Manchester United vs Arsenal Match Analysis –

Manchester United v/s Arsenal, a game that has so much history, turned out to be a let-down in all honesty. The Red Devils had yet another golden opportunity to capitalise on and move from a dismal 15th spot in an open Premier League table. And it was yet another opportunity squandered. Old Trafford should be The Red Devils’ stronghold, as it has always been. Quite on the contrary, we’ve just 1 point from 4 games in PL at home, which was a drab affair against Chelsea.

After an exquisite display against a side sitting on top of the Bundesliga table, we were expected to win against Arsenal at least. Fans were happy to see a 4-4-2 Diamond formation being deployed again, only to be flustered by Arteta half an hour into the match. However, Arsenal did seem to lack a cutting edge in front of goal. However, Paul Pogba was too generous to let all their work being laid to waste. Hence, Solskjaer’s 100th match in charge couldn’t be an occasion to celebrate. Let’s have a look a closer look at both the halves…

First Half Analysis – Manchester United, Who?

Manchester United v/s Arsenal - Fred and Lacazette vying for the ball
Fred and Lacazette vying for the ball
[Image Courtesy of MEN]

As the heading suggests, The Red Devils were almost unrecognisable and invisible in the first half. Aubameyang nearly got on the end of a Bellerin’s low cross across the 6-yds box around the 15′. The first 45 minutes were all about Arsenal, barring a “De Bruyne-Esque” ball from Rashford for Greenwood. Although, the youngster could only shoot from a tight angle and Leno covered his near post well. As blatant as it sounds, that was the only moment when we played football. Fortunately, the visitors missed 3 great opportunities to go ahead in the match. Aubameyang set up Lacazette only for him to miss a sitter, credit to Lindelof getting the slightest of the touch. Aubameyang himself went close to scoring, grazing the crossbar. Saka missed a free header from Bellerin’s cross as well.

Second Half Analysis – A Glimmer of Hope Destroyed By A Moment Of “Stupidity”

Manchester United v/s Arsenal - Aubameyang celebrates after scoring from the spot
Aubameyang celebrates after scoring from the spot
[Image Courtesy of Evening Standard]

Ole decided to revert to double pivot in midfield in the second half, with Fred and McTominay playing in front of the backline. We started the second half brightly and pressed higher and more aggressively. Manchester United won a free-kick on the left flank of the opposition half. Luke Shaw lifted a delicious ball into the box. Maguire looping header dropped inches past the post. Matic came on for Fred in the 62′ to provide more defensive stability and even he was pressing higher. The contest looked much more even now and Arsenal must’ve been pondering over the missed opportunities.

And then came in Pogba with an absolutely stupid lunge on Bellerin inside the box, giving Arsenal a golden opportunity to grab hold of the match. The Gunners suddenly had a free go against a keeper who isn’t as good against penalties as he is otherwise. Arsenal’s captain gave them the lead from the spot. That was the signal for them to sit back and defend their advantage.

Ole called upon Cavani and Van de Beek to replace Bruno and Greenwood while Pogba stayed on the field. A questionable move indeed. Although, the Dutchman almost equalised in the most bizarre manner. His cross deflected off Elneny onto Leno’s face and bounced off the woodwork. Well, we were neither good nor lucky. The Gunners did well to hold off a Manchester United team who struggled to get on the ball and create chances.

Manchester United vs Arsenal – Conclusion

Manchester United v/s Arsenal - Pogba Frustrated
‘Pogba’s frustrated, there are so many problems around him’ – Man Utd star lacks consistency, says Leboeuf
[Image Courtesy of Goal]

The rivalry between Manchester United and Arsenal seems to have lost its fire. If the first half was a full game, it would’ve felt worse than the Tottenham loss. After being tactically outplayed in the first half, it was positive to see a formation change in the second half. But yet again it was another individual error that cost Solskjaer the much-needed points. What’s more frustrating is the fact that this comes after an emphatic 5-0 win against RB Leipzig.

This team has been inconsistent and often blows hot and cold. If you want to catch up teams like Liverpool and Manchester City the first and foremost thing is to find balance and consistency in the team. Yes, we were unbeaten from 22nd January’20 to the end of the season in the 19/20 campaign. I’m calling out for more of that because this is the same team that did that just a few months back.

And the calls for consistency come from the performances of the most talented player in the squad, Paul Pogba. I’m a fan of Pogba. I love him. However, he has been far too inconsistent in a Manchester United shirt. He had a wonderful cameo against Newcastle and PSG, a great game against Leipzig, and then suddenly he gives Arsenal the game on a plate. Pogba should feel the necessity to step up his game and become consistent to cement his spot.

Isn’t that why Van de Beek was brought in? De Gea seems to be getting back to his best since Henderson returned to United. Shaw seems better going forward since Telles’ arrival. I hope we can see something similar with Pogba because, at the moment, I’m ready to drop him for Van de Beek. We face Basaksehir on Wednesday and Everton on Saturday.

Author: Hitanshu Samantaray

Editor at The Devil's Den | Author at The United Devils | Author at The Daily Manc | #MUFC | #GGMU |

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