Arsenal vs Manchester United
Barclays Premier League
Kick off: February 12, 2014 7.45 PM BST
With both teams coming into this game off the back of disappointing results, this match was likely to be one that both teams put a bit of extra effort into. Rosicky and Gibbs were brought in for Arsenal, at the expense of Chamberlain and Monreal. The Spaniard I can certainly understand being replaced, as his game has dipped in the last few games. Chamberlain has been fantastic since his return however, and the only reason I can see for him being dropped is that he needs a rest.
The game started off lightning fast. Both teams pressing high up the pitch and trying to make things happen. It was almost another disaster start for Arsenal when Arteta was caught in possession in a dangerous area. It was a gift to Van Persie by our Captain, but thankfully Szczesny was out quickly to narrow the angle and smother the Dutchman’s shot.
Up the other end Arsenal almost got on the score-sheet themselves. A mazy run and a shot from Wilshere, blocked for a corner by Smalling. Giroud outmanoeuvred Vidic in the box and got a free header from the corner, but he headed it wide; both sides probably should have scored.
Giroud’s hold up play was fantastic, and he looked really up for the game. He seemed to be getting the better of Vidic in every single way. He needed more players around him to pick up the knock downs, but it was a great performance from him so far.
Rosicky troubled De Gea with a massively deflected shot, but the Czech international was having a bit of an off game for the most part. He was largely responsible for the break down of a lot of Arsenal attacks, picking the wrong pass, or simply misplacing the ball.
United were getting forward down their right side regularly, Rafael putting in several decent crosses. The Brazilian went down injured late in the half, after coming in hard over the top of Giroud, and landing awkwardly as the two went down.
Overall it was a half of many half chances, but after the opening five minutes, nothing clear cut. Arsenal clearly lacking runners in behind, Özil regularly having no option but to play the ball backwards. Both teams looked capable of scoring, and hopefully the second half will be more exciting.
Sagna Mertesacker Koscielny Gibbs
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