Welcome to my Arsenal blog for the 2015/16 season; here you can check out my thoughts on the current goings on at the club.
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Thursday, 13 February 2014

Arsenal bounce back but fail to beat United

Arsenal were left bitterly disappointed after they came away from their game against Manchester United with a solitary point in a scrappy bore draw at the Emirates. After the drubbing against Liverpool it was vitally important to bounce back and in a way we did by not losing and keeping a clean-sheet. However, it was a massive chance to regain top spot missed. Chelsea had drew with West Brom the day before and had we won we would've gone top again. Meanwhile it was probably the best possible time to face a Man United side, but once again we failed to beat a so called 'top side'. Arsenal made two changes to the side from the weekend as Kieran Gibbs finally regained his left back spot whilst big game player Tomas Rosicky came in for the Ox. Yaya Sanogo was also on the bench after five months out on the treatment table.
Wojciech Szczesny was faultless as Arsenal drew with rivals United
It was one of the most frustrating performances of the season and we once again failed to score against United this season. Like with the game against Chelsea in December, Wenger looked afraid of losing and therefore didn't take the nessercary risks that perhaps would've won us the game. The same could be said for Moyes though and it was no surprise that it fizzled out into a goalless draw.

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.
Attendance: 60,021.   

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