United 1 - 2 Arsenal
Valencia Smalling Rojo(Januzaj) Shaw(Jones)
Di Maria(s/o) Herrera(Carrick) Blind Young
|Decent game from our captain|
And we're out of the FA Cup. With most of the big guns out of the cup, I was feeling really optimistic about winning it this year. When we got Arsenal at home I wasn't too disheartened. This Arsenal side is decent but nothing more. We've seen last week how ordinary they are when they were humiliated by Monaco at the Emirates. Today's match had that big game feeling which has been missing from Old Trafford for quite some time. It was a must win. Our only hope of silverware.
I was quite confident going into the game but here I am after two terrible mistakes and a stupid red card feeling rather down and disillusioned with a club that has given me countless ecstatic moments in the past. At present this football club, or rather this team, is evidently still a work in progress but I thought we showed a few glimpses of good football today during the first half. We were in control during the first 45 minutes and had more than 60% of the possession. Arsenal got in front after some extremely poor defending but Rooney leveled after heading home a tremendous Di Maria cross. Di Maria had a decent first half in spite of failing to beat his marker.
We were absolute wank during the second half. Herrera and Shaw were taken off and I think the substitutions upset the rhythm of the team. Too many long balls. Too many misplaced passes. Too much diving. Arsenal looked more dangerous but weren't anything special either. They only got the winner because Valencia underhit a pass back to the keeper. Welbeck, of all people, got to Valencia's ball, got past the keeper and won them the game. I absolutely didn't mind him celebrating. I've always thought it is rather stupid to not celebrate when you score against your ex-team. If you loved that team so much why did you leave? A bit of a big deal was made on Twitter because Welbeck celebrated his goal but as long as his celebrations did not show any disrespect towards Man Utd and the fans, why the hate?
|A Man Utd attack that led to a Man Utd sending off|
It was a tad embarrassing seeing our players go down so easily today. Di Maria was one of the culprits as he decided to dive to the floor or over react to a trailing leg when staying on his feet would have been a better option. Because of his decision to go down easily, we ended with a player less on the field when we should have been attacking. I'm all out against players over reacting to soft tackles but, to be fair, Michael Oliver also overreacted to Di Maria's tug. Yes, you shouldn't lay your hands on the referee but what on earth did that push do to the ref? Dislocate his shoulder? I think Rojo's tackle on Cazorla was much more serious than Di Maria's push on the ref, yet they both got a yellow card for their offenses. I'm not condoning Di Maria's behaviour, I'm just saying that there are much more serious offenses that go un-noticed during a football game. Sometimes refs try to control a game by the book when common sense suggests otherwise. Anyhow, with Angel suspended, I hope Januzaj will now take his chance to shine against Tottenham.
So it's another trophyless year. If I had to choose between finishing in the top 4 and winning the Fa Cup, I'd have chosen the former all day long. Winning the FA Cup is obviously something to cherish but the perks of finishing in the top four overshadow an FA Cup triumph nowadays. We were better during the first half and Arsenal were better during the second. In the end Arsenal won because of two defensive mistakes. Well played to them. Hopefully we'll beat them when we face them in the league. Huge games coming up now. It's time for van Gaal and our players to stop the excuses and pass these tough tests. Come on United!
P.S Bravo De Gea for yet another two world class saves.