Monday night EPL football served us a clash of fallen Epl giants as the game served us scrappy, mistake ridden and sloppy match between Manchester United and Arsenal deserved only one title, one crown, one name-tag, and that as to be all power, pace lacking in tact.
A clash that had always been seen as a fight between two European heavyweights and EPL title contenders in the past, is now as a clash between two Europa League constants fighting for 5th to 6th place supremacy in the Epl, with head coaches looking lost in a tunnel and team line-ups looking more like youth teams than premier league standard starting line-up.
Man United coach, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, with only 2 EPL wins this season, started with a front three of Lingard, Rashford and Daniel James with Martial ruled out through injury, while Arsenal had to make do with Pierre Aubameyang upfront with Lacazette missing through injury.
Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka became the youngest Arsenal player to feature against United in the Premier League era while Rob Holding made the bench.
United started the game with a bit of intensity win most of the midfield battles with Scott McTominay and Paul Pogba controlling proceedings, Arsenal set-up to sit-in press and hit on the counter United took the game to Arsenal but couldn’t find a way through with Rashford wasteful in front of the goal as always.
Pogba, surprisingly back from injury, kept feeding balls to Rashford who was wasteful and played prematurely all evening, oh how much Ole would have regretted letting Lukaku go without signing a capable replacement. De Gea, capped off the first half with a wonderful double save from shots by youngster Bukayo Saka and from Guendouzi on the rebound.
At stoppage time, James ran down the right end with an overhit cross, Rashford tried on the slippery turf and kept the ball alive he passed the ball to Pau Pogba who couldn’t reach the pass, but young Scott McTominay took ball under is control and swift hit the ball cleanly to lash it into the top left corner past an unaware, dazed and rooted Leno.
Halftime – Man U 1- 0 Arsenal
The second half, seemed like a moment of reckoning for London club, Arsenal tried pushing higher up the pitch trying to attack with Pace, power trying to drag the United backline around but the United defence did well to deal with the early Arsenal attacks.
But young makeshift left-back Tuanzebe, who came in as a replacement for Wan Bissaka, and surprisngly took the left back spot, showed his inexperience when he gave the ball away on the edge of his own box, which Saka pounced on putting it through for Aubameyang who cleverly chipped it over an on-rushing De Gea.
The referee wrongly ruled it out for an offside after the linesman raised his flag for Aubameyang who was actually played on by Harry Maguire, but upon consultation with VAR, the goal was restored it was a beautiful crisp finish and the Gabonese striker was clearly onside.
The game remained a back and forth affair, with a draw looking like a more permissible result than a win for either of the sides and apart from the last few minutes when Leno made a fine one-handed save to deny Rashford’s free kick, the game was shy of clear-cut chances.
Full Time – Man U 1-1 Arsenal (Old Trafford)
Take away from the game : Arsenal’s defense line-up would ship in a lot more goals this season than even a Burnley’s under-10 team would while Man United needs a striker as much as Boris Johnson needs Brexit.
More photos of the match below;