Arsenal travelled to Old Trafford to reignite their rivalry with Manchester United, this time with Mourinho at the helm of the Red Devils. Hector Bellerin’s injury made way for Carl Jenkinson to mark his first Premier League start, Ramsey started on the wing while Coquelin and Elneny partnered up in midfield. While Manchester United’s first choice centre-back partnership of Chris Smalling and Eric Bailly was replaced by Marcos Rojo and Phil Jones due to injuries. Zlatan Ibrahimovic was not in the squad due to suspension, so Marcus Rashford started as a centre forward for United.
Both the teams made a lively start to the match but Arsenal’s impact on the game seemed to wear off towards the end of the first-half. Cech made some decent saves but was beaten when Darmian’s cut back found Mata, who made no mistake to put the ball in the back of the net. Arsenal seemed to be running out of ideas and looked rather dull on the ball in the second-half. Arsenal fans were however gifted a goal in the 89th minute, thanks to a classic Giroud header.
Arsenal’s game might not have went the way they wanted it to, but in a match where they secured a valuable away point, let’s have a look at Arsenal’s ‘Man of the Match’ contenders.
A) Alexis Sanchez
The doubts over whether Sanchez will start were eradicated when he was declared fit and was part of the starting XI. He was a major part of Arsenal’s lively start to the game, and could have got a goal early on when a short corner came to Monreal, whose deflected ball was flicked on by Walcott but Sanchez looked to play Ramsey in, when he could have got something out of it if he’d gone for goal. He looked quick and sharp on the ball throughout the course of the match but could not produce a significant threat to test De Gea.
B) Peter Cech
Arsenal’s goal was in safe hands, thanks to Peter Cech’s dynamic display. He made some very good saves to deny Manchester United, which proved to be vital in giving Arsenal a valuable point. He was quick to gather the ball when needed and was successful in keeping United’s threat silent. He’s come out on top whenever Arsenal seem to struggle creating chances, making valuable saves at the other end.
C) Olivier Giroud
As soon as he came on, Giroud’s desire to win the ball was visible. His work rate and effort did eventually bear him when Oxlade-Chamberlain darted past Marcus Rashford in the closing stages and produced an absolute peach which was headed in by Giroud to beat De Gea with Arsenal’s only shot on target. He’s been a second choice striker behind Sanchez but after some impressive cameos, Giroud might find himself starting again soon.
Peter Cech’s services in goal makes him Arsenal’s ‘Man of the Match’ for today, as he played an important part in getting Arsenal a vital away point.
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