Everyone expected Arsenal to be soundly beaten when Wenger named a side full of youngsters and second string players for todays game at Old Trafford, but we actually came surprisingly close to getting our first away point from our last six games until being undone by Fellaini in added time.
It was a surprise that Wenger played the rookie Mavroponas instead of Holding in defence, and Maitland-Niles and Nelson were also given rare run outs in the first team, but all three were very impressive considering our opponents and the opposition. Okay we lost in the end but Wenger was very pleased with the way our reserves played, and even Iwobi looked impressive after being out of form most of this year.
“It was a good performance,” Wenger told Sky Sports. “It reflects a little our away season. We had chances and on the counter we did not use our opportunities as well as we could have.
“It was very positive for the young team, but it is very disappointing in the dressing room and I think in the last 20 minutes you can see that some of the players are not used to that pace and intensity.
“It is good to see them in this atmosphere – who can win challenges.
“You can know their level, but you see what they can produce. It was hard to name a bad performance in our side.”
It is unusual for us to praise our players in yet another away defeat, but looking at how these youngsters played, and I include Chambers as well in the praise being given out. The defence looked much stronger than we have with Koscielny and Mustafi have this season, and perhaps Wenger should be brave on Thursday and play them again. If they can perform like that against Man United at Old Trafford, why not against Atletico in Spain?