Arsene Wenger believes our second half performance against Manchester United deserved more than the point it earned us, but our slow start to the game cost us the win.
We endured a difficult first half at Old Trafford, with Louis van Gaal’s side dominating all over the pitch. Their high pressing forced us to turn over possession regularly, and Wenger’s tactics left something to be desired.
The Frenchman named an unchanged lineup once again, with Aaron Ramsey out on the right wing. The Welshman’s lack of pace and tendency to come inside meant not only did we lack width, but also that United were able to play with a high line and squeeze us in midfield.
Things changed in the second half however, with the home side struggling to keep up their pressing game, and Wenger introducing Theo Walcott and Jack Wilshere – pushing Ramsey back into midfield.
Walcott’s arrival was the main catalyst, and the England international combined with Ramsey for the goal.
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Wenger insists he was pleased with the performance, but regrets our slow start.
“I am pleased with the performance,” he said (via Arsenal.com).
“The only regret I have is that we didn’t take the three points in the second half. We started the first half slowly, Manchester United were sharper at the beginning, and we were a bit stretched as well width and length-wise.
“The second half we were more compact and we took over. We showed a great response and got a deserved point.”
Our clash with Manchester United was just like our season in many ways – a slow start seeing us fall behind, giving ourselves a mountain to climb in the second half.
We were unquestionably the better side in the second half, and arguably should have converted more of our chances. Even our goal was somewhat fortuitous in the end however, with Walcott’s deflected strike rescuing a point in the dying minutes.