Football’s two fiercest rivals faced each other once again this season. Arsenal has won the previous fixture 1-0 at Old Trafford, we’re looking to repeat the same feat at home. Manchester United have faced a setback midweek against Sheffield United, who wanted to get back to the winning ways. In their last 4 PL encounters with Man Utd, Arsenal have won 3 and drawn 1. A win for Arsenal would take them closer to the Top 4 and for Manchester United, a win would take them a point behind the top spot.
Defense: Bellarin, Holding, David Luiz, Cedric
Midfield: Xhaka, Partey, Pepe, E. Smith-Rowe, Martinelli
Goalkeeper: David de Gea
Defense: Wan Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw
Midfield: Mctominay, Pogba, Fred, Mctominay, Fernandes
The first half kicked and both the teams were playing safe for the first 10 minutes. Gunners then started pressing high and it was Lacazette who had the game’s first shot on target in the 17th min. Arsenal in space of the next 10 minutes tried to create aplenty seeing their chances missed or saved. On the right flank, Rashford caused enough trouble for Cedric, who was booked as early as the 13th minute. Pepe, Bruno both had their (missed) attempts on goal in the span of 2 minutes.
Man United’s best chance came in the 34th min from Bruno, after he cleverly deceived David Luiz but just could not find the net from the far post. The visitors came close again in the closing stages of the first half. Rashford had a great chance at the back post in the 45 min but failed to control the touch. Bruno Fernandes who was fouled by Thomas Partey at the edge of the box, saw his free-kick blocked by David Luiz just before the HT whistle.
Arsenal replaced Willian for Martinelli, started second half on the front foot. They played aggressive, closed down the gaps, Maguire and Lindelof defended from toe-to-toe. Wan Bissaka brilliantly blocked Willian’s shot, as the Gunners continued to trouble Man United’s backline. Man United’s best chance came in the 59th min as Luke Shaw’s cross found Cavani, but his touch hit Leno and somehow went wide.
Lacazette came mighty close in the 66th min as his free-kick hit the crossbar and Smith-Rowe’s shot was again saved by David De Gea, who had a busy day throughout the game. In this phase of the game, Arsenal was on top and looked like scoring any minute. Both the teams played high tempo in the final quarter of the half by trying to create enough chances upfront. At 89th min, Cavani again came close from a brilliant cross by Wan Bissaka in the 6-yard box, the shot just fell inches wide.
At the end of the day, both the teams will be disappointed that they could not take all 3 points. This result leaves Arsenal with a lot to fight for the Top 4 place. As for Man United, they are now three points adrift from the top spot. Manchester City who are at the top still have a game in hand, a victory would mean they have a 6 point advantage. Although Man United’s away formed this season has been good, they still not have beaten any of the Top or should say the BIG 6 clubs this season. In order to catch up with their noisy neighbors, Man United need to start getting results in these big game fixtures well.
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