So Wenger’s reserves came up against the mighty forces of Jose Mourinho’s Man united, who were looking to gain some more points in their race to ensure second place in the League, and they didn’t expect to have many problems against Arsenal’s much changed team.
But the game started quite evenly and in the first quarter hour it wass was end to end but neither side really getting to test the keepers, until Pogba decided to take a run down the middle. Granit Xhaka did a comedy slide which was easily dodged by the United midielder and sent it to the wing. The resulting ball into the box landed on Sanchez’s head and he was only stopped as a defender deflected it onto the post. But the bounce ended up perfectly for Pogba to finish his own move off, with Ospina left with no chance at all.
At least Alexis didn’t get the satisfaction of scoring against us, but Mhkitaryan had a chance for revenge just four minutes later but sent it just wide of the post. Not much later than that Granit Xhaka got his customary yellow card for a blatant pull back for no reason at all and puts himself in danger of another sending off.
The rest of the half was quite open but other than a couple of weak headers from PEA and Nelson we didn’t test De Gea at all, but United were taking advantage of the wide spaces on the wings and were looking much more dangerous, and Ashley Young sent a slammer against Ospina’s post although I’m not sure he meant a shot! The possession was pretty even at the end of the first 45 but United had the lions share of attempts on goal.
The Gunners astarted the second period lively and after Lukaku was injured and replaced by Rashford it looked like United switched off for a minute and suddenly Mhki was left with just one defender to beat. He rolled it through his legs and into the corner and Arsenal were back in the game. 1-1.
United woke up then and the Gunners dropped back to defensive formation, but it was Mhki again who had the next big chance but blasted it far and wide. Arsenal don’t look so under the cosgh any more at all and it is back to 50/50 play.
With half an hour the game still seems pretty even but with Kolasinac going down injured Wenger is forced to put on Monreal, and he adds Danny welbeck in place of Nelson as well as we look for the winner.
It was Welbeck that had the next chance as he robbed a United defender and tried a long shot, but it still didn’t test De Gea. We went into the last 15 minutes with neither side rweally creating much but United seem o have resorted to throwing balls in from the wing to try and find Fellaini, but nothing dangerous has come so far. As a last roll of the dice Wenger takes off Mhki and adds Joe Willock in a very hopeful move.
The game continues without anything exciting happening so let’s recap on the performances. Xhaka has improved a lot in the second half, and Chambers and Mavropolous have been looking solid. The Greek lad doesn’t look at all overawed by his debut.
But Arsenal seem happy with the draw with United looking just a bit more lively but still no penetration. Mourinho won’t be happy with a point but with Liverpool drawing yesterday they seem assured of second place anyway but the United players are still going for it. One of their crosses from the wing finally hits Fellaini but his header comes off the post and Rashford gets the rebound from an offside position. Both sides only have 4 added minutes to break the deadlock and Unitd carry on pressing. Suddenly Fellaini gets another header in the box and this time he manages it to steer it past Ospina and Arsenal are undone by a sucker punch in extra time..
Arsenal reserves were unlucky and did themselves proud, but Wenger gets another defeat at Old Trafford and we now have lost all six away games this year. Another broken record for the outgoing boss…