Saturday, November 3, 2012

United 2 - 1 Arsenal


De Gea
Rafael   Ferdinand   Evans   Evra
Valencia(Nani)   Carrick   Cleverley(Anderson)   Young
Rooney   van Persie

RVP did not want to celebrate but Roo was having none of it
The score doesn't really do our performance any justice. We were head and shoulders above Arsenal and I honestly cannot recall De Gea having to make save. They never threatened our goal, except when Cazorla scored a beauty in the dying seconds. On that occasion, our impressive defence went to sleep and when the ball rocked the back of our net, De Gea looked absolutely livid. It's been a while since he last kept a clean sheet! He had absolutely no chance of saving Cazorla's shot. 

Anyhow, I'm quite glad with our display today. We showed some fine football at times and if it wasn't for our wasteful strikers (and of course some good saves from their goalie, whose name I forgot) we could have easily scored 3 more. In fact Fergie bemoaned our missed chances in his post-match interview. I was particularly impressed with Evra today. Amazingly, he scored another good header today and even more jaw-dropping is the fact that he never put a foot wrong during the game. It's been a while since I said that about our Evra, so well done to him. Rooney put in another lung busting midfield performance but his penalty was very very poor. We've missed so many penalties this year that I've lost count. Is it 5 penalties missed? Not sure. 

Missed 2 sitters. But found the net early on. 
Van Persie scored the goal which seems to confirm that the curse of conceding the early goal is finally over. We're now imposing that curse on the opposing teams. Scoring first is obviously a safer bet but I kind of miss witnessing a comeback every weekend! Hah! I was a tad worried with the performances of Carrick and Cleverley today. They played the ball too casually at times and, to some extent, I accept that a naive Cleverley will misplace the odd pass or two, but I don't expect a brilliant passer of the ball, i.e. Carrick, to play all those sloppy passes. Our wide men played well without shifting into an upper gear. Valencia had the beating of Santos all day long but our Tony didn't take full advantage. Anderson was another huge (excuse the pun) positive out of this match. His cross-field passes were almost Scholes-esque. After last Wed's performance, I hope that this is not just another false dawn and he finally full fills the potential that Fergie certainly believes he has. All our defenders had a good game but the stand out performer out of the back four was Evans. He was brilliant. Rock solid. 

The game was a far cry from the past United vs Arsenal games. United played quite well but Arsenal are poor...very poor. Their strike force isn't really a force. Wilshere was probably their best player, but he was justly sent off for two yellow cards. Their defence is OK but they just don't create any chances up front. Maybe that's the reason why our defenders had an excellent game at the back. Even though they conceded 8 against us last season, I think they were a better team last year. They will struggle.

We are now on top of the league since Chelsea slipped against Swansea. We'll probably stay at the top unless City win their game by more than 3 goals. Bring on Braga. 

FACTS

  • Arsenal registered their first shot on target against Manchester United in the 92nd minute of the match (Giroud).
  • There have been 10 pens in the PL games between Arsenal & Man United in the Wenger era, all at Old Trafford & 6 have been missed.
  • Manchester United have scored in their last 53 Premier League home games in a row, an all-time PL record.
  • Robin van Persie has scored seven goals and three assists in nine Premier League appearances for Manchester United

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