Manchester United vs Arsenal - Match Report
It was almost inevitable Robin van Persie would score against his old club Arsenal and he did exactly that. Although it was very early in the game he pounced on the mistake of Arsenal defender Thomas Vermaelen. The match summed up the form the Gunners have been this season. Manchester United completely dominated the game, constantly creating chances and coming close to scoring.
With just three shots on target and a consolation goal from Santi Cazorla, Arsenal had nothing positive, to take away from this game. On the other hand, Sir Alex Ferguson will be happy with the result, but with so many chances wasted today, there is every possibility the United players would’ve received the hair dryer yesterday. The final score doesn’t even come close to reflect the actual performance of the two teams, and after losing the title last year on goal difference, Fergie would’ve been be livid with the number of chances United missed.
United were leading the match 1-0 in the first half and should have made it 2-0 after a penalty was awarded just before the half-time for a hand ball by Santi Cazorla in the box. Although, it was harsh, but the correct decision. But the golden opportunity to double the lead was wasted, as Rooney, who came up for the penalty, skewed the kick wide.
However, United finally scored the second goal through the header of the shortest United player on the pitch – Patrice Evra. Wayne Rooney‘s cross was converted by Evra easily, even with about six to seven Arsenal players in the box. Although the Arsenal defense has been one of the best this season, they were at sixes and sevens today, with Valencia proving to be a constant threat on the right hand side, along with the Brazilian Rafael against Andre Santos. Arsenal players seemed to lack the will and urge to drive forward or have possession of the ball.
Rooney was the exact opposite. Playing in the heart of midfield, he constantly looked for the ball, intercepting the passes of the Arsenal players, making tackles, picking passes and trying to score goals. It almost looks like Ferguson is thinking of replacing Scholes with Rooney, and honestly, he seems to fit the bill.
Coming to the match, unlike the old days, it wasn’t an intense match from the perspective of tackles and challenges, however, referee Mike Dean wasn’t shy of showing yellow cards (8). Two of the yellow cards were shown to Jack Wilshere, who was playing only his second match after returning from injury. He looked a frustrated figure on the pitch, and had one too many tackles against the liking of the referee and was shown the second yellow for a late challenge on Evra. After Arsenal were reduced to 10 men, it was all but over and United just tried to keep possession with the occasional attempts at goal. The result was to be 2-0 at the end of the game, and only the third clean sheet for United this season, but it wasn’t to be.
David De Gea, who was virtually a bystander for the whole match, apart from a good save from Giroud, was beaten by a wonderfully struck curling shot from Santi Cazorla. That goal proved to be a mere consolation for the visitors and was the last kick of the match. The match ended with United 2 – Arsenal 1.