Premier League: Manchester United 2 – Arsenal 1

Posted: April 14, 2008 in Arsenal, Arsene, EPL, Premiership

Adebayor (48)
Cristiano Ronaldo (53)
Owen Hargreaves (73)

That certainly was an entertaining piece of football. Too bad we lost though.

We came out with one big surprise and one small surprise. Alex Song playing in central defense and Walcott stuck on the bench. Gilberto came in as expected for Flamini who is out for three weeks. Almunia suffered a wrist injury and Jens started the game.

On to the game. It started brightly as Arsenal came out guns blazing in Old Trafford. Brown’s half hearted clearance found Cesc who shot over. Eboue had a good run which culminated in a cutback to Adebayor but his stab at goal was turned out by Ferdinand who hardly knew what was happening.

It was hardly all Arsenal as Manchester United hit back at the counters. Two Rooney chances were saved by Jens. The first a close range “make yourself as big as you can” save. The second, an old school diving save

Our best chance of the half came when Hleb again went on one of his magnificent runs to end up feeding a wonderful ball to Ade who woefully shot straight to Van Der Sar. You can’t help but be reminded that the chance was one of those Henry-esque moments where Titi would easily dispatch the ball goalbound by curling it past the keeper.

Halftime, with the scores 0-0

Second half and something had to give. The ball was bouncing around the box after Van Der Sar had a save from Cesc. Robin picked it up and crossd in for Adebayor to sort of headhandled it in. Ferdinand and Van Der Sar looked at each other in disgust due to the miscommunication and nobody noticed that it was more of a handball than a header. A break I gladly took but knew it was too good to last, especially since our bad run of it recently. I silently urged the team to be more mindful as we didn’t want a repeat of the Liverpool scene when too much celebration caused the penalty.

Jinx. The penalty came after 5 minutes this time. Gallas handled the ball when it went pass his armpit. He was trying to avoid it and it brushed his hand. It was a penalty you get when the referee plays by the book rather than on logic/sporting mindset.

Some mind games by Jens; Ronaldo shot and it went in but was asked to retake it as his own stuttering run up made his teammates confused who infringed. He retook it, same spot, same result. Jens guessed correctly both times but did not manage to make the save.

We had our chances later on too as one particular chance had Brown trying to clear the ball but it went straight to Van Der Sar who just managed to deflect it off the post. Theo cam in and had a few good runs but there was no finish from the receivers.

A Gilberto tackle found us in desperate times with Cristiano Ronaldo hovering over the ball. The wall was set up and Hargreaves duly made it 2-1. A brilliant goal but there are questions as to why no person was asked to guard the far post.

Bendtner was brought on and he also shot straight at Van Der Sar for his clearest chance.

We played well. This was illustrated by Ferguson’s act at the end of the match, consoling Wenger. I give him respect for that; acknowledging that the best team of the day lost. We have to pick ourselves up again and the hope of a brand new season is all that will illuminate our dull days especially since our brilliant run until it was dramatically halted in the last two months. I say Ribery. What say you?

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