Thomas Partey

The buzz is well and truly back at Arsenal since Mikel Arteta’s appointment.

The FA Cup win nine months into his managerial career was important for the belief and confidence. Now, he has masterminded Arsenal’s first win at Old Trafford since 2006, with a clean sheet to boot.

Indeed, The Gunners haven’t won away to a top-six rival since a Santi Cazorla masterclass at City in 2015, a run stretching 29 games. Last night, they shut down Manchester United who are winless in all four Premier League games at home this season.

The morale-boosting 1-0 victory was achieved by virtue of a dominating midfield performance from new signing, Thomas Partey

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Faced with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s diamond midfield setup which was wonderful in the 5-0 UCL win against Leipzig, Partey’s big-game acumen ensured an excellent performance.

Thomas Partey, Paul Pogba and Mo Elneny
Partey and Elneny did a superb demolition job on United’s midfield. (Getty Images)

The 27-year-old helped secure control and set the tone of the game early on. Alongside Mo Elneny protecting the back three, they pressed United’s midfield aggressively and won some turnovers.

The most expensive Ghanaian footballer of all time was tenacious off the ball and dynamic on it, keeping things simple and neatly linking play. His composure on the ball and the physicality which he gave the side was vital for Arsenal’s transitions from the back.

The robust resistance forced United back and sideways where they lacked width or penetration to attack. This ensured Paul Pogba endured a poor outing where he also conceded the winning penalty and Bruno Fernandes was subbed off after 75 minutes. 

Partey’s complete showings will breed confidence in the North Londoners’ backline, his dribbling and distribution also gives them a reliable outlet when playing out of defence. Pertinently, he forged his technical quality on the ball from playing on the flank when emerging in Diego Simeone’s well-assembled midfield four.

“I want to attack like Yaya Toure and defend like Michael Essien so to have both qualities is good”. The midfield dynamo said

Thomas Partey
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 01: Thomas Partey of Arsenal during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Arsenal at Old Trafford on November 01, 2020 in Manchester, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Fitting, then, that such a historic win was secured by a Man of The Match performance from the box-to-box midfield operator Arsenal had craved for years. Shielding a defence that has only conceded seven times in seven games, things can only get tighter.

Going forward, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored the winner from the spot to end his five-game goal drought. Although the team still lacks a creative outlet, the goal for Aubameyang will hopefully kickstart a scoring run.

With their showpiece summer signing in full flow, the Gunners will simply be tough to beat.

Bolu Alabi-Hundeyin
November 2, 2020
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Bolu Alabi-Hundeyin

Chief Editor of the Football Castle, Bolu Alabi-Hundeyin is a football junkie and writer of the beautiful game.

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