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Nani’s Contrasting Arsenal Performances

Nani has been one of Manchester United’s most effective and dangerous attacking players this season, scoring 9 and assisting 14 so far in the League. In the game against Arsenal on Sunday however, he did not cover himself in glory, with few goalscoring opportunities created for his two strikers, Rooney and Hernandez. It was something that was particularly surprising considering how well Nani usually plays in this fixture.

In truth, United’s midfield was not at it’s best; Carrick and Anderson in the middle were not able to get a hold of the ball, pass it around with composure and get forward well enough to provide for the strikers. Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs were missing in the squad for this one, and despite United having a far more experienced and older squad than Arsenal, the Arsenal midfield were far more dominating, especially in the early stages.

Below you can see Nani’s passing pattern in both the fixture at the Emirates last season at the top and then Sunday’s game below that:


In the game last season against Arsenal, Nani was predominantly on the right hand side for United, whilst in this years performance he drifted from left to right. That may not be the problem, but it is clear that when Nani is given a single job, and told to stick to it – in other words, mainly stay on the right, he can be more effective. He usually changes from the left flank the the right in games, and can do that job well, especially when he is allowed to either get a cross in or cut inside and have a shot on goal.
In the previous season’s fixture, Nani was far more involved in the action, passing the ball more and even assisting a goal and as can be seen from the red lines (unsuccessful passes) from the wings, a lot more crosses were swung in from his boots.

Nani was able to occupy a more attacking role, and was more involved in the game last season against Arsenal, and despite a season where he has been in top form, could not force his way into the game and help United to a win.Tell me what you think!

Submitted by DBSFootball



  1. mohammed meta

    May 3, 2011 at 12:50 am

    weldone gunners keep trying

  2. mohammed meta

    May 3, 2011 at 12:51 am

    weldone young gunners

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