Erik ten Hag was seriously cheesed off in his post-match interview with Sky Sports yesterday. The referee and VAR lost his team three points.
I thought we played a good game but everything went against us. You saw the game, it’s not offside, that is the wrong angle, then a penalty on Hojlund, we concede a goal and that is a foul on Jonny Evans. I think this is a real step forward and I am happy with the performance. We are now compact, very good defending in high and lower block, we break like the first goal. Calm on the ball and I see definite room for improvement and see how we go forward and miss some passes forward that we could have hurt them more.
All I have to say about that is I’m glad I’m not a Man Utd fan these days. How many passes back to Onana? Ridiculous and unimaginative that’s for sure, especially when the ball ended up being hoofed up the pitch in hope. I agreed with what Theo Walcott said at half-time, our forwards could have pressed him and the Utd defence in general, a lot harder.
I enjoyed seeing the return of our big Brazilian in central defence and Zinchenko at left back. Martinelli did too I’m sure. Before Rashford gave Utd the lead with their first chance, Havertz had a golden opportunity to put us ahead but he totally fluffed his lines. It was a bad miss which will no doubt play on his mind. He needs a moment of good fortune in front of goal, a deflection off his backside would do, just to get a goal. Up the other end though, he got his body in the way to stop a Utd shot heading towards Ramsdale’s goal. But, it was his misplaced pass which led to Utd’s goal.
The talking points:
Anthony should have been booked for kicking the ball away after Taylor awarded us a free kick. The Arsenal penalty shout which was given by Taylor but overturned after a VAR and pitch side monitor review. Rightly so I thought. A Utd penalty shout was waved away from the start and a subsequent VAR review was over in seconds. On 90 minutes, Utd scored a second goal after Jesus lost possession in the middle of the pitch. At first it looked good but was ruled out after VAR concluded it was offside.
The Emirates came alive, more so when 8 minutes of additional time went up on the board. By this time, Jesus, Vieira, Nelson, Tomiyasu and Jorginho were on the pitch. All played their part in what followed. 6 minutes into the 8, Saka whipped a corner across the box. Rice was waiting behind everyone. He controlled the high ball, with his chin he said later, then took his shot. Onana was beaten at his near post and Arsenal were 2-1 up. I’m sure VAR had a quick check on the Gabriel v Evans pushing and shoving but it was nothing. The icing on the cake came shortly after when Arsenal broke away – a perfect ball from Vieira to Jesus and the latter was off. He stopped for a split second, left Dalot on his backside, then calmly slotted the ball past Onana and into the back netting.
I’m not going to go into tactics, I seldom do because managers these days seem to make the game more complicated than it needs to be. Formations, xG, inverted full-backs – it’s all double Dutch to me really but I do know that whatever position Havertz is playing in, he’s struggling. Vieira looks a totally different player to the young Premier League novice we saw last season and Nelson looks a dangerous and exciting player to have on the pitch. ESR is yet to show what he’s made of this campaign and Trossard is waiting in the wings too. As for Gabriel, back with a bang I reckon. I thought Tomiyasu did well too.
A great result although if there’s a criticism, we should have finished them off earlier than we did.
Catch up in the comments..