In a week where we have had to suffer the media again claiming that Wenger was close to signing Messi, United turned up at the Emirates with yet another back line and only the most optimistic would have bet on a United win.
Wenger has had his usual post-defeat moan, claiming it was all one way traffic and the better team lost on the day. In truth United didn’t play particularly well, but they didn’t need to against a poor Arsenal team.
Di Maria was clean through for what turned out to be the easiest chance of the 99 minutes, only to put it wide when he could have made it 3-0. If that had happened, it’s unlikely that Giroud would have scored down the other end to make it a nervy last 2 minutes.
United played well on the counter attack in the second half. LVG changed his game plan slightly at half time and in the end I don’t think anyone can deny we deserved the 3 points. Arsenal and Liverpool are looking very much like United of last season, and surely we won’t get a better chance than this season to reclaim our top 4 status, qualify for the champions League and buy the 3-4 top quality players we are still missing. If we do that, then we can start thinking again about not just challenging for the title, but the European trophy.
De Gea yet again played a terrific game and always seems to be in the right place at the right time. Rather than spectacular saves, he almost makes the job look easy which is a trademark of a top keeper.
I feel I must give Smalling credit for probably one of his best performances in a United shirt – he has had plenty of bashing from us fans, including myself, so well done Chris… you not only played well but greatly helped McNair and Blackett through what could have been a very tricky evening.
Captain Rooney took his goal well and played hard throughout the game, as did Fellaini and Carrick. The biggest disappointment for me was RVP, and surely if and when Falcao is fit, it will have to be RVP who gets dropped to the bench. I thought when young Wilson came on to replace him, we looked far livelier up front, and more likely to get another goal. I am sure United will offload RVP in the summer, as with his injury history and his form this season, he is no longer the player that Sir Alex signed and who won us the title in 2013.
So we are now sitting in 4th with the next 2 games at home to Hull and Stoke, and with respect, those are 2 games we should expect to win and with some margin to help our goal difference. We then have the on-fire Southampton away and the massively faltering Liverpool at home, and with the confidence growing, plus hopefully players returning from injury, I can see us picking up maximum points between now and the end of the year, which would put us in a very strong position going into 2015.
Finally, now Moyes is back in a job, he seems to be saying more now about United than when he was our manager, and this week claims he would never have sold Danny Welbeck. Well Moyes, maybe that’s the reason LVG has a trophy cabinet in his home and you don’t – he makes big decisions at big clubs, and most of the time he gets them right. I think most United fans will wish Moyes well in Spain, but he should just focus on his new job and accept that he was totally out of his depth at the biggest club in the world.