Manchester United 2-2 Arsenal: Mistakes aplenty at Old Trafford as classic fixture ends all square
Manchester United were once again made to come from behind as they drew 2-2 with Arsenal at Old Trafford on Wednesday evening.
The game was littered with defensive mistakes and a David De Gea clanger saw Shkodran Mustafi notch the first goal at Old Trafford in the 26th minute. Anthony Martial replied only four minutes later with a predatory strike. Two quickfire goals in the second-half came via a Marcos Rojo own goal and a strike from Jesse Lingard to ensure both sides went away with a point.
Poor clash livened up by quick-fire strikes
The game started off at an extremely low pace with both struggling to carve out any real chances of note. Both Marcus Rashford and Martial had efforts from range that were both relatively comfortable for Bernd Leno in the Arsenal goal.
However, the clash was livened up as Mustafi headed home the opening goal mid-way through the first-half. From a Lucas Torreira corner, the German defender nodded into the ground. The save looked relatively comfortable for David De Gea but he could only palm the ball over himself with it dropping inches over the line.
It only took minutes for the Red Devils to respond. Marcos Rojo’s free-kick caused problems for Leno, with the German only palming out. Ander Herrera latched onto the loose ball and fizzed it back into the penalty area with Martial waiting only yards from goal to stab home.
Lacazette off the bench to score yet again
Unai Emery made changes midway through the second-half as he introduced Alexandre Lacazette. The Frenchman, just as he had done against Tottenham mid-week, had quite the impact as he robbed the ball from Rojo before playing a quick one-two with Henrikh Mkhitaryan. Rojo attempted to get back with Lacazette but only served to get a toe on the ball just before the Frenchman let go of the trigger to bundle it into his own net.
Mourinho needn’t have worried however as similarly determined play from Lingard saw him get in front of Sead Kolasinac barely a minute later and poke the ball underneath Leno to equalise.
Chances spurned to win the game
The game continued to be an open affair throughout the closing period and both sides had chances to claim maximum points. Aubameyang was picked out by a teasing cross from Kolasinac but his powerful effort was somehow saved by De Gea. Former Red Devil Mkhitaryan then blazed the ball off target.
Aubameyang then had another spectacular effort from outside of the area but the United keeper sprung across his line well to palm the ball away.
Goals ruled out
The ball was twice in the Manchester United net late on but neither was given as a winning goal. Firstly, Lacazette nodded the ball out of De Gea’s hands and finished into the unguarded goal but the referee ruled the strike out. Then, Mkhitaryan latched onto Lucas Torreira’s shot that had come his way via a save from De Gea. The Armenian set himself and thundered an excellent shot into the net from a tight angle but it was again chalked off for offside.
In all, neither side could find a winner and both went away with a hard-earnt point.
The amount of mistakes in this game really was staggering. Three out of the four goals could easily have been avoided, and that is probably symptomatic of Manchester United’s season so far. However, once again they have to be praised after coming from behind. Arsenal meanwhile will be disappointed that they weren’t able to hold on for what could have been a crucial three points.
Both sides are back in action this weekend as the Red Devils host Fulham whilst the Gunners welcome Huddersfield to the Emirates.
Manchester United: De Gea (6); Darmian (6), Rojo (5), Smalling (6), Bailly (6), Dalot (6); Herrera (6), Matic (7); Lingard (7) (Pogba (6), 75′), Martial (7) (Lukaku (5), 63′), Rashford (5).
Arsenal: Leno (6); Holding (6) (Lichtsteiner (6), 36′), Mustafi (6), Sokratis (6); Kolasinac (6), Guendouzi (6), Torreira (7), Bellerin (7); Iwobi (6) (Lacazette (6), 64′), Ramsey (6) (Mkhitaryan (6), 45′); Aubameyang (6)
Goals: Mustafi (26′), Martial (30′), Rojo OG (68′), Lingard (69′)
Referee: Andre Marriner
Yellow Cards: Mustafi (37′), Rojo (38′), Lingard (40′), Bellerin (41′), Matic (42′), Torreira (86′)
Red Cards: N/A