So all that is needed is a two nil win and Arsenal are through to the Champions League final (http://betting.betfair.com/football/champions-league-betting/champions-league-what-price-another-allenglish-final-240209.html). Tough yes, but it could have been a whole lot worse.
Whether it was big game nerves or just frustrating inconsistency, too many players went missing at Old Trafford – especially in the first opening 20 minutes when Man United threatened to completely over-run the Gunners and, in truth, it could have been three or four.
Credit has to go to Almunia who was outstanding. His stops from Ronaldo and Tevez in particular were world class. Toure and Silvestre looked reasonably solid, though the former United man never completely fills me with confidence. Gibbs once again was fantastic, showing willingness to get forward as well as shackling Ronaldo and Rooney, a definite highlight.
Unfortunately the rest of the team failed to get going and so we never showed much of an attacking threat. Fabregas was very quiet, with one long-range shot the sum total of his efforts. Adebayor yet again looked as though he couldn’t be bothered. While Walcott, up against a decent left-back in Evra, was marked out of the game too easily.
However because of United’s failure to get that second (or third) goal we have to be grateful that the tie is still alive. Ferguson and his players did seem a little deflated after the match, despite the win, because they know this was a chance to finish the tie off missed. Arsenal have to take full advantage of that by setting about them early at the Emirates. An early goal I think is crucial as the more we have to push forward the more the likes of Ronaldo and Rooney will exploit deficiencies at the back.
It’s certainly not beyond us and our record at The Emirates is an imposing one for United – who have never won there don’t forget. But another performance like the one at Old Trafford and it’s a safe football bet (http://betting.betfair.com/football/) that there will only be one winner.
Will the real Arsenal please stand-up?