It’s an old and boring movie and, to be quite honest, I’m sick to the back teeth of it.
Arsenal went to Old Trafford in a great run of form. Unbeaten in any competition since the first day of the season, they simply failed to turn up on Saturday. In fact, for the second half they just didn’t bother at all, clearly deciding to get a head start back to London to avoid trains packed with returning United fans.
They left with a draw, which we probably would have taken at the start of the game, but that doesn’t hide how poor they were for the entire game.
The first half started with Arsenal looking nervous and United trying to get a quick opener so they could park Mourinho’s bus. As that didn’t happen, they started to sit back, hoping to draw Arsenal on to them so they could hit on the break.
Although Arsenal then went on to dominate the half, they brought not a single save from David de Gea whereas Petr Cech was called on a few times to deny Juan Mata and others.
The main talking points of the first half revolved around Andre Mariner, which tends to be the case when he’s been put in charge.
Should he have sent off Matteo Darmian – Absolutely. The challenge on Theo Walcott which he merely got a talking to for was considerably worse than the one he was booked for before that. Lots of for/fores there. Apologies.
Should he have given United a penalty for Monreal’s ‘challenge’ on Antonio Valencia? Probably not, but you could see why it might have been given and Monreal was stupid for even giving him a choice.
0 – Arsenal failed to have a shot on target in the first-half of a PL match for the first time since April (v Norwich). Wayward.
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) November 19, 2016
The second half started in a similar fashion.
Arsenal were struggling to create anything incisive, Alexis was dropping deep into midfield to try and get involved as the midfielders in there seemed unable to find him in a decent position in the final third. Ozil was on the fringes of the game without someone to get the ball to him for the same reasons and Theo was looking more like last season’s version than the shiny new one we bought in the summer.
Arsenal. Making United look good since 2008.
— Daily Cannon (@DailyCannon) November 19, 2016
Then, about 15 seconds after I tweeted this
And United promptly scored.
From there, Arsenal created one chance, and that was all they needed. A great cross from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain found a determined Olivier Giroud and he made no mistake from close range with a bullet header.
Apart from that, they looked toothless and lost. There was no fight, a big lump of blurgh that would have been frustrating if we hadn’t seen them do exactly the same thing every time they go to Old Trafford.
This was not a special United team. It wasn’t even a special performance, but it doesn’t need to be against us.
I’ve been saying for years that the club need to hire a new sports psychologist, but performances like this on a regular basis against the same opposition makes me wonder if they even have a crap one in their employ.
Get it sorted, Arsenal.