Arsenal 1-2 Manchester United: 3 defeats leaves Arsenal reeling
Team: Szczesny, Djourou, (Yennaris) Koscielny, Mertesacker,
Vermaelen , Song, Rosicky, Ramsey (Park), Walcott, van Persie, Chamberlain
The Short Report
Arsenal lost their 3rd Premier League
game in a row against Manchester United at The Emirates Stadium. The side
restored some pride from the drubbing in August but frankly that is of scant
consolation. The only source of encouragement came from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain who was controversially
substituted just before United’s second.
The AL Report
I think many of us didn’t know what to expect from today. On the
one hand we were probably a bit terrified about anything close to a repeat of
the game in August, and on the other we were hopeful of a repeat of the same
fixture last year where we took all 3 points against most expectations.
The reality was somewhat more logical and inevitable Arsenal
were outmatched quality wise and it took its toll. For the majority of the
first half we were under the cosh, however a mixture of solid keeping, last
ditch defending and a bit of luck kept the score at 0-0 until stoppage time
when Giggs was one against one with Djourou and floated over a cross far too
easily to Valencia at the back post who rose above Vermaelen, to nod home. The
Belgian should have done better but the goal highlighted our current crisis in
the full back department.
The one Arsenal player who was causing Manchester United
problems was Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain who was making his first Premier League
start. His pace, power and directness was the only thing causing Manchester
United even the most mild discomfort.
After the break though, with another youngster Nico Yennaris
coming on for Djouorou who was having a torrid afternoon, Arsenal finally
started to play and it almost paid off when Chris Smalling gifted the ball to
Tomas Rosicky who squared the ball to van Persie who somehow smashed wide with
the goal at his mercy.
It wouldn’t be long though before the skipper made amends. The
imperious Koscielny made an outstanding tackle in the Arsenal penalty area,
with the ball finding its way to the outstanding Chamberlain who slipped a
beautiful pass into the Dutchman who shot
time across the goal and in to the bottom corner via the post.
Arsenal were in the ascendance and Manchester United were
rocking. Then though Arsene Wenger made a decision that shocked just about the
entire stadium and viewing public. He took off Chamberlain and replaced him
with Arshavin, even van Persie was caught on camera looking bemused.
Shortly after the decision was to prove costly as Arshavin was
at fault for United’s second goal. Valencia picked the ball up on Arsenal’s
right and was one on one with the Russain, who he ran at and went past far to
easily, getting into the box and squaring for Wellbeck to score. Others were culpable
too, Vermaelen should have been there and Wellbeck wasn’t well marked however
one can’t help but wonder if Chamberlain would have been a little more
tenacious and prevented Valencia getting into the box.
Arsenal pushed hard for an equaliser, much to the Chagrin of the
official Mike Dean who awared United a free kick whenever the home side
challenged for the ball it seemed but ultimately it wasn’t to be and the side succumbed
to their third league defeat in a row.
Man of the Match
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain just gets my vote ahead of Laurent Koscielny because he was a
constant thorn in Manchester United’s side. Many players would have found the
occasion and responsibility too much to bear but he relished it and showed
everyone what he can do.
Aaron Ramsey is starting to frustrate me a little bit. Seems to waste possession
too much by doing the wrong thing at the wrong time and really needs to start
contributing more in terms of goals and assists. He was fairly anonymous overall
and didn’t repeat his great performance from
this fixture last year.
Moan of the Match
Yet another blatant dive by serial cheat Wayne Rooney, which
went unpunished by the referee and I have no doubt will be glossed over by the
press and media.
The Final Word
Today was a symptom
of everything that is wrong with Arsenal at the moment. Crippled by injuries, a
lack of quality, a lack of belief, a lack of fortune and a lack of points.
I think we restored
a little pride from the match in August however we need more than pride at the
moment. There are too many under-performing players and not enough options in
attack, it’s a sad indictment that this wasn’t seen as an upset and the fact
that Arsenal ‘only’ lost 2-1 might be seen by some as a relief.
I hate being
negative so I’ll end on a word for The ‘Ox’ Alex Chamberlain. What a first
start that was? This boy looks like he could be something special and we are
very lucky to have signed him. I look forward to seeing more of him in these
last few months.
Follow me on Twitter @AdamPembrey