|Wojciech Szczesny was faultless as Arsenal drew with rivals United|
It was a game of very few positives and due to the result at the weekend it made it incredibly hard to focus on them. Wojciech Szczesny played a blinder in goal and kept out van Persie twice. One save was absolutely sensational as he tipped the ball onto the bar (pictured) with just over ten minutes to play. It was enough to earn the Polish stopper the man of the match award as without him, Arsenal probably would've lost the game. David De Gea was equally as good at the opposite end though. He made some great saves including one at each post off the boot of Santi Cazorla.
Meanwhile the defence stretched their remarkable run of games without conceding at home. We now haven't conceded at home this year, a run that stretches back to a Deulofeu goal for Everton in December. Mertesacker and Koscielny were at their best again after slipping up against Liverpool. Meanwhile Kieran Gibbs' return to the team was welcomed as he added more solidness to the back line.
The main issue from the game though was that of Olivier Giroud. I felt like crying watching him play last night. With Theo missing we really didn't have any sort of pace in the team with the likes of Podolski and the Ox also on the bench. Giroud constantly plays with his back to goal and although it initially looked as though his hold up play is good, he constantly loses the ball and is very labored. He had three great chances that could've put us ahead but failed to take any of them. Make no mistake about it, I like Giroud and he got off to a great start in terms of goals at the beginning of the season. However what could cost us the title is our strikers. Mesut Ozil would have so many assists if we had a striker that was willing to make runs in behind and peel off the defenders. Giroud's movement off the ball is good but he doesn't make the runs required to score goals. It's becoming hugely frustrating.
Arsenal's teams of the past have been one of the biggest threats on the break but due to the lack of pace we didn't cause much trouble to the United defence. The build-up seems to be very slow and it really is hindering the way we play. The fact that we've gone so many games in a row at home without scoring in the first half sums that up.
We have more tough games to come though and we'll need to improve desperately. Liverpool in the FA Cup this weekend is coming up, a good chance for revenge. Next week is a huge clash at home in the Champions League as we take on Bayern Munich in the first leg of our last 16 tie.
The teams line-ups:
Arsenal: Szczesny, Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Gibbs, Arteta, Wilshere, Rosicky(74), Ozil, Cazorla, Giroud.
Subs: Fabianski, Jenkinson, Oxlade-Chamberlain(74), Podolski, Bendtner, Sanogo.
Man United: De Gea, Rafael(45), Smalling, Vidic, Evra, Carrick, Cleverley, Valencia(82), Rooney, Mata(75), van Persie.
Subs: Lindegaard, Ferdinand(45), Buttner, Fellaini, Young(82), Januzaj(75), Hernandez.
My man of the match: Wojciech Szczesny.
Referee: Mark Clattenburg.