Huddersfield 1-2 Arsenal: No Aubameyang, Ramsey or Ozil – but the Gunners find a way to win to eliminate the blues of the day away


The Gunners remain in the top-4 of hunting thanks to their first away win since November, even if they had to do it without a trio of big names

Arsenal fans feared the worst when the team bus ejected their players out of the John Smith & # 39; s Stadium and there was no trace of Aaron Ramsey, Granit Xhaka, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang or Mesut Ozil.

The module of Away Emery has gone so badly in the last weeks that the Gunners could have done with a few more push at their disposal even against the worst team in the championship.

Alas, this game came too early for both Ramsey and Xhaka – suffering from knee injuries and groin, respectively – while Aubameyang and Ozil were excluded from the disease.

This last started only 13 of Arsenal's 26 league games this season, a surprisingly low number considering the investment in Germany's contract last year.

In addition, he was involved in no game in which Arsenal switched to a three- to five-back formation, apart from a 20-minute spell as a substitute for Southampton.

Here, Emery again went with his third team, which was a feature of their game at other meetings like Bournemouth, Manchester United, Southampton and West Ham, as well as against Huddersfield in December, when they claimed all three points.

The last time Arsenal won fell to Bournemouth and since then the results have been mixed. However, Emery clearly sees merit in this system and persists.

The greatest advantage in a formation like this is the space left to counter the backs of the wings. While Hector Bellerin is injured, Ainsley Maitland-Niles is more than able to delegate to the right. The national perspective has been grappling with injuries, but has returned to the line-up and ended.

On the other side there was Sead Kolasinac, who provided the first goal for Alex Iwobi.

The Nigerian appeared in a supply line for two men to Alexandre Lacazette alongside the postponement Henrikh Mkhitaryan, back in shape after a foot injury.

And those two, like Maitland-Niles, joined together to create the second. The Lacazette movement gave him enough space inside the area and allowed him to find his tenth Premier League goal of the season.

Alex Iwobi Arsenal celebrates 2019

There would be moments of frustration for Emery, who was sometimes visibly angry at the choices his players were making in the last third. However, the goals have come at the best of times – right at the beginning and at the end of the first half, and this should satisfy the Spaniard.

He would not have been happy with the amount of ball Huddersfield enjoyed and indeed for the second half of his team was the second best. The Terriers have a very different team under Jan Siewert than under David Wagner, who tries to have more possession of the opposition and to press up.

It meant that Arsenal was under pressure for the spells in play, with Huddersfield having more shots and more territory than could have been expected against a top-six team. In the end they had more passes than Arsenal, more territory and more shots on goal.

Bernd Leno was insured when he needed to be up until the moment of recovery, when Adama Diakhaby pushed home and ended Arsenal's hopes of a clean first sheet of the season.

There was also a discreet and courageous defense of the piece from the defamed Shkodran Mustafi and returning captain Laurent Koscielny.

Fortunately for Arsenal, there is a lack of calm in that Huddersfield attack and a more confident team in front of the goal would probably have taken something from the game.

This is a team that has now managed only six league goals in the league for the entire season, and took only five points ahead of their fans.

Nevertheless, victory means that an Arsenal team that has been in an irregular form is still very much in the mix for the first four. They went fifth with this victory and will remain there at least until the challenge of Chelsea at Manchester City on Sunday.

A away match against the champions was a bridge too far for Emery and Arsenal last week; a defeat that left the fans exhausted and wondered what direction the club went.

The article continues below

Huddersfield is the other end of the Premier League spectrum and major challenges have to come for Arsenal. What will not please the manager or the fans is the inability to kill the game.

However, given that they have been drained by key players due to injury and illness, and burdened by a rather poor recent record, Arsenal will still happily accept the thrust, especially with winning home games against Southampton and Bournemouth at the horizon.

They were good without being big; functional without being fluent. But at this stage of the season and players adapt to supply shortages, they will take whatever they can get.