Arsenal 3-0 Manchester United: 5 Talking Points

Published 10/04/2015, 3:04 PM EDT
Arsenal vs Manchester United


Manchester United finally seemed to run out of luck as Arsenal FC deservingly won the high-profile game 3-0 at the Emirates. With the amount of anticipation leading up to this clash, only a few would have expected this scoreline to pop up on their phones at the full time whistle. After the sudden explosion of 3 goals within the initial 19 minutes, the game quietened down for the rest of the 70 minutes. None-the-less, Arsenal have proven they shouldn’t be taken lightly and have jumped up to  the second position in the league table for the time being. United, on the other hand, see themselves pushed back to third after wins by both Manchester City and Arsenal.

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Football – Arsenal v Manchester United – Barclays Premier League – Emirates Stadium – 4/10/15
Alexis Sanchez scores the third goal for Arsenal
Reuters / Dylan Martinez
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Here are some particular points we noted in specific about the game, and some issues we as fans and the club should introspect upon:-

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1. Rooney needs to be benched:

It had been a very long wait to see Rooney finally score in his last outing against  Sunderland. Despite his rustic form, Louis van Gaal has shown immense faith in the England National team captain after not having significantly contributed to most of the games in this season. Even the goal against Sunderland was a shin deflection which found it’s way inside the goal. His touch- one of his strongest attributes seems lost.

Football – Arsenal v Manchester United – Barclays Premier League – Emirates Stadium – 4/10/15
Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney looks dejected at half time
Action Images via Reuters / Carl Recine
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This game, inarguably, was no different. Even though Rooney found himself at positions as a CAM, he refused to play as per his role. His weak touches often gave away the ball to the opposition, and his lethargy was uninviting in a game which required pressure on the Arsenal defense. All though one of the most experienced players on the field for Manchester United, no one is bigger than the club, and he should be dropped against Middlesbrough as well as Everton, to put things into perspective. Herrera would be a brilliant replacement at his no. 10 position and would gel well with Mata.

2. Martial is proving to be consistent:

In between the pell-mell that was United’s midfield, Martial proved himself to be a constant at the front lines. The past 3 Premier League matches saw him score 3 goals, but that run was broken. After having 2 half chances, Martial took them well, only to be denied by the formidable Cech.

He often found himself alone at forward, trying to go past 2-3 Arsenal defenders, without any support. Without any option, he had to hold the ball, leading to down-pacing a quick counter attack. He even tried to build up play from the sides rather than his traditional position in the middle, only to serve no fruitful results,

Over the long run, one can see Martial being trusted the sole striker position, and him utilizing the position well. The lad can very well be a future star if he continues his stellar performances bar the team’s mediocre play.

3. Mesut Ozil is Returning to The Peak of his Powers:

Football – Arsenal v Manchester United – Barclays Premier League – Emirates Stadium – 4/10/15
Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney in action with Arsenal’s Mesut Ozil
Action Images via Reuters / Carl Recine
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During his time at Arsenal, Mesut Ozil has often been criticised for being lazy and ineffective. But Arsenal’s record signing has gone around proving his critics wrong since the halfway point of last season and enjoyed what was probably his best game in Arsenal colours. The German midfield maestro was key to Arsenal’s blistering start, starting and finishing the attacks for both their early goals, assisting the first one and finishing the second. He has also bulked up and adjusted to the physicality of the league and improved his tracking back, which has made him much more effective in the Arsenal set up, and with Alexis and Walcott hitting form, he is very quickly becoming the focal point for the Gunners in terms of creativity.

4. The Arsenal Fullbacks seem to be in great form

Monreal and Bellerin had a perfect game as they controlled the most of the game behind the scenes. After relentlessly pushing forward initially, which led to a rapid-fire 3 goals for the home team, they often found themselves tracking back and taking runs immediately.

Cutting down the essential Depay and Mata is not an easy job for any fullback pair, especially when Mata has been on the top of his form and Depay has the acceleration hardly matched by some in the league. But Monreal and Bellerin kept them in check and hardly gave them a moment’s peace. With the constant aggression the two displayed, the game could have gone either way. Keeping a close line between aggression and pressure was clearly understood and one can expect better play from this duo against the bigger clubs like Chelsea or Manchester City.

 

5. The Carrick-Schweinsteiger combination doesn’t work:

Carrick and Schweinsteiger have not played a lot of games together ever since the German arrived at Old Trafford. And it was so for a reason. With Schneiderlin always being a constant and the one of the two being chosen depending on the game, this game saw the both of them featuring together.

The duo had a multitude of problems which they couldn’t manage with. Firstly, both being over 30 slowed down the midfield to a snail-like pace. Their tactical awareness and vision haven’t been lost yet, but one needs a little pace to keep the ball rolling. With the tactical formation the team is implementing at the moment, a failure in the middle leads to a failure in the backline.

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Secondly, both of these players have a very similar playing style. They like to push the ball up ahead when they see an opportunity. With two players of similar mentality playing at the some position, there happens a clash of ideas, leading to a hole at one position, here being the central defensive midfielder.

Also, neither of the players have the fitness levels to play the entire 90 minutes at full pace. Louis van Gaal needs to sort out this issue soon, or specify a proper role for either of them which they mandatorily have to follow.

 

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Srivats Venkateswaran

139 articles

Red Devil forever. Engineer by nature, Football by the heart. Sugar, Spice and a whole lotta tadka on the side.

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