Match Report: Arsenal 2-1 Manchester United

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Arsenal 2-1 Manchester United

Manchester United came away with nothing from the Emirates after a fascinating game of football.

Samir Nasri, Arsenal’s summer signing from Marseille, scored a brace as United lost the game 2-1, with youngster Rafael Da Silva getting United’s goal. Sir Alex Ferguson will be disappointed that United couldn’t convert more of the sixteen chances on goal, however will acknowledge, from a pure footballing point of view, the brilliance on show.

United got off to a great start after some nervy defending from Silvestre who played a short backpass to Almunia, who proceeded in picking the ball up. Anderson struck the freekick which deflected into the path of Michael Carrick who narrowly shot wide. Arsenal came forward with two great chances of their own. Clichy crossed for Bentner to head over whilst Nasri also played in a good ball from the left – which was again missed by the Dane.

Anderson was industrious in the midfield, winning the ball deep and bursting forward with sublime dynamism that overshadowed Fabregas. Rooney had a superb chance to make it 1-0 after some good work on the right wing by Ronaldo who cut the ball back for Rooney to blaze the ball over the bar. However, it was Arsenal who scored first with a deflected shot past the kneeling Edwin Van Der Sar. Berbatov’s weak header fell to Nasri on the edge of the box and he struck a left footed shot which cannoned over Neville and flew into the back of the net. Nasri had been tormenting Neville all afternoon with his intelligent attacking play.

The second half saw Arsenal double their lead with a superb team goal – which resulted in Nasri getting his second. Fabregas slipped the ball through to Nasri, after a good run from Walcott brought Vidic out of position, and the French international fired the ball past the stranded Van Der Sar. Sir Alex Ferguson would have wanted United to get at Arsenal straight away after the half time interval and the goal would have angered the United manager.

United then began to press and Ronaldo missed a glorious opportunity to make it 2-1 when he volleyed wide of the goal. Ronaldo should have scored and the chance basically summed up United’s day. Arsenal played United at their own game with some smooth counter attacking play – which resulted in a number of Arsenal players breaking forward looking for a third.

Carrick was booked for kicking Almunia in the face – which was completely accidental and it was amazing that Howard Webb gave Carrick a yellow card. Webb was quite poor throughout the game and didn’t give a freekick to Diaby, who was brought down by Carrick in the first half, or give a penalty against Clichy for handball and lastly Arsenal should have been awarded a penalty for a tug on Nasri’s shirt by Vidic.

Da Silva replaced Neville, who had a poor afternoon by his standards. Da Silva injected an attacking presence from the right side and also showed his defensive qualities with a superb tackle on the half way line as Arsenal tried to break. Rooney was also withdrawn for Carlos Tevez, who really should have been given more time on the pitch and possibly at the expense of Berbatov rather than Rooney.

United got a goal back in the dying minutes with a superbly struck chest and volley by the substitute Da Silva. It was a superb goal that gave United hope of salvaging something from the game having seen that there was to be six minutes of injury time due to the Alumnia incident.

United couldn’t find that break through and Arsenal won the game 2-1. It was a great game of football to watch and obvious, from a United point of view, the result was disappointing – considering that United now have only one point from a possible nine having played the main title rivals away from Old Trafford. United now lie eight points off Liverpool but United can close that to five if the game in hand is won. United had sixteen shots against Arsenal and dominated possession however came away with nothing. Ferguson has commented on United’s inability to convert the vast amount of chances that have fallen to the players – he will look for a better conversion from the game against Stoke City next Saturday.

Source: (Stretford-end)

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8 Responses to “Match Report: Arsenal 2-1 Manchester United”

  1. GoonerCoops says:

    Well balanced article, agree with your views on the ref as we saw some very strange decisions. An all round breath-taking game of football by the two best footballing teams in the country. On another day united could have won this game but it re-emphasises that at this level when you don’t take your chances you get punished.
    Good luck for the rest of the season and if we don’t win the title then hopefully you boys will.

    P.s. I’m sick of seeing the scousers fluking 3 points every week!!

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  2. Hakan says:

    Brilliant game. I thought I’d never say this, but the quality of the entertainment was so high that I’m not even too disappointed that United lost.

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  3. kurt says:

    i hate to say it but arsenal deservred to win.the played excelent today should of been 3 up if that penalty was awarded.utd are the biggest cheats i think i have ever seen.how can you plastic supporters cheer them on.i hate arsenal but man utd are a disgrace in every way and they are ruining our game. the argue every decision.they all dive even fergie is a vile cheat you glory boys are a disgrace to the prem.berbatov dives ronaldo say no more,what a pathetic man.rooney is just a cheat in every way.vidic hard.he goes down like he has been shot anderson cheat neville cheat van der sar cheat everytime he loses a goal he puts his arm up for offside.fucking cheating freaks up the spurs.

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  4. Ken says:

    As GoonerCoops said, a very well balanced report. Like Roy Keane would say, all credit to the author..

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  5. GunsRBlazin says:

    I’ve always liked this fixture, as generally it is reffed fairly! On this occasion the refereeing was indeed poor, Carrick should never have been booked, he was entitled to go for the ball and that pretty much sums up Webb’s day, that said both sides could feel agrieved for some poor desicions. Arsenal had some luck in the chances that United missed and i’m very encouraged at the Gunners’ performance, if we were going to lose this fixture it would be because every single Arsenal player didn’t play to their very best using every fibre of their bodies, the example being Walcott winning the ball from Evre and then chasing it to keep the ball in play to clear! Arsenal didn’t do this against spurs, but then on this day Arsenal were playing the English and European champions and as Man U are all too aware, teams will try harder against the currently best side in England/Europe! That’s no slur but indeed a compliment! I for one, am made up that my side has beaten the champions, but this single result is not enough to win us the league, but does galvanise my faith that Arsenal do indeed have a quality within the side to at least achieve something!
    This was truly a classic game of football, and reminds me of when we were actually beaten by United in 2002 at Highbury, the standard of football was so high you kind of forgot the result! Coincidently that game ended 2-1!

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  6. All good comments guys, except for Kurt, if you want to discuss the reaction to Ronaldo you can do so in the forum but this isn’t really the place to do so. At all levels of football you appeal for things and I don’t believe that United do it any more of less than other big clubs.

    And Ken very good I liked that. :)

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  7. miele says:

    Again, a very balanced and and comprehensive report. Did u jot down notes while watching / rewatch the game?

    Really exciting game, I ran out of swear words. The heart still hurts tho’, the scousers and then this.

    Please3x let them play with more heart and dedication for the return fixtures!

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  8. Miele – lets just say I have a good memory – :-) Although Yolkie also write the match reports – you may want to ask him how he does his.

    Gutted with the result but we’ve played all three main title rivals away from home now – so we have to make sure we beat all three at home.

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