Going into this game, Arsenal were high on confidence after beating Liverpool and Borussia Dortmund, but today, despite Manchester United not firing on all cylinders not having Alex Ferguson in the dugout, comfortably beat us today because we were far too scared.
The amount of respect we showed Manchester United was pathetic and if we played anywhere near our capabilities we would have won. Sagna crossed two unbelievably good balls but we were far too soft to take advantage. The first Gibbs and Giroud couldn’t connect and for the second, Bendtner, who is a useless lump, couldn’t tap in from 2 yards.
The disappointing thing was not just the limp performance, but the massive confidence boost this has given Manchester United. They have beaten the league leaders and this result could turn their season around. Whichever way to spin in, United will be loving this result.
We weren’t at our best but can feel unlucky to lose. Szczesny had nothing to do and apart from the header, United didn’t look too much of a threat. We played better in the second half but they parked the bus, which you expect from a team that weren’t what they used to be.
That first goal was vital and our response was poor. Özil was put through by a great ball by Ramsey but instead of heading in a certain goal, he simply decided not to connect. Cazorla struggled to get into the game, Ramsey found it hard to impose himself and Giroud was so isolated. Even when United lost Vidic at half time, we struggled to make any clear cut chances.
We had a lot of half chances but why on earth didn’t we shoot? There were so many times where the Arsenal players should have just put their foot through the ball but didn’t, trying to play that one pass too many. Özil had a great chance which he blazed into the side netting and Sagna’s killer crosses weren’t taken advantage of.
It’s disappointing to see David De Gea have a relatively easy game.
We gave Manchester United far too much respect and should have learnt lessons from Stoke and West Brom who attacked Manchester United and scored a couple of goals in those games. Manchester United would have been scared of ending up 11 points behind Arsenal but it was the visiting team that looked scared. Against Napoli, Liverpool and Dortmund we were resilient, determined and focused. Today we were off the pace and United took advantage.
Manchester United were how you would expect – they were aggressive, quick and played to their capabilities. There were a lot of long balls as they can’t play through midfield and once they scored, I feared the worst. Once they scored they had something to hold onto and defended in numbers.
We found it hard to break them down and it is a massive opportunity lost. Chelsea, Manchester City and Tottenham all lost points and now, Manchester United are only 5 points behind us.
The bottom line was Manchester United were more desperate for the points and the game mattered more to them. Now they are right back in the mix and even though we’re still top of the league at the end of the weekend, it’s a shame that we couldn’t at least get a draw.