Arsenal could only manage a draw against Manchester United on Wednesday, despite taking the lead twice at Old Trafford in an injury-filled controversy-ridden encounter.
Some described the match as a ‘proper Arsenal-Manchester United clash’ afterwards, but in all honesty, it was more like a classic game against Stoke City. Arsenal players went down all game thanks to rough and sometimes dangerous challenges, leading to two first-half injuries.
Marcos Rojo should certainly have been sent off for any number of second-yellow-worthy fouls, Marouane Fellaini bizarrely avoided any kind of card after pulling Matteo Guendouzi’s hair, and United’s first goal should have been disallowed for offside.
The fans booed Guendouzi for getting injured and the main tactic employed by the home side was crossing it in and playing long balls. It was your standard Arsenal encounter against Stoke.
Nonetheless, Unai Emery’s side managed to at least take a point, gaining on Chelsea and leaving United eight points behind. Let’s have a look at our individual player ratings for the match.
1Goalkeeper and Centre-Backs
Bernd Leno 6.5
Leno had a small part to play in both goals, but it would be harsh to blame him fully for either incident. He made a decent save from a free-kick with Herrera latching onto the rebound to set up Martial for United’s first goal. Still, Herrera only got to the ball because he was offside.
For the second, Kolasinac needed to deal with the loose ball rather than hoping Leno would come out for it. Nonetheless, the German could’ve got there ahead of Lingard, so it’s on both Leno and Kolasinac to communicate better. Other than that, Leno had to make a lot of saves, which he did well, and he distributed the ball effectively as usual.
Shkodran Mustafi 7
Mustafi had a pretty good night, overall. He scored the opening goal thanks in part to a De Gea howler, and he did a decent job defensively too.
Sokratis Papastathopoulos 6
For the most part, Sokratis has been excellent for Arsenal since signing. However, on this occasion, he looked a bit shaky. His worst moment was letting Romelu Lukaku get the wrong side of him in the build-up to Manchester United’s equaliser, just seconds after the Gunners took a 2-1 lead. Win that aerial duel and Arsenal probably win the match.
On the other hand, he did make the most tackles and win the joint-most aerials in the Arsenal side, plus his passing was more accurate than any other player on the team bar Aubameyang.
Rob Holding 6
It’s difficult to give Holding a proper rating because he only played the first half-hour of the match before an injury forced him off on a stretcher. It’s a massive shame because he is having an excellent season, and it’s now feared he could be out long-term.
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