Former Arsenal captain Robin van Persie rose highest to meet a Wayne Rooney corner and directed his header inside the far post in the 27th minute at Old Trafford as the visitors struggled to get a foothold in the game.
The Gunners improved after half time and created a number of chances but failed to break down a stubborn United defence and Sagna concedes that Arsene Wenger’s men were made to pay for a slow start to the game against the defending champions.
Speaking to the Arsenal official website, he said:
After playing like that during the first half, we couldn’t expect more. The only positive today is we kept playing during the second half, we showed them we were a better team but we had to do this all through the game and we started playing too late.
We wanted to finish [the week] on a good note, we didn’t, so it’s a bit hard to take. That is football, I think we learn about our team, about football as well.
If we don’t give the maximum and if you lose decisive challenges you put yourself in trouble and that’s what happened during the first half.
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But I want to think positive, I want to keep looking forward, I want to think we are first and we want to stay first. The best way to do it is to respond well on the next game.
The Frenchman’s crossing was one of the reasons for Arsenal’s improvement in the second half and the right back was happy with his contribution. He added:
Yes, I think we created some nice chances. Unfortunately we didn’t score.
We need to keep working hard, I need to keep working hard to try to serve the forward players as much as I can. I think I did quite well. Now we’re going into the international week and we’re going to be ready to start again from the Southampton game.
Arsenal started very poorly in the first half but came back a lot better in the second but couldn’t convert and consequently their 15 game unbeaten away streak ends.
This game presented an opportunity to deal another blow to United’s title challenge, but losing to them on the weekend isn’t the end of the world for the Gunners. Arsenal have already shown their mettle against the top sides and losing to United after a difficult week with the squad hampered by sickness is not going to suddenly derail their chances of winning the league.
The Gunners were brilliant and played with high intensity against Dortmund and Liverpool, so it was understandable if they were unable to keep that momentum going in a third consecutive game, they were a bit jaded. Hopefully they will come back all guns blazing against Southampton.
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