Mikel Arteta pulls off tactical masterstroke unleashing new Arsenal formation for Forest clash… with Thomas Partey key | The Sun

ARSENAL fans were impressed with manager Mikel Arteta's tactical flexibility against Nottingham Forest today.

Fans were in for a shock when they saw Gabriel Magalhaes not starting a game for the first time since August 2021 – ending a run of 73 consecutive league starts.

The tactical switch saw Ben White play alongside William Saliba at centre-back and Thomas Partey move from his usual central midfield role to right-back.

Partey operated as an inverted full-back and allowed Arsenal to have an extra man in midfield as they built their attacks.

His role so far in the game has been reminiscent of the roles played by Trent Alexander-Arnold and John Stones last season.

Fans took to Twitter to express how impressed they were with Partey's new role.


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One wrote: "Proper baller"

While another tweeted: "He's crushing it, what a guy!"

Oleksandr Zinchenko operated in a similar role from left-back last season but remains sidelined with a calf injury.

The Ukrainian is fit enough to train again but missed pre-season so was judged to be off the pace for today's season opener.

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New signing Jurrien Timber started in Zinchenko's usual position and dropped into centre-back to fulfil the space vacated by Partey when he went forward.

But he was forced off with an injury and replaced by Takehiro Tomiyasu after falling awkwardly.

Arsenal lead the game 2-0 courtesy of two first half goals from Eddie Nketiah and Bukayo Saka and have looked in control for the entirety of the game so far.

Eddie Nketiah opened the scoring in the 26th minute with a smart finish before Bukayo Saka added a second with a sensational curled effort.

The start to the game was delayed by 30 minutes until 1pm amid chaos at the Emirates turnstiles.

Arsenal have moved to a full e-ticket system with fans told to add tickets to their phones e-wallets.

That meant that the game kicked off with 18,000 fans still waiting to get into the ground.

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