Monday night’s clash between Manchester United and Arsenal deserved only one title, one crown, one nametag, and that’s the most boring game of matchweek 7.
A clash that had always been seen as a fight between two European heavyweights and EPL title contenders in the past, is now as a clash between two Europa League constants fighting for 5th to 6th place supremacy in the Epl, with head coaches looking lost in a tunnel and team line-ups looking more like youth teams than premier league standard starting line-up.
Man U coach, Ole Gunnaer Solksjaer, with only 2 EPL wins this season, started wiith a front three of Lingard, Rashford and Daniel James with Martial ruled out through injury, while Arsenal had to make do with Pierre Aubameyang upfront with Lacazette missing through injury.
Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka became the youngest Arsenal player to feature against United in the Premier League era while Rob Holding made the bench.
The game started in dour fashion with no love lost between both sides but Arsenal looking the more threatening while Man U waited on the wings to counter in the break. The first 25 minutes was boring and produced no real end products with both sides ready to sit back, study each other and attack any opportunites given.
Pogba, surprisingly back from injury, kept feeding balls to Rashhford who was wateful and played prematurely all evening, oh how much Ole would have regretted letting Lukaku go without signing a capable replacement. De Gea, capped off the first half with a wonderful save, making a great double stop to deny Saka and Guendouzi.
At stoppage time, James ran down the right end with an overhit cross, suprisingly Rashford kept the ball alive, gave the ball to Pogba, who was too far off, but young scot McTominay lashed into the top corner past an unaware and dazed Leno.
Halftime – Man U 1- 0 Arsenal
The second half, seemed like a moment of reckoning for London club, Arsenal who wanted to attack with the three p’s – Pace, panache and perseverance.
Tuanzebi, who came in as a replacement for Wan Bissaka, and surprisngly took the left back spot, showed his inexperience when he gave the ball away on the edge of his own box, which Saka pounced on to Aubameyang who chipped over a less than impressed De Gea. The whole stadium feared he was offside, the linesman called him offside, Aubameyang must have even feared he was offside, but upon consultaion with VAR, it was a beautiful finish and the Gabonese striker was clearly onside.
The game remained a back and forth affair, with a draw looking like a more permissible result than a win for any of the sides and apart from the last few minutes when Leno made a fine one-handed save to deny Rashford’s free kick, the game was shy of clear-cut chances.
Full Time – Man U 1-1 Arsenal (Old Trafford)
Take away from the game : Arsenal’s defensive line-up will even allow goals from Burnley’s under-10 while Man U needs a striker as much as Boris Johnson needs Brexit.
More photos of the match below.