Man Utd 2 - 1 Arsenal
Old Trafford is never an easy place to pick up points, even Arsenal’s emphatic comeback against Reading. Robin Van Persie started for Manchester United, and Arsenal were boasting a midfield trio worthy of any world-class team. But evidently, not worthy of Manchester United.
The first half began with pure calamity for Arsenal. The Red Devils were slicing through our midfield and shaky defence with ease. And it was only a matter of time before a poorly cleared long ball fell to the foot of the traitor himself. The ball fell perfectly for Robin Van Persie, and as we all know, he rarely misses.
He didn’t celebrate his goal, but that meant little in the grand scheme of things. Arsenal were a goal down within the first three minutes thanks to a goal from their former talisman.
The first half continued in a similar fashion. Manchester United were pinging the ball across our open defence, running at our defenders and creating chances. Arsenal on the other hand, were defending horribly, and struggled to string two passes together without losing possession.[quote_right]”The ball fell to Cazorla on the edge of the box, he pushed the ball into space and launched it into De Gea’s top corner. A fantastic goal capping off a farcical performance.”[/quote_right]
Andre Santos & Aaron Ramsey in particular were having trouble keeping the ball. United kept attacking, and Arsenal kept crumbling.
Then, just as half time was in sight, Ashley Young’s cross struck Santi Cazorla’s arm as he went to protect his face. Mike ‘The Card Man’ Dean blew his whistle and gave the penalty. Rooney stepped up, and thankfully struck the outside of the post. A wake up call.
The second half was just as atrocious as the first. Arsene’s had clearly exhausted all is half time motivation at Reading, and the Arsenal players yet again looked slack. Manchester United continued to push our back four, and our midfield was almost non-existent. Mannone had made a few good saves to keep the scoreline respectable, and Per Mertesacker was playing brilliantly.
However, the overall lack of defensive grit resulted in yet another goal for United. Rooney crossed into the box, and Evra, despite his size, climbed highest to head it home. Embarrasing.
Two minutes later, Jack Wilshere vented his frustration by following through on Patrice Evra, getting himself a second yellow card, and a nice warm early bath in the process. It was pure despair for Arsenal. wo goals down at Old Trafford with our best midfielder sent off.
Thankfully, the last half an hour was a very much subdued game of football. Manchester United took their foot off the pedal, and Arsenal were allowed to ride out the game without too much trouble at the back.
The consolation goal came with the final kick of the ball. The ball fell to Cazorla on the edge of the box, he pushed the ball into space and launched it into De Gea’s top corner. A fantastic goal capping off a farcical performance. A dark day for Arsenal football club. No fight. No spirit.
[title]Arsenal Player Ratings[/title]
Can’t fault the Italian. Made some very good saves to keep United at bay, went the right way for the penalty, and was commanding. Unlucky to concede two goals.
Perhaps this game was a stretch too far for him considering his recent injury. Looked tired and wasn’t as positionally sound as usual.
MOTM. Cut out numerous United attacks and won countless headers. His reading of the game and positioning are phenomenal.
Extremely disappointed with the Skipper. He’s been poor for a few games now, but his mistake for the goal was awful. Showed no leadership.
Up against Valencia, Santos was given the run around. Can’t defend, and even his crossing & short passing were below par.
Another game where we needed mature players like Arteta to step up, and he simply didn’t. Non-existent at times, and didn’t look like the leader he usually is.
Marked out of the game, or perhaps he hid. His lack of pace was a major issue, and his passing was terrible at times. However, he took his goal at the end exceedingly well.
Can;t complain about the passion. He was our only player fighting to win the ball back. His injury hasn’t hampered his movement at all. Immaturity got him sent off.
Seriously starting to become a passenger. He drifts out of the game for extended periods of time, and has stopped making forward runs. Needs to be dropped for Arshavin.
Another woeful performance from the Welshman. Played out of position, but that doesn;t explain his awful passing and inability to keep the ball at his feet.
Barely touched the ball all game, but did well in patches. Hit the post from a good shot, but should have buried a chance late on after a good ball from Walcott. It’s coming.
Wenger threw Walcott on before the 60th minute for Ramsey, a change which should have ben made at half time. He done well to get forward and provided an excellent pass for a missed Giroud chance. We’d be stupid to let him leave.
Came on and looked far more lively than Podolski. He needs to be rewarded for a start against Schalke on Tuesday night.
[title]Old Trafford, Same Trauma[/title]
A far cry from our 8-2 defeat last season, but the performance was honestly just as bad. The majority of our players showed absolutely no determination for the entire game. Leaders like Vermaelen & Arteta faded into obscurity when it mattered most. Arsene Wenger needs to take serious action if we are to finish anywhere near the top of the table. An embarrassing performance.
We now go to Germany to face a dangerous Schalke side, who turned us over at home. Podolski, Ramsey & Santos need to be dropped if we are to expect a positive result.