A Bittersweet Defeat as De Gea and Marinner defy Arsenal

Arsenal 1-3 Man United

Review

I’m not sure about anybody else, but this loss for me was a tolerable one.

No fan ever likes to lose, naturally.

But bar some individual errors, I think we attacked well throughout. Our passing was crisp, and our attacking players were sharp.

Though this really is a bittersweet defeat. We played well in large parts, but caused our own downfall here.

First-half/second-half

United went two-nil up in 20 minutes, and capitalised on two inane defensive errors.

Koscielny, a natural stalwart for us over several years, executed some bad play to lead to Valencia scoring.

Moreover, they scored again from another error, via Lingard.

We made numerous chances but due to the top performance by de Gea, we just could not get a foot-in.

Best Keeper in Europe

Lacazette’s goal was well-taken, though the third goal was tough to swallow, considering our dominance at that point. It was also after a wondrous double save by Gea, from both Sanchez and Lacazette.

Was it smash and grab? Possibly. Though I do believe a draw would have been a fairer result.

Pogba was sent off for a stamp on Bellerin late in the game, and from then Jose really did park the bus. It was a siege on the United goal, though we lacked the incisiveness to break through.

Nasty

Impressions/player ratings

Jose in the past has thoroughly “out-tacticted” Wenger. Today, I don’t believe this is the case.

Two great defensive errors cost us, and their third goal was poor tracking back by all defenders.

We showed the attacking impetus, tenacity, and guile, to score numerous goals here. However, de Gea is the best goalkeeper in the league, possibly in Europe, and he saved United’s behind today. If it were not for him, then we would have won this comfortably.

Many non-Gooners wonder why we moan a lot, and it’s because of instances like this. We often play well in games, but then commit inane errors that cost us badly.

This was a tolerable defeat, and not like the Liverpool game earlier. I said that the City game was, to use a historical analogy, like the film “300” and not “Zulu Dawn”. It’s the same again here, largely because we put in a decent performance.

Moreover, the referee did make some critical errors, namely in not awarding us a penalty when Lacazete was hauled down and later when Welbeck was brought down.

Not helped by Ref

Wenger also warrants praise, for being adventurous in putting Giroud, Welbeck, and Lacazette at the same time.

Ozil was very good for us, though Alexis was very weak.

I do believe with more performances like this, Wenger would get fewer critics.

It’s often we don’t show the heart, fight, or passion in various games. Today, we did. Though in some ways it was “same old Arsenal”, in that our self-destructive complex kicked in as it very often does.

Defence

Cech 7, Monreal 6, Mustafi 5, Koscielny 5, Bellerin 6, Kolasinac 5.

Midfield

Xhaka 5, Ramsey 7.

Attack

Sanchez 4, Ozil 8, Lacazette 8, Welbeck 5, Giroud 5

 

Man of the match

MOTM

Ozil

He did well today, and showed the energy we require from him on a far more consistent basis.

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