Arsenal avoided a thrashing thanks to the heroic Almunia but their dreams of winning a trophy this season seem to be over.
A 1-0 defeat doesn’t seem to be a bad result, especially considering it could easily have been a 3 or 4 nil defeat. But the problem is it’s hard to expect such a strong attacking side like Manchester United not to score against a defence with Silvestre in the centre.
And if United get just one goal, then against the likes of Vidic, Ferdinand and van der Sar, it’s also hard to expect Arsenal to score 3 goals.
Ok we haven’t conceded yet at the Emirates for 8 consecutive league games but did Torres play in one of those games? No. Drogba? No. Rooney, Ronaldo? No. So it’s not too special a run. What would be special is to extend it for one more match and score 2 with it!
I have had to listen to a lot of taunts of United and Chelsea fans lately that Arsenal are just good enough for matches against small teams. I have to remind them of our wins at San Siro, Stamford Bridge and against Manchester United only to be replied what about big matches against big teams? Lost to Liverpool in the quarter final last year, Chelsea in a final this year and now to Manchester United in a semi final. So do the nerves get to this too young a side. Possibly.
The way we started the match, especially the first half hour it seemed like Manchester United was playing against West Brom. Attack after attack. The goal was very very poor defending. Who was doing the marking. Who was supposed to be at the far post. It was a disgrace really.
As the game went on Arsenal did get into the game but how many shots on target did they have all match?! I think just one.
What did Fabregas do all match. One good through ball and a weak shot on target and that’s it. But at least he did that. Others didn’t even manage to do that little something. Walcott is so good at taking defenders on but those defenders are of Middlesbough etc. Why was he so silent against Evra. Play like that in the next leg and say goodbye to the trophy chances for yet another season.
The only positives from the game were Sagna, Gibbs and Almunia. Sagna’s defending is awesome but the problem is his crossing. Gibbs is top top quality. I don’t think Ronaldo and Rooney managed to get past him even once! And his crossing, making runs forward are all good. Future England left back! Almunia showed he will be England’s next number 1! His reflexes, strong hands, decision making; all perfect.
Because of them, especially Almunia, we are still somehow in this tie; however bleak the chances may be. It is an uphill task now. But Wenger is confident his team can do it, the players must be confident as well. So lets just hope for the best.