Wenger said before the game that Alexandre Lacazette would not be fit for this game, but he was named in the Arsenal starting line-up, so we definitely had our best XI on the pitch. But we couldn’t have got off to a worst start as Man United were 1-0 up in just four minutes through Valencia. I will never understand how he got it through Cech’s legs from there.
But it got worse just 5 minutes later when Mustafi dithered on the ball with no danger, but lost the ball and suddenly Jesse Lindegaard slipped behind the defence and we were 2-0 down! Mustafi went off injured immediately so perhaps that was why he made such a huge mistake? Wenger made a radical change when he replaced the German defender with Alex Iwobi, who is not well known for being a centre-back! So a mistake by Koscielny led to the first goal and the second was down to Mustafi. What happened to our solid defence??
Arsenal had a few chances in the first 15 minutes but few and far between. Our best wasa a freekick on the edge of the box but Sanchez hit it straight at the wall. at 20 minutes Lacazette somehow got in front of his defender but couldn’t get enough on it and it rolled away past the post. Ramsey got a shot off just after but it was too weak to beat De Gea.
The Gunners were getting forward more now, and Ramsey got another shot from a corner but Lacazette got in the way and was offside anyway. Sanchez himself was taken down by Rojo on the half hour but Ozil tried but failed to put pace on it….
Three minutes later we should have got one back but Laca, Iwobi and Xhaka somehow couldn’t get it in, but United immediately broke back and Xhaka managed a last minute stop. End to end stuff. Really entertaining for neutrals but we need to find a way through. Then Ozil got lined up again, but his shot was weak again!
With four mins to the break Ramsey was in the box and nailed on to score but Matic saved United at the last second. Arsenal were all over them and both Bellerin and Kolasinac hit long ones to test De Gea. Nearly half time and Arsenal had had 17 attempts on goal! Another free kick and Arsenal should have finally got it in but De Gea pulled off an amazing stop. 45 minutes of amazing play and no way Arsenal should have still been two goals down….
The second half started like the first, but it was Arsenal that scored after 3 minutes when Ramsey and Laca both beat the offside trap and we were baxk in it at last! But 5 minutes later Lindegaard was through one-on-one but it hit Cech and lofted to the goal but came off the post. Straight away Iwobi was shooting at the other end and suddenly it was all Arsenal again. Crazy stuff!
The Lacazette had another brilliant saved by De Gea and Sanchez couldn’t follow it up. De Gea is keeping United in front with half an hour to go.
Amazingly the first yellow card came out at that point as Rojo takes down Alexis yet again. Ozil’s resulting freekick came to nothing though.
Somehow three minutes Pogba walked past Koscielny n the Arsenal box and put the ball on a plate for Martial from one yard out. 3-1 to United and Arsenal were now desperate for another goal. Alexis made De Gea work again and we had another corner. United defending like mad to not let Arsenal back in the game, and Herrera came on to shore up the United defence.
It’s Wenger’s subbing time too and Welbeck prepares to face his old club again and he replaces Xhaka.
With 15 minutes to go, Paul Pogba went studs in to Hector Bellerin’s knee and was given a straight red. Arsenal have a new chance to get back in. So Wenger throws yet another striker on as Giroud comes on for Kolasinac. Everything but the kitchen sink!
With 8 minutes to go Welbeck’s shot gets deflected and tests De Gea but Arsenal are having trouble getting close to the goal and desperation is setting in. Welbeck should defintely had a penalty but the ref gave nothing. Sanchez and Herrera both get booked but we are limping towards the end. It is unbelievable the chances that Arsenal created but only ended with one goal. Arsenal just couldn’t get through and our Top Four chances have hit a big hiccup…
Great game though…..