Manchester United 1-1 Arsenal: 5 Talking Points and Tactical Analysis | Premier League 2019/20
Arsenal and Manchester United played out an engaging 1-1 stalemate at Old Trafford on Monday evening.
The game started off sluggishly with both teams unwilling to display attacking adventure. Subsequently, chances were at a premium in the opening 45 minutes.
However, just before the teams went into the tunnel, Scott McTominay produced a moment of magic to nudge the hosts ahead.
The Scottish international made the net bulge from outside the box as the Red Devils headed into the break with a one-goal cushion.
After the restart, Arsenal looked reinvigorated and started turning the screw. Their endeavours were rewarded in the 58th minute when Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang capitalised on a loose ball to punish the home side.
Though both teams had chances to pop up with the decisive goal in the final quarter of the game, none managed to do so, meaning that they shared the spoils.
Here is a look at the talking points from the game:
#5 Scott McTominay provides the aberration in an underwhelming first half
The encounter at Old Trafford pitted a side accused of lacking an offensive edge against a team guilty of keeping the back door open, far too often. Unsurprisingly, both sought to iron out their flaws and it ultimately led to a half where the outfits cancelled each other out.
The visitors were willing to allow Manchester United possession in their own half and only applied pressure when the hosts ventured further forward.
Thus, akin to many a home game this term, the hosts enjoyed an awful lot of the ball without ever carving the opposition open.
Arsenal, meanwhile, were content to sit deep and then hit the home side on the break.
Consequently, both sides’ tactics rid the game of the entertainment many felt it was primed to provide.
Moreover, constant fouls and free-kicks meant that a head of steam was never generated throughout the opening 45 minutes.
However, in the final stretch of the period, the game suddenly went through the gears with a string of chances for both sides.
From the resulting corner, Arsenal pushed several men forward, hoping to nick a goal before the break.
Yet, the visitors were stung by the proverbial sucker punch when United counter-attacked at speed and fashioned themselves an opportunity.
Marcus Rashford found Scott McTominay on the edge of the box and the Scottish international unleashed a rasping drive into the roof of the net, leaving Bernd Leno rooted to his spot.
Unfortunately, from a neutral perspective though, apart from the goal, the first half failed to provide any of the glitz and glamour the fixture has conjured over the years.
And, though the wait for goalmouth action was ended rather emphatically by McTominay, the period wouldn’t etch itself into Manchester United versus Arsenal’s illustrious folklore.