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Ian Wright says Zinchenko was everywhere for Arsenal on Sunday, Xhaka kept moving out his way
Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

Ian Wright says Zinchenko was everywhere for Arsenal on Sunday, Xhaka kept moving out his way

When Oleksandr Zinchenko broke Manchester United’s offside trap in the dying minutes on Sunday, Arsenal fans rose to their feet in unison.

After piling on the pressure for the final 20 minutes of the match, the Gunners had finally found their opening.

As Ian Wright suggests on the Arseblog’s podcast, the Ukrainian had caused Man United problems all game.

Zinchenko’s pull back found Martin Odegaard, and although his shot was scuffed, Eddie Nketiah made sure it found the back of the net.

Tactically, Mikel Arteta got it right once again on Sunday, making life extremely difficult for Manchester United.

Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

The Gunners controlled much of the game, and their ability to break the opposition’s press with pinpoint accurate, first-time passes was bewildering.

Once Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli were in possession, it was a case of when not if something was going to happen.

The young Englishmen certainly lived up to expectations with a brilliant strike from outside the box.

Zinchenko played a crucial role throughout for Arsenal, and Wright pointed out he kept moving Granit Xhaka out the way to find space.

The Swiss international was creating pockets in midfield for Zinchenko to move into, and he made the most of them.

Arsenal legend Wright impressed with Zinchenko and Xhaka’s partnership

Speaking about the £150,000-a-week defender, Wright said: “You look at what Zinchenko was doing against Man United, it was like a free role.

“He could pop up anywhere, no one knew how to pick him up.

“When Xhaka saw him coming, he’d move out the space. Everything is so organised.

“We should be confident about what’s going on because if we keep doing that, we’re moving people out of spaces.

“We killed that midfield the other day, they didn’t know what to do with us.”

Zinchenko was originally a central midfielder when signed by Manchester City in 2016.

Photo by David Price/Arsenal FC via Getty Images

Pep Guardiola converted him into a left-back, as he looked to utilise the wide areas more and more.

Eventually, Zinchenko ended up playing as an auxiliary midfielder, something he’s continued to do until Arteta.

As Wright pointed out, Zinchenko and Xhaka frequently switch positions for Arsenal, making them difficult to track.

It’s a trait that makes him so important to Arteta’s tactical set-up.

Martinelli does at times become isolated because of it, but he thrives on cutting inside and making things happen, and doesn’t necessarily need the support of a full-back.

Zinchenko impressed Jamie Carragher and Michael Owen with his performance on Sunday.

It’s up to his former club Manchester City to try and stop him next in the FA Cup on Friday.

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