Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger:
“Overall, we could have won it – it was a game of few chances. Our defensive focus was extreme as we conceded so many goals on Saturday.
“In the end, either side could have won 1-0. Manchester United are a good team, so when you go forward they can catch you.
“It is important to recover physically and prepare for the next game as we want to stay in the FA Cup. The title race is absolutely open for many teams.”
I don’t usually start a post with a comment by our manager but I got the feeling that not to lose was the priority last night.
Games between these sides in the last twenty years always had that bit of extra ferocity but overall this was a tame affair.
The game started and within a minute Arteta had an Anfield moment and gave RVP a gilt edge chance which he fluffed and then the game started to even out with misplaced passes by both teams and then we saw a glimpse of magic from Wilshere,threading his way into the box which on another occasion might have been a goal.
Neither team went gung – ho and all in all it was a tame first half.
We certainly started the second half with more momentum but not for the first time on many occasions we took that extra short intricate pass and the move broke down.
Giroud had two or three chances to work de Gea but the nearest we came to scoring was a header from Koscielny which was headed off the line by Valencia. Santi upped his game and at least was trying to test de Gea which he did twice but the keeper was equal to it and in a rare breakaway Szczesny produced a wonderful save from RVP yet for most of the game we were as predictable as ever,and that concerns me, as one can watch the game and nearly always know what the next move will be.
Often stated but where is Plan B? Subbing players like for like doesn’t work against the better teams especially with a squad lacking depth, but there were a few positives for me.
Ozil really showed his class and was forever looking to probe United’s defence but where was the support?
Koscielny was a rock yet again and Szczesny showed how much he has improved.
Gibbs, every time for me, has to play as opposed to Monreal.
Many will argue that an in form Ramsey and Walcott would have made a difference especially against ageing defenders such as Vidic and Ferdinand, but we can only play with the players available.
There is no point in criticising various players though I have said that if Giroud is meant to lead the line and lay the ball off, all well and good, but then he must have support instead of repeatedly being isolated.
Verdict : Two points dropped which may have a significant bearing to the run in as the gap between the top five narrows.
Written by kelsey