English Premiership

Smalling praises tactical masterclass over Gunners

2017-12-04 08:57
Jesse Lingard.(Getty Images)

Cape Town - Manchester United defender Chris Smalling says the front two of Romelu Lukaku and Anthony Martial made the difference in Saturday’s 3-1 win over Arsenal.

The Belgian and the Frenchman, with two-goal Jesse lingard just behind, were too much or the Gunners defence to handle.

"I think we were carrying on from Watford and the fact that, when we play, obviously in this system, we can play with two strikers," he told MUTV.

"Quite often, they [Arsenal] are only used to playing against one. We put two up front and put them under more pressure and they are not used to that. 

"I think that was one to enjoy, for fans watching the game and for us as players. It was end to end, but for us to get those two early goals, I think, meant Arsenal had to come at us and that's what made it a very entertaining game."

United had beaten in-form Watford 4-2 on Tuesday, and were able to hold on against the Gunners despite losing Paul Pogba to a red card with 15 minutes left to play.

"I think that's down to our tactical work and us being able to be strong," Smalling added. "They probably had about four strikers on the pitch so it was a case of digging in and making sure, even the attacking players, were doing their job and everyone to a man was brilliant.

"I think Watford were going into our game on Tuesday on a great run of form and Arsenal, I don't think they've lost at home like we haven't, so I don't think we could have asked for anything more. It's been a great week."

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Tuesday, 12 December 2017
Burnley v Stoke City, Turf Moor 21:45
Crystal Palace v Watford, Selhurst Park 22:00
Huddersfield Town v Chelsea, The John Smith's Stadium 22:00
Wednesday, 13 December 2017
Swansea City v Manchester City, Liberty Stadium 21:45
Newcastle United v Everton, St. James' Park 21:45
Southampton v Leicester City, St. Mary's Stadium 21:45
Liverpool v West Bromwich Albion, Anfield 22:00
West Ham United v Arsenal, London Stadium 22:00
Manchester United v AFC Bournemouth, Old Trafford 22:00
Tottenham Hotspur v Brighton & Hove Albion, Wembley Stadium 22:00
Saturday, 16 December 2017
Leicester City v Crystal Palace, King Power Stadium 14:30
Stoke City v West Ham United, Bet365 Stadium 17:00
Arsenal v Newcastle United, Emirates Stadium 17:00
Chelsea v Southampton, Stamford Bridge 17:00
Brighton & Hove Albion v Burnley, The American Express Community Stadium 17:00
Watford v Huddersfield Town, Vicarage Road Stadium 17:00
Manchester City v Tottenham Hotspur, Etihad Stadium 19:30
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