Arsenal are currently in the midst of a testing run of games. They sailed through the first after a lacklustre display from Liverpool. Against Borussia Dortmund the rope-a-dope manoeuvre just about worked as they stole a 1 nil victory.
This weekend they journeyed to Old Trafford to take on the title holders and bid to rule Manchester United out of the title race. A win would also further cement them as champions-elect after much doubt from the media.
Manchester United played the game much more fervently than Arsenal. You could tell they wanted the victory more by the manner in which they chased and harried Arsenal’s midfielder. As a result Arsenal’s famed passing game suffered with many misplace passes. Even United’s strikers Rooney and van Persie would chase the opposition all the way back to goal.
Robin Van Persie vowed to not celebrate against as it is a team close to his. So, when it was him who broke the deadlock on 27 minutes from a corner he proceeded to fulfil that promise by screaming and flexing vigorously in front of the United fans so much that we could see his tonsils. Man of his word, eh?
Arsenal tried to respond but it was feeble attempt to say the least. They only mustered one wayward header at goal from Olivier Giroud who had an ineffective game overall. Phil Jones had a phenomenal game keeping Arsenal’s midfield ineffectual and then stifling any attacks from centre of defence after Nemanja Vidic had to come off after a blow to the head. Wayne Rooney had the opportunity in the second half to put Arsenal to bed after a flick on from Shinji Kagawa via Van Persie put him through on goal. He dropped the shoulder to fool Arsenal’s defence but then dragged the shot wide.
Nicklas Bendtner and Jack Wilshere were brought on to boost Arsenal but neither made any use of the teasing crosses from Bacary Sagna.
Next up for Arsenal, things don’t get any easier as they take on high flying Southampton.