Will United Regret Not Finishing Us Off?

Manchester United (1) – (0) Arsenal
Old Trafford, Manchester

Overall a disappointing performance but in the end a 1-0 defeat isn’t catastrophic, considering what could have been.

For the first half an hour United were all over us and we had to rely on Almunia to make some really fantastic saves; from Tevez and Ronaldo in particular.

The fact was United were much better. We lacked any urgency which was surprising considering this is the Champions League Semi Final. Once again Adebayor was infuriating as he lacked any energy or desire, and added to his poor touch it’s clear the form of last season has completely disappeared. For a 5 man midfield to work the striker needs to hold the ball up well and while Adebayor did this fantastically last year, this season he has been a shadow of his former self.

Diaby and Walcott were on the whole ineffective, and as an attacking force we didn’t click at all. Lots of pretty passing triangles but no real penetration or goal threat. Fabregas was lost and you couldn’t help thinking he would be far more dangerous playing deeper where he can control the game, and play those brilliant through balls.

Nasri was okay, but along with Fabregas struggled to make any real impact because of the lack of intelligent running from Diaby, Walcott and Adebayor.

It was hugely disappointing considering Porto and even Spurs scored twice at Old Trafford recently and Liverpool managed four. But we didn’t have the man who bailed us out at Anfield – Andrey Arshavin.

We can afford to play badly if you have a genius like that in the side but not with jokers like Adebayor.

But despite the poor attacking display, there were some positives.

As I’ve already mentioned we only lost 1-0, which is quite frankly a miracle considering the chances and possession United had. Almunia was excellent and Ronaldo hit the bar in the second half – trust me we were lucky to only concede the one goal.

And despite the terrible defending for the corner from which United scored, overall our defence was good.

Kieran Gibbs was sensational, and along with Toure and Almunia was possibly our best player. Even Ronaldo was reluctant to take him on and tended to drift inside instead. His composure and overall performance was excellent and he was one of the few positives tonight.

Toure was another player who had a great game, and I lost the amount of times he cleared up at the back. He made some brilliant tackles and put in a fantastic shift tonight. Even Silvestre (who setup the United goal) did well at times, as did Sagna on the right.

So despite a poor performance tonight, we have a second chance at the Emirates in 6 days time, and we have to step it up at home and I have no doubt we will. We have to make sure that we make United regret not finishing us off at Old Trafford, because trust me they could (and probably should) have.

It will be a completely different game at The Emirates, but the danger is if United nick one then we need three. But we got past Roma (just) with a 1-1 aggregate score in the 1st round knock-out stage so anything is possible.

Bring on the second leg.


17 thoughts on “Will United Regret Not Finishing Us Off?

  1. I have no idea why Wenger persists with Diaby. I wont even start on Ade. Too many played without passion in such a big game. Another year without any trophy. C’mon Wenger, do something.

  2. Diaby was absoultely abysmal. Wandered around the midfield, didn’t track back, constantly gave the ball away. He needs to go. I don’t remember him ever having a good game and he is injury prone-gets caught in possession too often-not good enough. How he stayed on the pitch is beyond me. He really should be sold.

    Ade had a pretty poor game, but often he was isolated, so who is he supposed to lay it off to if there isn’t anyone within 20 yards?

    Fabregas had a pretty poor game also. He played far too deep. We all love him, but really Nasri should be there.

    Wenger’s tactics were the worst and should be rated at a zero. Awful formation. His subs were even worse. Takes off Walcott, so now we don’t have speedy widemen and puts on height. After this, Ronaldo hits the bar and we survive a couple of other counter attacks, but Kolo breaks them up. He clearly doesn’t know what he is doing…We were absolutely LUCKY not to lose by 3 or 4.

  3. Wenger obviously learnt nothing from the f.a cup semi final. Diaby in a 5 man midfield with cesc off adebayor clearly doesn’t work. Diaby on the left hand side?? he did nothing all game. gave gibbs no extra cover in the first half and gave the ball away all the time. Just when Denilson has come good AW starts leaving him on the bench. The kid must be so frustrated. But diaby on the left wing and nasri in the centre. That just makes no tactical sense. No balance. If you want Nasri in the middle put Vela on the wing. It also pisses me off that AW promised us he would attack them and he puts that team out. Same deal against Chelsea. Very very lucky we’re still in this. Being at emirates you’d expect AW to go all out attack so we could still win this

  4. But frankly,would you like to see this shower of shit in a final against Barca or Chelsea.it could be seriously embarrassing.

  5. Wengers incredible stubbornness is killing us…..he is hellbent on winning an important game with a 451 formation and he will keep playing 451 till someone sacks him or he retires.

  6. Wenger doesn’t seem to understand 4-5-1, so funnily enough, the players don’t either.

    I thought that when Bendtner was coming on that we’d go 4-4-2, but no – an idiotic substitution and Walcott comes off. Ronaldo hit the bar soon afterwards, Giggs put through (dodgy offside call), etc.

    He is a great trainer, but so poor tactically that it’s sad.

    Had he put Vela on, he may have had some joy as everyone would have avoided him like the plague 😉

  7. yep danish gooner is right. 4-5-1 does not work with current players and keeps playing it. what pisses me off is that half the players drift through the game with no urgency and wenger does nothing. Diaby can’t make a pass and he leaves him on the field. Thats the most frustrating thing

  8. The most important failure was that Ade was, yet again, virtually on an island. The idea of Cesc playings more forward is nice on paper, but it simple leaves to big a hole in the area where attacks get started: in the midfield. Wiener should’ve understood by now that he ALWAYS has to field two ACTUAL STRIKERS. My hope is on a return for RvP, otherwise -like Cesc said- I’m having negative thoughts.

  9. O, one more thing: why the @#$%!#%^ doesn’t anybody take a shot from more than a yard from the line?! It was almost like we had five Hlebs in midfield.

  10. I think the result is worse than you think.

    As you’ve pointed out although United only have a 1-0 lead once they score at The Emirates (and they will) we’re up shit’s creek without a paddle. United are laughing because all they have to do is sit deep and get us on the counter attack.

    I’d be stunned if we managed to score 3 in the second leg.

  11. wengers immortals, ferdinand is off to hospital. if he misses the 2nd leg do you still think we won’t score 3. if wenger actually gets his tactics right for a change we could definitely score 3

  12. Source?

    I think scoring 3 against the current Premier League Champions and Champions League holders is a lot to ask. Do you really think a team of winners like Manchester United are going to collapse and concede 3 goals when they’re so close to the final?

    They know what’s required and we’ve got it all to do.

    It’s going to be difficult and we’re going to have to put in the best performance of the season to do it.

  13. Alex ferguson said it after the game. ferdinand’s gone for an x-ray. if he has a broken rib he’ll be out. i hope so cos i fancy our chances against johnny evans. i’m not saying its going to be easy. its a huge task but i truly believe in the 90 minutes at emirates we will create 5 or 6 excellent chances. its all down to if we can take them on the night

  14. At some point even you arsenal fans will finally wake up
    o the stark reality even if Wenger doesn’t. This over reliance on youth
    is killing you!! I am a united fan, but I love the way arsenal play this beautiful game of football. that said, united love to play as well, but when they push aside their ego’s and abandon the need to match arsenal for style they do what they did today.And that is, simply shut off the passing angles;harass players into early and less accurate passes; concede areas of the field that don’t matter and get air tight in the last third of the field.
    They did all of that today and had it not been for poor finishing this thing could have been settled tonight. The ease in which they got behind a largely defensive arsenal should scare you as arsenal will now have to come out and play, leaving gaping holes behind what is already a porous defense.
    United are great on the counter as they can go from one penalty box to the other, under control, better then any team in the planet.
    Let’s not also forget that united have won away from home in a few of these CL encounters. 1-0 was sufficient against Porto at Porto, 1-0 will be suffice against arsenal at arsenal.
    United will rest several of the players that started this match (Scholes,Giggs,Bebatov, Rafel, Nanil and Evans will likely start against Middlesboro. Allowing for a fresh group to replace them next Weds.
    Arsenal do not that luxury.

  15. richard,. please explain to me why we can’t rest players. we’re 10 points ahead of villa. we have nothing to play for. we could put the under-17’s out. aren’t united still fighting for a title? middlesbro are fighting for survival. and they have a habit of upsetting united. it won’t be as easy as you think. i hope united pay the price for the missed chances on tuesday

  16. Here richard you united muppet, this is what your manger said
    “That’s Arsenal’s advantage,” said Ferguson. “They can play Pat Rice at right-back and Arsène Wenger can play centre-forward; it doesn’t matter to them. We have to put out a team to win at Middlesbrough in a lunchtime kick-off. I don’t think it [the early start] is right but we have to get on with it.”
    You said Arsenal do have that luxury….what a mug you are


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