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Arsenal 1 - Manchester United 2

PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2012 9:06 pm
by TheArsenalPost
The article can be found here: ... ch-report/

A 2-1 loss at Old Trafford on Saturday leaves Arsenal firmly rooted in sixth spot in the Premier League. This was yet another dismal performance in what is becoming the expected norm for Arsenal fans, with many writing their team off already this season.

It’s easy to see why with only 15 points from 10 games, a fact that actually leaves the Gunners worse off that they were last season. Although this defeat wasn’t as bad at the 8-2 mauling of last season it was painful all the same for Arsenal as their ex-captain Robin Van Persie scored against his former club, illustrating just what the Gunners have been missing.

Wenger fielded the same side that scrapped victory against QPR last weekend and it would be fair to say they never really settled into the game, not to say that United were great either but the game really boiled down to who made the least mistakes.

As the game got underway I couldn’t help but feel rather optimistic, despite the recent run of poor performances it couldn’t really get any worse, right? Wrong. Within three minutes Arsenal found themselves behind when Rafael found space on the right and hit a low cross, which was horribly misjudged by Vermaelen, toward the path of Van Persie who fired the ball into the back of the net. The Dutchman, who didn’t celebrate his goal out of “respect” for his former side, has now scored 10 goals so far this season.

Despite the early goal the game progressed as a hugely underwhelming spectacle, nothing like the fantastic matches between these two sides a decade ago.

Manchester United looked the most likely to score next while Arsenal could barely string together a succession of passes. Midway through the first half Rooney slid the ball through to his striking partner Van Persie on the right. His cross-shot was fantastically pawed away by Mannone.

Arsenal had a chance too when Ramsey’s surging run was finished by a cross-shot that was palmed out by David De Gea.

As we approached the half-hour mark United began to test the Arsenal defence more. Valencia skipped past the disappointing Santos and fed the ball to Rooney his fantastic shot was headed for the top corner but Mannone was equal to it. Things almost got worse for Arsenal too when, on the stroke of half time, United were awarded for a penalty after Cazorla handled Ashley Young’s cross. Rooney stepped up but blasted his effort past Mannone's right-hand post. This was a huge let off for Arsenal who could have easily been 2 or 3 down by now.

Possibly the biggest thing to comment on was the Santos/VanPersie thing at half time where the latter gave the Arsenal player his shirt. I'd love to know what you guys made of that.

Just after the restart it was almost Déjà vu for Arsenal as Vermaelen‘s slip allowed Van Persie’s cross to find Valencia at the far post. Luckily the ball got stuck under the feet of the Ecuadorian and his effort was scuffed wide. Seconds later Arsenal were spared further blushes when Rafael’s shot was saved and Carrick screwed the rebound well wide.

Arsenal responded to those efforts with a substitution the fans were all crying out for; Theo, Theo, Theo. After his fantastic performance at Reading midweek is it any wonder?

The visitors were beginning to show signs of life in the final third for the first time in the match. Cazorla set up Giroud on edge of the six-yard area. The Frenchman swivelled beautifully but could only find the side netting.

However, in typical Manchester United fashion they scored minutes later. Van Persie had his shot turned away by Mannone and the resulting corner found Rooney whose ball was turned in by the head of Evra.

this point the game looked beyond the Gunners who hadn’t even had a notable shot on target and it was about to get harder too. Wilshere was booked for a second time resulting in Arsenal having to see out the game with 10 men.

Van Persie and substitute Anderson put the ball in the Arsenal net but were both flagged offside.

In injury time Arsenal looked destined to score when Walcott fed the onrushing Giroud but De Gea made a fine save from close range. Finally, the Arsenal dead-lock was broken when Cazorla curled the last kick of the game into the top corner, adding a little gloss to the score line.

Arsenal have big games ahead with Schalke, Fulham and Spurs all coming up and they’ll need to offer something, anything better than they have been if they are to get anything from these games.