Manchester United Vs Arsenal Match Report

Posted by Saim Sunday, August 30, 2009
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Manchester United fought back from a goal deficit to beat title rivals Arsenal 2-1 @ Old Trafford demonstrating the sort of fighting mentality which sets apart champions from good teams

On a night when United where clearly second best for atleast the whole of the first half and just about shaded the second, they showed the guts and character to fight and grill out a victory. The epitome of this performance was none other than the grizzly young Scot Darren Fletcher who is fast assuming the mantle of midfield general for Manchester United. Covering every inch of the turf, winning balls from the opposition and basically tackling every moving dark blue dressed object on the field, Fletcher put in a performance which would definitely go a long way in making the world outside Mancunia take notice.

Along with Fletcher, it was the old warrior Giggsy and the increasingly one man scoring army Wayne Rooney who turned the game on it's head in 30 captivating minutes. Ryan Giggs put in two delightful balls leading to the two winning goals while Wayne Rooney assumed the mantle of penalty taker and coolly dispatched off the ball from the spotkick. Mention must be made also of a critical save from Foster just at the start of the second half which kept the champions in the game. And of course the biggest contributor to the cause was Diaby who headed in a brilliant header albeit in the wrong net to hand United the lead.

However, what finished as a good victory had started pretty badly with the hosts getting outpassed and outmaneuvered in the first half by some slick Arsenal movement. Andrei Arshavin hit a thunderbolt in the United net seconds after being denied a pretty clear cut penalty appeal giving the hosts a deserved lead at half time. The lacklustre display from United should go down to many things foremost among them being Sir Alex's decision to go with the lone striker up top and asking Giggs to be the support striker in attack and the extra man in midfield when out of possession. While this may have worked well with a younger Giggs, the 35 year old is now not in the position to take on such a demanding job and he went on to have a pretty forgetful first half. Alongside Michael Carrick had another bad day in the office where in he lost possession and misplayed passes on numerous occasions. Ben Foster would be the first to admit that he should have done much better on the goal he conceded and Antonio Valencia has a long way to go to be classified as a good winger. His performance yesterday was that of an average industrious winger.

So, while the game was won and crucial three points were earned by Manchester United, it would be a fallacy to assume that all is well at the heart of Old Trafford...there are serious questions and many players need to raise their game substantially. 

What should be the 1st choice midfield combo for United?