The so-called ‘weakened team’ for Man United did not really materialise even though Jose Mourinho did make 8 changes from Thursday’s Europa League semi-final, and also included one very promising youth player.
It looked like both teams were set up to try and keep possession and try and find a threatening through ball so there was some boring sideways passing from the Gunners in the first half. United were given two very good chances in the first half hour,, especially when Holding mucked up a back pass to Cech and nearly gifted Rooney a goal.
After the 30 minute mark though Arsenal went through a purple patch for a few minutes and we came close. Ramsey was looking dangerous with his runs and he had a golden opportunity to put Arsenal in front but missed the ball completely. It’s a bit worrying when our best chances fall to a player that hasn’t actually scored for over a year!
The first half ended honours even but I would have to praise Xhaka for a couple of excellent long balls forward, and the Ox looked dangerous down the wing but invariably the last ball was never going anywhere as usual. Even his one shot from outside the box hardly bothered De Gea even after a deflection.
The second half would surely be more exciting than the first half and suddenly after 8 minutes Granit Xhaka took a speculative shot from outside the box that got a wicked deflection from Herrera’s back and saw the ball loop over De Gea and into the net. This should liven up the game!
Arsenal are suddenly in the driving seat and just 3 minutes later the Ox fires a brilliant cross which was met just as well by Danny Welbeck the double Arsenal’s lead. Amazing stuff! Could Mourinho finally be set to lose to Wenger at last. It’s looking good….
I was left hoping that the rest of the game would be very boring. Wenger replaced Xhaka with the more defensive Coquelin to try and shore up the defence, while Mourinho threw on Lingaard and Rashford to put some pressure on. Wenger responded by bringing on Bellerin and Giroud for Welbeck and the Ox.
All that remained was for Arsenal to hold on to the ball for the last few minutes and so it proved although Cech still had one easy save to make.
Wenger has finally beaten Jose Mourinho in a League game and he can now retire gracefully! Although he still looked very worried in the final few minutes. Ramsey was given Man of the Match by Sky, but he still hasn’t broken his scoring duck…
Could Arsenal win the rest of their games and still sneak into the Top Four. You never know…..