clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Arsenal vs. Manchester United: The good, the bad, the ugly

Spoiler alert: 1/3 of this is going to be very short

that's .5 points per thumb
that's .5 points per thumb
Clive Rose/Getty Images

That was a game, wasn't it? Sort of? A point that was probably just about fair, but a welcome point nonetheless. There's a lot to unpack in this game, most of it more of the unpacking-after-a-month-in-a-backpack rather than the good kind, but anyway, here we go.


- Arsenal got a point. It was a point that through 60-odd minutes, they did nothing to deserve, but they did just enough to scrape a draw, which means they're still within touching distance of second, but a Manchester City win against Southampton on Sunday ends that hope; they have one hand on this year's Third Place Trophy. A win on Wednesday seals that trophy, while a point still leaves it technically up in the air, although United would have to overturn Arsenal's seven-goal-superior goal difference to claim third if Arsenal slip up Wednesday.

- The resilience of said point. Arsenal, to be charitable, played like there was nothing at stake for the first half - passes went wayward, there was no urgency, and there seemed to be no direction to what they were doing. But in the second half, they woke up a bit - they seemed to realize they had a job to do, and while it wasn't pretty, they did the job and got a point.


- Arsenal's inability to play through the midfield with Francis Coquelin running the show. They seemed bereft of ideas; they just kept running into crowds, and never once figured out that it'd be smarter to run (or pass) around said crowds.

- Arsenal seemed to not realize that Manchester United were giving them zero time on the ball, and as a result were forced into a lot of really bad, rushed decisions to try to get out of trouble quickly. MUFC did a great job of closing everyone down, and it really threw a wrench into Arsenal's plans, a wrench that it took them most of the game to find and remove.

- At the risk of reigniting the Great Goalkeeper Debate, David Ospina did not have the best game.


- Alexis Sanchez. Probably his worst game in an Arsenal shirt. He seemed to have forgotten the concept of positioning, his passes were generally a bit off (to put it mildly), and many of his giveaways put Arsenal in pretty immediate danger. Every good player has a bad game every now and again, so I'm not worried long-term, but that was an unpleasant display.

- Defending crosses. It was Arsenal's downfall most of last season and the first part of this one, but since about November things had gotten much better. Until, that is, Ashley Young put in a cross that the unmarked Ander Herrerra had time to look for, think about, wonder what his mom would think of his upcoming goal celebration, figure out where he wanted to go to dinner that night, and make plans for the rest of the weekend before casually slotting the ball home.


We were going to do a man of the match post as well, but was there really one? Second Half Ramsey was pretty good, but that's a Man Of The Half, so. Nacho was pretty good, Kos was decent, but beyond that, I'm just not convinced there was anyone MOTM worthy. So, it's time for a poll. Everyone loves polls! Just ask the British electorate! HEY NO POLITICS