In Arsenal’s FA Cup semi-final victory over Manchester City, David Luiz performance was amazing to watch. In a 2-0-win, former England center-back Ferdinand and former Arsenal forward Van Persie saw David Luiz create a sequence of invaluable challenges, blocks and interceptions.
David Luiz managed 11 clearances in the game. Match figures revealed of the centre-back appeared sturdy along with Shkodran Mustafi and Kieran Tierney establishing a strong back-three.
Ferdinand was amazed by the performance of David Luiz:
“Luiz was the standout performer.” – Ferdinand said.
“Every cross that came into the box, he was the man on the end of it most of the time, heading and putting his body on the line.
“Defensively he didn’t put a foot wrong. When he plays in a three at the back – he did it under Antonio Conte as well at Chelsea – he looks a much better player.
“You get the security of numbers in terms of having two other defenders immediately alongside you as a centre-back, and it decreases the space between you.
“So, it is easier for him but you can’t take anything away from him: he was fantastic today.”
David Luiz has faced a lot of criticism since his arrival at the Emirates Stadium. The Brazilian was sent off in the last game, Arsenal were thrashed 3-0 by Manchester City back in June. He was criticised of his sloppy challenges and sluggish performance as he also conceded a penalty to the Sky Blues.
“Luiz has come in for a lot of criticism in the last couple of seasons and a lot of it rightly so at times. He’s made a lot of mistakes and you get criticised for that. Today I think the way they set up helped him.” – Ferdinand added.
“Three centre-backs, they packed out the middle of the pitch, and they played with a defensive security. There was a stability about the way they played. They were composed defensively and they had a sharp edge on the counter-attack.
“When they went forward – minimal times over the course of the game because they were pushed back – they looked like a team who were very dangerous and capable of scoring and they got two very good goals.” – he concluded.
Van Persie also praised David Luiz:
Van Persie also considered plenty to be appreciated to the game of David Luiz against City, having believed that Arsenal was facing ‘a difficult evening’:
“Tonight, he put his body in front of the balls he was blocking. I think he headed away maybe 25 balls tonight. He was absolutely fantastic.” – Van Persie said.