It was a painful day for Arsene Wenger and everyone else concerned with Arsenal when Manchester United came to the Emirates stadium in late December, but only because of the result. The manager spoke after the game about how he was happy about the performance and believed that we should have won the game. Meanwhile Louis van Gaal and the United players could hardly believe their luck after they somehow got away with all three points.
Stats do not tell you everything as we know, but the fact that they took the lead before registering a shot on target speaks volumes, while Arsenal had 23 shots in total and nine of them were on target but we did not score until Giroud´s piledriver in the 90th minute.
It was just one of those days when things did not go our way, like the collision between Gibbs and Szczesny that saw our keeper have to go off and left Gibbs unable to get out of the way of Valencia´s wayward shot which defelcted off our left back for the opener.
And despite the fact that Arsenal were a bit naive in pushing too hard for a leveller and allowing Rooney to steal a second, Wenger would be happy with a similar performance from us at Old Trafford in the FA cup, as he explained to the Arsenal website, because he does not think that we could get so little of what we deserve a second time in a row.
The Frenchman said, “We came out of the first game with some frustration because we had produced a performance and didn’t get a result. That can happen in football. But if you produce a performance, nine times out of 10 you will win the game. That’s what we want to reiterate.
“It’s an interesting and exciting draw. We are the holders of this cup and we want to do absolutely everything to keep it. At some stage you have [to play the bigger teams].
“Last year we played Liverpool, Everton, Tottenham and that’s what you do to get through. It’s a good opportunity for us that we want to take.”
I keep expecting United´s luck to run out but as we saw against Preston last weekend, they keep getting the rub of the green. Having said that, Arsenal are playing better than we did in November and our first team should be stronger. When you consider that we had Monreal at centre back in that game and no Coquelin or Ozil, while Cazorla and Giroud were not fit enough to start, you can see why the boss is looking forward to the game and confident of ending our poor run against United. And what better time to do it?