Arsenal take a 1-1 draw away from Old Trafford, but some fans will certainly have felt like they could have taken more, myself included.
The team line-ups left a lot to be imagined with the likes of Saka starting for Arsenal, while Tuanzebe, Andreas Pereira and Scott McTominay in the opponents side meaning there was plenty of youth from the academy’s in such a big game, with the everpresent Marcus Rashford also representing his side’s homegrown talents.
The first half was more about wastefulness from both sides in reality, although Matteo Guendouzi and Andreas Pereira were doing well in midfield to break up each sides play, and just as the game looked to be destined to reach the break tied, a goal comes from nowhere. Scott ‘McTerminator’ is the surprise name to break the deadlock. The midfielder has opened up to launch a shot towards goal, only for the ball to clip off Sokratis and past Leno, with the German having had a steady yet comfortable half prior to that.
Having had bright spells and seemingly the better team on paper, this was not the half-time teamtalk we had been expecting.
No changes at the interval, but things did look brighter after the break. Our team was causing much more problems for the United back-four, and the previously named Andreas has seemingly disappeared off the pitch, and before long, we equalise!
Of course it wouldn’t be Old Trafford without the refereeing decisions to go against us, but thanks to VAR Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang has his goal given back to him, with the replay showing that the £80 Million Harry Maguire was clearly keeping him on. Game on!
Almost straight from the kick-off and we are at United again, and I can barely believe my eyes as the ball goes over the bar. Chambers and Guendouzi combine perfectly to take Tuanzebe out of the game and leave Calum out wide all alone and he finds Saka just outside the nine-yard box, only for a slight deflection to send the ball just over the woodwork.
The game started to slow down again shortly after, and with 15 minutes to go some more young blood is thrown into try and win the game, namely Mason Greenword for United and Willock for Arsenal(who replaces Saka who has shown plenty today). Suppose I should mention that the £60M Fred also came on for United but you know…
Normally coming away from Old Trafford with a point would be a good result, but as the match was beginning to wind down I started to think that this was a big opportunity to break our hoo-doo of away games against the rest of the top six. This was a great opportunity to beat United, and would have seriously left us with a clear advantage over the Red Devils, but there is always time for one last twist…
90th minute of the match and United have a free-kick RIGHT on the edge of our box. It is the exact spot you want a last minute free-kick to be taken from, and we are on the receiving end, and Leno saves at his near post!
Then at the other end we have our chance, only for Willock to fail to get a clean contact on the ball as we watch it dribble over to the goalkeeper, but wait… We now have a last-minute free kick down alongside the box… Surely not… And no… Ceballos fails to beat the first man.. Game done. Fair result in fairness, but we had more than our fair share of chances to have won that game.
Were Arsenal the better side? Is that draw a disappointment?