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Neville Credits Two Players For Making The Difference In Arsenal’s Win Against United

Ex-Manchester United fullback Gary Neville believes the performances of Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang were crucial in Arsenal’s 2-0 win over his former club yesterday.

Lacazette won the penalty which Aubmeyang converted to seal victory at the Emirates. However, Neville believes they had the beating of United’s centre-backs all evening:

“They won the game. Lacazette and Aubameyang being on the pitch won the game for Arsenal. You point towards that first half an hour, Lacazette and Aubameyang got the better of Smalling and Lindelof.”

“I point back to my experience under Sir Alex Ferguson. He used to say ‘if your centre-halves haven’t got hold of the opposition centre-forwards, you’ve always got a real problem in a game’.”

The switch to a back three with two-up front certainly paid dividends for manager Unai Emery. Before the game, the Spaniard promised a change in tactics and he duly delivered.

After playing with a flat back four in the 3-1 defeat to Rennes, the 3-5-2 employed against United allowed them to control the game in the opening half hour.

It forced Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to change systems in order to match the Gunners. By that time, though, Emery’s side were already 1-0 up through Granit Xhaka’s 12th-minute strike.

The Arsenal boss will want to see a similar level of performance when Rennes make the trip to the Emirates on Thursday, with the London club needing to turn round a two-goal deficit from the first leg.

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