I love a good headline and Sky Sports certainly had one yesterday evening. ‘Man Utd held by under strength Arsenal’. But it’s true, Arsenal were missing Tierney, Saka, Mari, Ceballos and Aubameyang. Utd however had a full strength squad.
If they are seriously considered to be good enough to win the league then my aunt is really my uncle.
Fred had the first real chance from distance by Leno tipped his shot round the post. Fernandes too saw his shot stopped too and apart from Cavani right at the end of the game, that was pretty much Utd’s best efforts.
Lacazette crashed his free kick against the woodwork, Pepe went close twice plus Maguire blocked another, Willian and ESR had shots blocked too. The period after the break was our best of the match with the only thing missing was a goal. Although a draw is not a disaster, I do feel we missed a golden opportunity to beat them for a second time this season.
Utd might be a few places above us in the league table but they are no better than us in terms of where both clubs are on the pitch. Not in my opinion anyway. A fully fit Arsenal V a fully fit Utd, my money is on us coming out top every time.
Whilst pundits and commentators chose to ridicule Luiz for his celebration after heading a Utd free kick away from danger, I thought it showed that he and those around him simply didn’t want to concede a goal. Arsenal have been mocked by the very same pundits and commentators for being weak, porous and easy to score against so perhaps it’s time to praise such a reaction instead. I thought Luiz was excellent yesterday, as were the team in general. All that lacked was a goal but bearing in mind we either hit the woodwork, missed by centimetres or had a shot blocked/saved, perhaps it was just one of those days when nothing favoured us in attack. Perhaps Aubameyang would have scored, but I doubt he’d have ran full speed back into his own penalty area to nick the ball away from Rashord with his head. Horses for courses eh.
VAR and Michael Oliver were disappointing yesterday because in my opinion, Fernandes got away with one. If raking his studs down Xhaka’s achilles is deemed acceptable, how could Cedric be booked for a ‘nothing’ incident? I don’t like this players sticking their backside into an opponent to send him flying stuff either. Lacazette did it to a Utd player, Maguire I think and then he did it to Lacazette late in the game. Someone is going to get hurt. Badly hurt.
Performance wise, Arsenal were hit and miss at times as passes went astray too often. The biggest culprit being Partey but he more than made up for it with the rest of his game. Xhaka looked slow out there but even so, his work rate cannot be faulted, nor his passing which was spot on. Cedric was all over Cavani late in the game, he forced the striker to fire his chance wide. Willian, well he was ok which for him is better than usual but he really does slow our attack down. ESR, what is there to say, I love him and love watching everything he does. Pepe put in another good performance too, well, much better compared to the first half of the season. That’s two on the bounce now so hopefully he’s finally arrived. Luiz and Holding, very very good, in fact as said before, Arsenal were pretty good all round apart from finding the back of the net. That’s football sometimes.
We move on to the next game which is on Tuesday against Wolves. Hopefully Tierney and Saka will be back. Aubameyang too but I’m not sure when his self isolation period is over.
See you in the comments.