'You just look': Gary Neville spots what Pablo Mari was doing as Arsenal came out for the second-half yesterday
Gary Neville has suggested that Arsenal defender Pablo Mari was asking for greater protection from his Gunners teammates against the threat of Romelu Lukaku yesterday.
A difficult day
Speaking live on Sky Sports, Neville picked up on Granit Xhaka trying his best to stop the ball coming into Lukaku straight after half-time yesterday.
During the first half Chelsea had found their new striker all too easily, and that caused big problems to the Arsenal defence.
Mari, in particular, appeared to struggle against the physicality of the Belgian.
The Arsenal man continuously got rolled by Lukaku, and just could not match his strength in the tackle.
Arsenal did do a better job of combating the Chelsea striker in the second-half, but by then it was too little too late.
And Neville said: “You just look at Xhaka there, he’s trying to get in front of Lukaku and block that path in to him.
“Mari was speaking to Xhaka as they came out at half-time.”
Lack of options
Mari’s difficult day puts his position in Arsenal’s line-up under threat with Manchester City on the horizon.
However, Arteta may be forced to turn to the Spaniard again, due to a lack of other options.
Ben White is now a doubt for the City game and it is not easy to see which one of Arsenal’s other central defensive options would have coped any better against the dominant Lukaku yesterday.