Manchester United vs Arsenal Match Analysis
|Source: The Guardian|
The fans were calling for more energy and desire from the team following the recent run of bad form, but surprisingly that’s actually what happened in this game. The team actually pressed and actually had a bit of fight in them, which makes a good change from the lacklustre and usually dull performances of recent weeks. Unfortunately, the result wasn’t what we wanted even if the performance was a huge improvement on what has come before. This result leaves Manchester United on 23 points and in 8th place though they are now level on points with Everton and Bournemouth who are 6th and 7th respectively.
The game ended in a 2-2 draw which was probably a fair result considering how they game went, with it being a very open contest. Both United and Arsenal had plenty of chances as both teams’ defences were wide open and exposed. The game was extremely frantic throughout and it was through an uncharacteristic mistake from David De Gea that helped Mustafi put Arsenal into the lead in the 26th minute. Luckily, it wasn’t long before United were back level as within 4 minutes Martial was tucking home his chance and levelling up the game. The 2nd half was as frantic and frenetic as the first, exemplified when the score went from 1-1 to 2-2 within 2 minutes. For Arsenal it was a Rojo own goal that put them back into the lead, but straight from kick off United lumped it forward and Lingard was able to capitalise on some poor Arsenal defending to once again level the scores. After that both teams pushed for a winner, but neither were successful in their efforts and the final score was one which neither team can really complain about.
One thing to point out about the game is the positive team selection from Mourinho. He has been heavily criticised in recent weeks for his selection of certain players but tonight was a breath of fresh air. In defence he brought back previously outcasted and injured Bailly and Rojo as well as giving Dalot his first start in the Premier League. It was also nice to see Herrera included in the team once again as well as a surprising but highly asked for strike pairing of Martial and Rashford.
What’s next for United?
In terms of the negativities, this result along with last week’s result means we are falling further behind in the race for the top 4, making it unlikely that we will manage to finish in a Champions League place at the end of the season. We can hope that with a decent run of results this could change, but at the moment, however unlikely it is, the Champions League may be our best route into the competition next season.
Something else that can be taken from this game is that we can see that no matter the defence we put out, they still aren’t really good enough for where the club aspire to be. Every game highlights our need for a new centre that can command a back line and stop our other defenders from making silly and reckless mistakes that are currently costing us time and again.
The positives we can take from this game are that the team played so much better when they had hunger and desire. So, if we are to have any success at all this season, we need to keep that same hunger, passion, desire and spirit in every game not just this one-off occasion. Additionally, I felt like the attack had more fluidity in this game which I would love to see continue as it is much better to watch than the slow and dull attacking play that we usually produce.