The big problem with Chelsea’s 4-3-3 formation and the adjustment Lampard has to make

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Former Arsenal player Martin Keown has revealed the weakness of Chelsea’s 4-3-3 formation and what Chelsea boss Frank Lampard can do to fix it.

He told Daily Mail: “Watching Chelsea in those first 20 minutes, I felt they were very good at containing Arsenal but weren’t able to pinch the ball high up the pitch. Their 4-3-3 system makes it difficult for a midfielder to make up the distance and join the front three in the high press.

“At times Chelsea winger Pulisic was leaving Arsenal full-back Kieran Tierney to press centre back Pablo Mari. That allowed Tierney to charge down the left, with colleague Gabriel Martinelli giving Reece James the nightmare of a two-v-one situation.

“If, instead, Chelsea had played a 4-2-3-1 with someone in the No 10 position, it would have allowed a player to man-mark Arsenal’s deep-lying playmaker. Then, when the moment was right, he could have pressed the centre backs with Tammy Abraham.

“This would also mean Pulisic could have maintained his position, giving the team a better shape and restricting the freedom of Tierney, who was the man behind Arsenal’s first goal.

“When chasing down a centre back, Abraham was getting his angle of approach wrong. The striker wasn’t fixing the play to one side of the pitch by blocking the pass to the other centre back.

“Chelsea can be good at containing teams in their own half, but only rank eighth in the Premier League for possession won in the final third.

“With small tweaks to the system, they can win the ball back higher up the pitch more often.”

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OTONY
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