the pitch through sheer force of will.
Laca needs to start having these games in the important matches.
Well done Xhaxa.
Better from Pepe today.

Gunner08

Good to see martenelli score a goal. Show those haters what you can do

Mentalista

There’s only one Martinelli hater that I know of.

Marc Undermars

I don’t think my stress hormones spiked once during that game. What a treat on Pubmas eve

santori

OK win, no need to get too excited… 1) Still practically in tenth so no change from end of last year. Only 7 games to go. If we can win all games (which is unlikely)…max 66points. Likely not enough for CL or even europa. So rest of season is developmental frankly. 2) Its against Sheffield. granted they have scalped City, they are in poor form, almost relegated and with a caretaker by the name of HeckingBottom… Frankly we were lucky to be facing them. Should not let win get to our heads ahead of Thursday 3) We had decent spells… Read more »

Vaibhav Pandey

I liked the system that we played, it was very fluid and had me guessing what is the structure. It finally was a very mobile structure, with Xhaka mostly playing in midfield and covering LB when needed. Also Ceballos thrives in more attacking role when the pressure it little less on him which is a cause for concern overall a good performance and the system got Sheffield confusing and team got spaces to exploit whole game. Well done, now demolish Praha!! Considering how unpredictable we are this season, if we make the Final, I believe we are going to win… Read more »