5 key highlights from Arsenal’s 2-1 win over Sheffield United in the FA Cup

Dani Ceballos, Arsenal (Photo by ANDREW BOYERS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Dani Ceballos, Arsenal (Photo by ANDREW BOYERS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images) /
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Kieran Tierney, Arsenal (Photo by Andrew Boyers/Pool via Getty Images) /

2. Set-pieces a problem for Arsenal

Defending against set-pieces is never ideal and in a perfect world, it wouldn’t ever need to be the case. However, football is a tough sport and defenders know that it’s not given to them on a plate. They need to work hard in order to improve not only their physicality but also their positioning, the latter proving true specifically when it comes to defending set-pieces.

Truth be told, today was not the finest display of set-piece defending from the Arsenal squad and it’s been the case for some time now. Both the long thrown in and low-crossed free-kicks seemed to perplex the Arsenal defenders; it’s almost as if anything unorthodox catches them out which is not ideal in the ever-changing climate of modern football.

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I suppose we can take strength from negatives here if Arteta avoids complacency and works hard in training to perfect the set-piece defending. It’s undeniably much-needed as the Gunners prepare for the Premier League clash against bottom-of-the-table Norwich on Wednesday.

1. Kieran Tierney was up for the occasion

Partly the reason why the Blades are in the top half of the Premier League this season and indeed ahead of Arsenal is their physicality. They possess a range of warriors in their starting XI including Oliver McBurnie in the frontline. That said, it was important that the Gunners were ready for the battle.

One player in particular, Kieran Tierney, stood out to me. Playing as a wing-back although often switching with Sead Kolasinac to become the third centre-back, the Scotsman played in the faces of Sheffield attackers and it’s largely down to his rough nature that the Gunners saw off any first-half pressure. The younger players in the squad will learn from his ways I’m certain.

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What did you make of Arsenal’s display today?