Manchester United vs Arsenal ends in an uninspiring draw with both sets of supporters frustrated.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer came into the game with a selection conundrum with so many first-team players out. Aaron Wan Bissaka was confirmed absent from the squad due to tonsillitis. So Ole opted for Young at right back and Axel Tuanzebe filled on the left.
Under the tense atmosphere of Old Trafford under the lights, the players seemed cautious to begin with. Manchester United seemed to be too scared to play risky passes into the final third. Instead, the first half consisted of sideways passes between the back four. The first shot on target came in the 29th minute of the half was the individual skill from Andreas Pereira to take it past Luiz and fire a tame shot.
Manchester United’s historic counter-attacking prowess against Arsenal was on show once again. A Corner at the tail end of the half resulted in United winning possession and Daniel James free on the right-hand side. A marauding run by James ended as he fizzed the ball across the face of goal to Marcus Rashford. Rashford’s lack of anticipation to get on the end of the pass was met by groans by all the supporters in the ground.
Fortunately, Rashford was able to recycle the ball, playing a pass to Scott McTominay who rocketed the ball into the back of the net from 25 yards out. Even without the slight deflection, the Scotsman’s effort was destined for one place only – Leno’s net.
At the break, Manchester United were 1-0 up but were by no means home and dry in the torrential rain. Something that has crept into this team is the inability to maintain and control games in our favour. We were sloppy early on in the second half and that was punished by an in-form Aubameyang. Tuanzebe played a hospital pass to Lindelof that was intercepted by Saka who played in Aubameyang for him to take the finish with great aplomb.
VAR for the second time has really worked to the detriment of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side. First against Palace, a clear and blatant penalty as MArtial was yanked down and second Kolasinac’s handball was not reviewed accurately. VAR, if I’m not mistaken, was brought in to aid the referee making decisions but it just seems like it is being beta tested at this point. Either make absolute decisions or leave the game, simple.
In all honesty, a draw is a true reflection of where the two clubs are at. However, the game was certainly two points dropped for Ole as his side now sit 10th in the league while Arsenal move up to fourth. The pressure is piling on Ole and his staff. With, Newcastle away and Liverpool to come things may get worse.