GUN POWDER MATCH REVIEW: RED DEVILS AND GUNNERS SHARE POINTS AFTER TENSE GAME AT OLD TRAFFORD
I simply cant put my finger on why Old trafford continues to be a bogey ground for Arsenal. No wins at this stadium in a decade is a ridiculous statistic for a club of Arsenal’s size. There has to be a causative agent behind the tepid and off colour performances we see from Arsenal there every season. And today was yet another listless performance. From the moment the referee’s whistle went, we looked every inch a team who hadn’t won in Old trafford in decades. Everything was flat.
The starting line up failed to inspire me. Yes the fact the manager’s hands were forced to pick some of the personnel he picked due to injury i.e Jenkinson for Bellerin and Elneney for Carzola are no brainers, but what on earth is Aaron Ramsey doing on the wings again? I thought that was an experiment whose thesis had been concluded and submitted…Ramsey on the wings just does not work! it has been tried several times and on no occasion has it been found to work. It provides us no width, no outlet to stretch the opponent when in possession nor any defensive cover for the fullback if we’ve lost the ball. Ramsey didn’t help matters today also by being at his worst at wanting far too much time on the ball, guilty of taking one unnecessary touch to the other.
Cech, Jenkinson, Monreal, Mustafi Koscielny, Elneny, Coquelin, Ozil, Walcott, Sanchez, Ramsey.
was how we lined up and instantly the absence of Alex Iwobi stood out, Was it tactical? was it a slight Injury? i personally felt it was going to be a difficult afternoon offensively whatever the case as he is the link between the Midfield and attack. So much of what he does picking up the ball and runnning at the defence from the channels helps Alexis to stay up more often..instead of what we saw yesterday where the Chilean kept dropping ever soo deep just so he could help conduct play that seemed to be lacking in the absence of the ball handling skills of the Young Nigerian. Our game lacked bite, The midfield was horrendous..Carrick, Pogba and herrera were having no problems in controlling the game from the middle whilst Coquelin and Elneny were mostly chasing shadows. The few occasions we had the ball, there was no invention ..Ozil our best creative outlet was content in delivering nutmegs and fancy foot work but showed no cutting edge in opening up up the United rear guard. Mourinho post game said his boys prevented us from playing the way we love …with our trademark Attacking flair. He can try to claim the credit for the flat offensive play but the truth is we never really got going, and it was more down to us than them.
Man United were producing the better chances; Cech saving from a Mata snap shot on 36 minutes and from Anthony Martial on 41 minutes after he tried curling one; Shkodran Mustafi blocking Rashford early on in the second half. United’s moments were far clear cut. We only had one early Sanchez header miscued and an Elneny shot going high and wide. The Egyptian usually composed on the ball endured a difficult afternoon. He looked nervy and strangely unsure of himself. You want to ask how much of that was down to the nervous vibes he was getiing from his teammates that sort of infected him.
The first half ended with United clearly the betterside. United had a decent shout for a penalty and probably will count themselves unlucky. Monreal got beaten by Valencia on the edge of the box and raced into the danger area, the spaniard in desperation flung himself accross the body of the United man and may have fouled him. Old trafford held its breath Arsenal fans feared the worst but The referee Andre Mariner shook his head, Mourinho felt like crying at that point.
Rooney was introduced for Matrtial in the 2nd half and the pressure on Arsenal Ramped up. From a throw in, Pogba cut back to Mata, and he swept the ball past Cech on 69 minutes. So enthused was he, his celebrations earned him, a harsh yellow card.
He probably felt it was worth it. He left on 85 minutes to a standing ovation, before the equalizer came. Subs Chamberlain and Giroud combined to spare Arsenal blushes. Brilliant wing play from the Ox like he did versus Sunderland Saw him escape Rashford on the right and Float a lovely cross which the Big french man Olivier Giroud rose to plant a thumping Header past De gea, 1-1.
At that point the spoils where shared, Arsenal can count themselves lucky to be leaving the North of england with a point. They scarcely Deserved it on the balance of play, but you may take the positives out of that buy saying we scrapped a point on a bad performance..its on to PSG on Wednesday. Wenger admitted his side were not at their Best at Old trafford, He will do well to correct that before Wednesday