As West Ham held Arsenal to another draw at the Boleyn Ground, the Gunners fell further behind in an increasingly non-existent title race. Bilic proved once again why he is such a highly-rated tactician as he pushed his team to comeback from 0-2 down in their race for a Champions league place.
How they started
Slaven Bilic made two changes to the side he fielded last weekend with Tomkins and Carroll replacing Emmanuel Emenike and Diafra Sakho. He switched from his usual 4-2-3-1 formation to 3-4-2-1 with Carroll leading the line. Payet and Lanzini were handed over a free role behind Carroll with Cresswell and Antonio playing as wingbacks.
Arsene Wenger fielded an unchanged lineup in this game although Petr Cech made it to the bench after recovering from his injury. The Frenchman, who is not known for tactical experimentation, opted for his tried and tested 4-2-3-1 formation. Ozil and Iwobi kept interchanging positions during the match with most of Arsenal's attack coming down their left wing.
Arsenal let off the hook by the linesman
With Carroll planted upfront, Belic was not really playing his cards close to his chest. The former Liverpool forward makes for an outstanding target to hit
In the initial stages, West Ham
Gunners gunning for the space beyond the back-three
As Arsenal began to control possession and gain a foothold in the match, West Ham's formation was badly exposed. When Arsenal had the ball, West Ham dropped deep, leaving their front-three isolated from the rest of the team. The Hammers defenders and midfielders were bereft of outlets when they won the ball back, and this meant that the possession was turned over to the visitors faster than Belic would have liked. Arsenal were outnumbering West Ham in the middle of the park as Elneny began to dominate the game.
Even more problematic for Bilic, Antonio and Cresswell are not naturally suited for the wing-back role. They were caught in no man's land when they moved the ball quickly in attack. With the wing-backs out of position, the back-three had to spread apart in order to deal with Iwobi,
Welbeck gave them an early warning when Bellerin nearly played him through in the 15th
However, the Hammers failed to heed the warning signs and conceded two back-to-back goals similar fashion.
Early Christmas for Carroll as he bullies Arsenal fullbacks in the air
West Ham's retribution was swift and ruthless. The Hammers went back to route one, and Carroll displayed
Bilic amends his tactical mistake in the second half
Every manager makes tactical mistakes, but only
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