UNITED ARE BACK
Manchester United managed to get back into the title race, while also inflicting the first away defeat for Arsenal in 16 matches. The 1-0 defeat meant that Arsenal were unable to capitalise on the defeats for their title rivals like Chelsea and Manchester City, who had also dropped points this weekend. Arsenal went into the Old Trafford match on the back of a good run of form, which had seen them open a five-point advantage at the top of the table. However, they had not won at Old Trafford since 2006.
Ultimately, the record stood on and Wenger has admitted in his postmatch interview that this record perhaps had an influence on the players. Arsenal were extremely poor in the first half, as they struggled to create chances in the final third. They improved significantly in the second half, but it was not enough because Robin van Persie’s goal in the first half was enough to settle the match in favour of the home team. The three points puts United back into the title race after they had fallen eight points behind Arsenal going into the match.
United scored from a corner and ‘man of the match’ Wayne Rooney has revealed that they worked on this particular aspect prior to the match. The win leaves United as third favourites for the title according to bwin.com.
“Maybe with the fact we haven’t won for a long time here and it was a big game [caused our] nervousness,” said Wenger. “We worked on free-kicks and corners because Arsenal have got a lot of smaller players in the team and we thought that could be an opportunity where we could get a goal and, thankfully, it paid off,” said Rooney, who created the assist for van Persie. The win lifts a lot of pressure off Moyes, who has come under criticism for his inability to win big matches.