With Ramsey back and Bellerin out through injury, there wasn’t that much of a surprise on seeing the Arsenal team. Ours though was a different matter, as I was worried defensively once again, much like before the Swansea match. As that turned out we did okay but we were up against a very poor Swansea team that day. Going into Saturday’s match was a very different story with Arsenal going very well at the moment. The one thing I did say to my friend before kick off, was that I was glad Giroud wasn’ starting, as without playing well he can just seem to be in the right place and the right time when it matters. Aaaargggh!!
Having got into the ground surprisingly early for a 12.30pm kick off, although not that early compared to two lads who I’ve since heard stayed in the ground over night. Apparently they sneaked away from the Old Trafford ground tour on the Friday and then slept, or hid in some toilets over night until it was opened up the next morning. They must of been bloody cold, much like my couple of pre-midday beers as I got onto the concourse at 11.50am.
Anyway, in the first half I thought we did well and although we didn’t create an out-and-out clear-cut chance we did have the better of it. We certainly threatened but all the best chances were shots from the edge of their area. The two from Martial were comfortable for Cech, the one from Mata though was heading into the bottom corner, but Cech tipped it around the post.
There was the penalty claim shout when Valencia collided with Monreal and yes you’ve seen them given and yes you want them if they are for you. However if that goes against you then I’d be most annoyed if it was given as a penalty. At the time though I of course shouted penalty from the Stretford End, but having seen it since I can definitely see why it wasn’t given and why the referee probably saw it as just a coming together from both players.
I sneaked in a beer at half time and felt confident a goal would come as I went back up into the stand. We were definitely in control and if we kept pressing I thought, then the goal would finally come. The tempo was up and after a couple of changes to keep it going we brought on both Blind and Rooney just after the hour mark to try to find the goal. With the pressure building, Pogba dinged into a little ball down the line to Herrara who cut it back to the edge of the area for Mata to brilliantly drill the ball in on the run into the bottom corner.
The goal was fully deserved but there equaliser wasn’t, although I suppose you could give Wenger credit for his substitutes with Oxlade-Chamberlain skipping past Rashford down the right and hanging a ball up to the back post for Giroud to superbly power a header past De Gea. Right place, right time!!
The frustration kicked in at the end and I got most annoyed, I know we played okay and of course deserved the win. That’s now three home leagues on the run though where we haven’t finished teams off and only come away with a point. Onto Feyenoord in the Europa League on Thursday now.