Arsenal display was impressive but finishing still wasn’t (opinion)

Arsenal were dominant in their win over Manchester United today, but while we came away with all three points, our boys continued to struggle in front of goal.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will hopefully be able to take a confidence boost following his neatly taken penalty, which was enough to secure all three points, but the reality is that Man United were terrible, and any half-decent team would have scored at least three.

Willian had an exciting effort strike the crossbar, Bukayo Saka did all the hard work to get in range of goal twice but failed to challenge the goalkeeper, while Aubameyang’s only effort not from the spot was sent wide.

In fact the only shot on target that wasn’t our penalty was from Thomas Partey, who you could argue was the Man of the Match regardless.

With today’s goal having come from the spot, and our failure to score in each of our last two Premier League matches, it would be fair to say that we have been lacking in front of goal, and what is the more frustrating is that we have been very much on top in each of these three matches.

If we can’t score when we are in almost complete control in fixtures, then we have a serious problem in attack, it is difficult to understand why…

Does today’s victory paper over the cracks of a bigger problem in the team? Is there a simple solution for Mikel Arteta to rectify this?


Tags Man United


  1. Our next game is Villa. Who would’ve guessed this tie would end up being a worrying one. Grealish is on some amazing form. We need our attack to start working quickly. The games are coming fast.

  2. Look, we went overboard with the doom and gloom after the Leicester result, as did the media – now we can do the same again, but in a positive way.

    MA has already said they are aware of the need to take the chances and are working on it – let’s just enjoy the moment as the fanbase is suddenly united.

    1. I was about to write the same thing, was even going to start it with “look” …

      For me, this game wasn’t hugely different from last week. Both we went into dressing room at half time unlucky not to be up. Both we squandered a number of good chances. Last week we were unlucky with a legitimate goal waved off. This week we were fortunate that Gabriel (who had a great game) didn’t get a second yellow and that Elneny (who also had a great game) didn’t have an og down by his name.

      Thin margins but clear to most of us that we’re on the right track with Arteta in the driver’s seat.

      1. Though both 1st halves ended goalless, the biggest difference was the football against United was way better than against Leicester.

        Better movement, more urgency and intensity, without a doubt

  3. The finishing and quality at the moment is a real worry. We need to start scoring, we have the players but it has to start soon or it will be a problem. I believe we are a bit rigid in our play out of possession and are still rigid in possession, its something that needs a solution fast. I am reasonably confident we are getting there but our finishing at the moment is poor.

  4. One thing that cracked me up was Gary Lineker said it was a “Dreadfully dull game”….wait..what??!!!

    Auba scored, which was all I wanted…

    1. Gary linker ,Micheal Owen and Alan shearer ,put them in a brothel and they would still moan about something .

    2. Why do some arsenal supporters think most time we win, it is because the opposition are dreadful and will lose to any decent team.

      The team did a great job by denying man u players space and time. A lot of work, discipline, tactics etc go into that too.

      1. So true we need to acknowledge that when is because we played well Manure had time on the ball because of the our pressing game

    3. theres been duller games than that. The first half was a lot of good football from us even thogh there wasnt a goal.

      1. Agree RSH
        1st half complete control from us ,and second half took our chance and absolutely deserved that win ,some fans find it boring ATM but Arteta as done what every fan was crying out for which was to fix the defence .
        Best record in the league as it stands ,
        Onwards and upwards form here

      2. Exactly, RSH.. was a great first half, got the job done in the second. Maybe Gary should visit specsavers 🤣

    4. My worry Sue, thevlack of quality in chances created. Auba has not lost the shooting boots but the chances created to him are very few and are difficult. Of course we played against Man u away but even in Europa league, it was the same.
      For exampke against Dundalk, check the goals we scored, they won’t reoccur easily on other games.
      Credit to Leno, backline and defensive midfield, they have done a great a job.

  5. But how negative can an article be?

    “… but the reality is that Man United were terrible, and any half-decent team would have scored at least three.”

    How can you overlook the amount of hard work put in by the team to suffocate and make Man United look terrible, and simply come to such conclusions as above…

    When we fail to understand that processes and principles should govern our judgement and continue to rely only on outcomes, then we will surely and always come to such conclusions as this article has done.

    Even Tim Cahill stuck his head out to defend the Arsenal against a furious Roy Keane, and then we the “supposed Arsenal fans” decide to roll out this article…I feel sad for both article and thought process behind it… I hope it gains the kind of trend that may be desired all at the expense of dampening the bright spirit growing around the club….

    1. Spot on with your third paragraph. That first was one of the best I’ve seen the team play under MA. To crown it with a win in the end at OT made all the more satisfyingly. Partey, Elneny, Gabriel…what a shift.

      1. 👍👍 Spot on, Maxis… After a performance like that and some still find negatives, which baffles me and just goes to show you can’t please everyone!!
        Me, I’m gonna party till dawn haha!!

  6. All the team put in a good shift today looked solid at the back and stay calm the goals will come 10 out of 10 for all the players

  7. No one with a little dose of football knowledge would say Arsenal is great yet, especially with lack creativity and lack of cutting edge. Even today, there was rarely a clear chance created for all the possessions and good team play.

    But today, we won at Old trashford after 14 years. This article is mistimed. It cannot always be gloomy, let’s enjoy the victory please.

  8. Today thomas partey was top for Arsenal touches, possession won, tackles and interceptions and dribbles completed.

    Wow what an absolutely incredible signing!! We have made our fair share of terrible signings but gotta praise the Arsenal for this signing and gab’s!!

        1. Agreed you two .
          Absolutely bossed that midfield along with Elneny who did the simple stuff but was so affective.
          The way partey gets out of tight spaces and gets the ball moving was a joy to watch for me .
          Would still love for us to get a Santi type player to pair him with ,but that’s not taking anything away from Elneny who was just as good tonight and hasn’t let us down at all this season .

          1. Agreed dan! Just delightful to watch him control that midfield. Creating space out of nowhere. Yeah hopefully we can scoop up a santi type gem in Jan or the summer 🤞🤞

    1. Don’t forget to make honorable mention of Elneney. The guy suffocated ManU today. Good forward passes as well

  9. Patrick there is a well known expression, usually used in business, which goes ” he has not read the room correctly”!


  10. What a load of pure shite this article is. I stopped reading after the 2nd paragraph. “… Any half-decent team would have scored at least 3…” Are you for real? So we are not half decent after that heroic display?
    We broke the OT duck after 14 years! We had world class performances from an unlikely midfield pairing (Elneny being the pleasant surprise), we saw off a game that we would have lost in a game refereed by a guy who hates us. And you still find the audacity to author such a laughable piece?
    I admit there’s still room of improvement but let your criticism be constructive at least. Give us the night to celebrate this famous win against a Utd side that had awesome CL back to back wins against the so-called ‘decent’ teams…

  11. It’s high time we respected Gilberto silver, the man said that arsenal needed to bring back elneny from loan last season. He said elneny is his replacement. it was hard to believe, we all wanted him sold.

  12. Fine defensive display from both teams explains. ..

    Think Holding and even more so Gabriel showed we can be safe in that area, Partey and Elbeny really locked middle well.

    We won playing well and as a unite is most important, positive.

    Think playing Ceballos behind attacking players may have provide them more; instead Willian.

    Partey Elneny
    Auba Laca Saka.

    I get Arteta urge to keep Saka & Auba on pitch but we can’t get best outa both playing one behind another.

    Both should be upfront, with Bellerin & Tierny flying forward too, it is hell to defend for any team, laca & Auba switching plays, even more so.

    Strange to never see him start what sound like hit, The Aubalacasaka! Scary for any team with our 2 back wingers, reminds of Reds.

    3 points vitals, we can fix, we have players to fight.

    Really hope Arteta keeps this CB pair and in no case bring back Luiz. We be fine then…

    1. Gabo and holding won all aerial duels today, Elneny no words more of these and the partey continues.

  13. I’m so happy guys. I and my people went to watch d match and I was d only arsenal fan among them. my two best friends, sister and brother re all Manu fans. It’s a pure joy to laugh at their face. I’m just imagining they won today, they would have ripped me to shreds. Thanks to God and d boys for saving and making my day

    1. Haha that makes it all the sweeter bud!! I hope you laid into them at the final whistle 😎

  14. I predicted a goal for Aubameyang yesterday. So glad he took the penalty perfectly and that was the winning goal.

    The defence with Gabriel, Tierney, Bellerin and Holding with an average age of just 24.
    We still have Mari, Chambers not fit.
    The defence is 80% complete.

    I believe today the boss has found his central midfield base with Partey and Elneny.

    1. Well that’s fcked my week 7 prediction week then 😂
      Had 6points after 4 games ,now it’s gone to pot .

      1. Haha unlucky dan, though if anyone is gonna fck your prediction its nice if spurs do it by dropping points 😋

      2. Was close to passing out – Bale has scored 😂
        Well seeing as they’ve fcked your predictions, Dan, maybe have next week off to get over it 🤣 ( A girl can try haha, I’m miles behind!!)

          1. Oh great Bale as now taking the shine off our win as the media will lap that sh1t up in tomorrow’s papers

        1. Looked for Dan’s prediction missed predicting this week I’ll catch up am sure I’ll beat dan to the relagation battle

  15. I think we will see more of this selection. 3-4-3 without the ball, 4-3-3 with the ball.

    Aubameyang, Lacazette, Willian,


    Elneny, Partey,

    Tierney, Gabriel, Holding, Bellerin,


    2nd team –

    Nelson, Nketiah, Pepe,


    Xhaka, Ceballos,

    Kolasinac, Luiz, Mustafi, Cedric,


    1. This article is just not fair we loss you moan we win you moan we draw you moan come on mate happiness only add to your age and free you some rinkled face……it’s 3points baby …….coyg

  16. This article is ill timed, we haven’t won at old Trafford in 14 years, n Ma has just achieved that,pls let’s savour the victory n complain about poor finishing next time.
    Also this issue of not giving arsenal credit for a job well done is irritating,u deflect our hard work by saying the opposing team played bad,pls our boys were dominant.coyg

  17. Must be the gloomy weather here in Sydney the virus, the possibility of four more years of Trump but I still can’t get how we lost to Leicester out of my system despite winning at Old Trafford.Besides the points the positives for me are that we have Partey,Saka and Tierney in our team. More good news, Xhaka, Mustafi and Kolasinac were not in the starting line up and the good performances from Holding and Elany.,two players who may not be dynamic but could be important bit players.I guess total redemption will come if we beat the Spuds and knock them off their high perch.

  18. I think Arsenal might have finally found their best eleven (from the current fit players).
    So, no Xhaka, no Ceballos and no Luiz.

    Auba got his goal, but we badly need Martinelli back to replace Lacazette. His extra pace could make a big dfference.

    It seems this season there are NO easy games in the Premier League, so a spot in the top 4 could be attainable; If we can score some goals.

    So Mikel, keep this 3-4-3 format and the rest of us will keep our fingers crossed.

    A good result!!!!

    1. Good one Sue. No surprises there, Dean has a tendency to get”involved”. Reads the game well and happily for us he was looking for the ball more than some of the United players.

  19. I was quite nervous, but the guys DESERVED it. They gave everything. Partey and Elneny controlled the midfield. Even Willian played well. Just want to see Laca’s confidence increase. Gabriel….what a player! It’s getting hard for teams to score against us. Hopefully Mari will start to get fit. Big thing…we must get a playmaker, a creative player to finish the jigsaw.

  20. I get that you are worried but enjoy the win, lol! We will become champions of England and Europe someday but it wont happen overnight😁 Trust the process!

  21. Mari who?and Soares who?
    Mari played only one game got injured. Soares is crap. They both got 4yrs contracts.

    We could’ve used their salaries and wages to purchase Auor but here we’re another waste of scarce resources

  22. Fantastic performance. I had predicted a Arsenal win, so so happy we got it. Agreed that our forward line has to be more clinical, because chances come far and few in the PL, so we must take them as and when they come. The best thing is that we are solid defensively and that is a sound base to build on. The attackers will start scoring soon, I am sure. Bring on Villa, Up the Gunners!

  23. Need to get 9 points from Villa and Leeds and wolves because after that it’s horrendous list of fixtures. I think we play spurs Chelsea and leicster in a row and then United again.

    1. No we have Burnley at home on 12th of December. Before that we have Spurs away. After Burnley we play Southampton at home.

      Then it’s Everton away, Chelsea home. Home game against United is at the end of January.

      Tough run of games nevertheless!

  24. Throughout the whole match I felt a sense of calm and that a win was on the cards. Doesn’t happen very often and I’m usually begging the ref to blow for full time

    As for papering over the cracks, the performance didn’t suggest that to me at all. That would mean a lucky win which yesterday’s game wasn’t

    Others have mentioned why we have to keep beating ourselves up… even when we win!! It was a really good result

    1. Sid: It was NOT a really good result. It was the perfect result. Winning an away game at Old Trafford for the first time in 14 years is a big accomplishment. This could be the confidence builder that we need. Our boys played hard and there are many encouraging signs like the unexpected play of Elneny and Holding. There is also the affirmation that the new signees are as good or better than expected. Hopefully MA will open up the play even more and free up the players to show their talent. This is the first match in a while where we had more possession than the opposition.

  25. I always felt the idea of Arteta playing 343 system yields results, specially against the big six, although to some extent it may reduce creativity. The main advantage of 343 system is it gives solidity in defence and a sense that the goal is well protected, so that even if the wingbacks go all out in attack, they go in the knowledge that the DM’s and the 3 defenders can be relied upon in case of a counter attack. Also, do not forget Arteta used Laca to press on Fred in the match yesterday, to reduce the outlet of Utd. which inspite of having a midfield diamond of 4 could not get many clear cut breaks. We nullified the creativity of Pogba and Bruno Fernandes to a large effect, a masterful Arteta stroke.

  26. We will score , no doubt about that . I think we lack understanding between the strikers and wing backs. Also Auba is bit relaxed sometimes

  27. Solidity is not a description I would normally use in the context of an Arsenal defence, but it did apply yesterday, principally because we defended from the front where Willian, Laca and Auba worked so hard when we didn’t have the ball.I would differ with those who suggest we played a 3-4-3 system throughout as Bellerin and the impressive Tierney ventured forward on numerous occasions.At the end of the day the system was effective and there is little doubt that, on the day, the better side won.Just a word concerning the central midfield duo of Partey and Elneny,they were immense and provided the power ,drive and energy that is just not there when Xhaka plays.Good player that he is, he simply cannot cover the ground like our huh did yesterday.For someone who I considered to be an good “back up” player, Elneny is flourishing under the Management of Arteta and his retention of the ball and decision making yesterday was too quality.Long may this form continue.

  28. As I said in some other articles, I think MA should consider playing Auba in ST and start giving Pepe, Nelson and other youngsters a chance to play in the left or right side.

    Laca is not doing much and Auba is losing his chances of scoring due to his role in creating chances for Laca or Nketiah, with the lack of true playmaker in our team, MA should shuffle the players around and I’m confident that someone will step up!

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