Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho looked a frustrated figure post match after watching his side draw 1-1 with Arsenal, after conceding a late Olivier Giroud equaliser. The home side were dominant throughout the match and took the lead on the 68th minute after a smart finish from Juan Mata. The Spaniard gentled stroked the ball past the Petr Cech after latching onto a cross from Ander Herrera. The visitors hadn’t had a single shot on goal until the equaliser in the 89th minute from Giroud.
Antonio Valencia was excellent down the right hand side, whilst Jose Mourinho was full of praise for the centre half pairing of Marcos Rojo and Phil Jones, who handled the energetic Alexis Sanchez well.
Arsenal hadn’t won in the league at Old Trafford for ten years and looked as if they were going home empty handed after an impressive display from United. The first half was pretty even, although United forced Petr Cech into a number of saves. Anthony Martial came close, whilst Juan Mata struck a beautiful left footed shot after a neat pass from Paul Pogba, only for the Arsenal keeper to thwart the Spaniard.
In the second half, it was all United – with Marcus Rashford making some good runs and looking to take on the Arsenal backline. Martial, who has suffered a loss of form since his scintillating debut season, looked a threat in the second half and it will not be long before he is again running constantly at the right back and scorings goals by cutting in from the left hand side. Herrera looked comfortable along Paul Pogba in the centre of the park, whilst Michael Carrick offered stability sitting in front of the backline.
Arsenal were well below par and were lucky to come away with a point, despite a great piece of play by substitute Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain down the right hand side. Oxlade-Chamberlain was brought on at right back late on and received he ball on the touchline. He ghosted past Rashford, who should have done more to stop the cross, before putting in a beautiful ball to the back post for fellow substitute Giroud to nod home. It was Arsenal’s first and only shot on target.
Mourinho spoke after the match that he felt his United side should have won “two or three nil” against the North London side, whilst praising the “phenomenal” defensive setup:
“If we analyse the last three matches at home: against Stoke we have to win five or six nil but we draw. Against Burnley we have to win five or six nil but we draw. And today we have to win two or three nil and we draw. So, I think we are the unluckiest team. I don’t want to say they didn’t want to win. I prefer to say they had no chances to win. They couldn’t be Arsenal the way they normally play.”
“We were phenomenal from a defensive point of view. Phenomenal. The way we pressed, the way we controlled their counter attacks, the way we controlled their best players. We were phenomenal. When we had the ball we payed well, we had chances to kill the game.”