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Monday 9 March 2015

Old Trafford; Immediate reaction..

What a win that was for Arsenal; forget Man City, this was the biggest win of the season, yes people might point out that perhaps we wouldn't have won at Old Trafford had we not beat City, but winning at Old Trafford, poor United team or not, is a far bigger win for the club. I wrote about all the stats in the preview, and how recent history was against us, but none of that mattered as Arsenal put in a good disciplined performance and got a deserved victory. I thought in the first half we looked quite nervous and gave the ball away quite a bit. United were also poor in possession, but then again when have they not been this season? It really is hard to judge United because I genuinely cannot remember a single game this season where they put in a great performance. So how can you really say that they let themselves down tonight? It just seems to be their level this season. That's not to say Arsenal don't deserve any credit; they deserve all of the credit.

The first half was a much more nervy affair, and the game only really opened up after Monreal finished off a lovely move to put us in the lead. The play seemed to open up as Ozil received the ball and cut in from the left side before playing the ball to Chamberlain who made a good run inside from the right, and beat 2 or 3 United players before playing the ball to Monreal who finished excellently at De Gea's near post. It really was an excellent goal; my description of the goal, nothing in comparison to the creativity, drive and class of a truly Arsenal move. It had me thinking, after we scored,  When was the last time we scored at Old Trafford? It was a last minute goal Cazorla scored in a 1-2 loss in the 2012/2013 season, when the game was effectively over, but then I thought what was the last goal we scored that mattered at Old Trafford? The answer was Arshavin's opener (in another 1-2 loss), but while I was thinking about how big this goal could be, I was stopped in my tracks by no other than Wayne Rooney. Four minutes after we went a goal up we were pinned back immediately as Di Maria crossed in for Rooney to leave Szczesny with no chance. This was the one time in the match in which we switched off defensively, as seems to happen to a lot of teams after they score. Di Maria was given far too much space, and while others will be more critical of Koscielny and Mertesacker, I think that sometimes you just have to hold your hand up and say that it was a great cross. No consolation I know. That was a real dagger to the heart and I really feel that not conceding before half time became the most crucial part in the game for us; and we didn't; and we won.

In the second half Arsenal looked a lot better, although admittedly still looking nervous, but the longer the game went on, the more confident I became that we could get a win. In the end it was Welbeck who got the winner after Valencia played a terrible back pass, leaving De Gea with no chance of getting it as Welbeck poked the ball passed him and took what seemed like a life time before hitting the ball into the empty net. Now I really believed the win was possible; and Arsenal never really looked back to be honest. With 13 minutes remaining in the game Di Maria thought it was a good idea to throw himself to the ground under the least, if any notable contact, was made. The referee correctly, in my view, booked him for diving before Di Maria stupidly decided another good idea would be to put his hand on the referee from behind and grab his shirt to try pull him back. Don't blame me for my description of it, have a look yourself and decide what it was he was doing. For the record Janujaz was also booked for diving. What a horrible team United are. Divers, long balls and Rooney. That's without mentioning Fellaini, what a dirty player he is. United resorted to the long ball tactic which has gotten them their dubious results this season, but to no avail as Arsenal really didn't have any trouble dealing with their half-hearted attempts. If anything Arsenal should have won the game by a bigger scoreline, with Cazorla and Sanchez both forcing great saves from United's player of the season (That really says it all doesn't it?).

In the end I felt Arsenal were reasonably comfortable and deserved the victory. Let's hope as I was saying in the preview that this win really does give us the momentum to have a big finish to the season. The semi final draw has paired us with either Bradford or Reading; with Liverpool battling it out with Blackburn for a semi final berth with Aston Villa. The ties will be played on the weekend of April 18th and 19th.

Right that's about it, just like to give a shout out to Coquelin (who got man of the match), Monreal who gave another great performance, and scored a great goal, Welbeck, although his game play was a bit so-so at times, he took his goal well and really stuck it to the United fans. The whole team played well however, and the only blot on the performance was an injury to another player who had a great game in Oxlade-Chamberlain. More on the injury when I get it.

Right just another reminder to follow me on twitter here @

Have a good night,
Subjectively, Cosmic Kid.

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