Arsenal: The Gunners still title contenders despite loss at Old Trafford

Arsene Wenger’s rejuvenated Arsenal wanted to send a clear message to the other teams by making a statement at Old Trafford but failed.

Robin Van Persie’s header was enough to secure all three points against rivals Arsenal, as majority believed that win could dampen the Gunners title aspirations and make the Red Devils title contenders.

The Red Devils displayed a much better performance against the league leaders by giving them no space to operate in the midfield, and switching quickly from defense to attack. It was also worth admiring Roooney’s work rate in that game. The visitors were handed a big blow before the game as two of their most influential players were ruled out with flu.

Though, that wasn’t only the blow that rocked the red side of North London. Robin Van Persie’s (the number one traitor behind Samir Nasri) goal was what separated both sides. The away fans didn’t fail to show their disgust towards Robin Van Persie- the chants were loud and clear- and one can only imagine the reception he would get at the Emirates next year if Arsenal are still topping.

But despite an avoidable loss, does that automatically rule Arsenal out of the title race? No.

Infact, Arsenal should be given credit for leaving Old Trafford with a lone-goal scoreline; when we remember that aberrant 8-2 score-line. Also coming into this game without their consistent defender and a tireless attacking midfielder, then two demanding games in the form of Liverpool and Dortmund- it was never going to be easy.

They struggled to make passes, were never composed and didn’t look threatening in front of goal. New signing Ozil who spoke confidently ahead of the game looked like a player still adjusting to a new league.
Target man Giroud seemed exhausted, Welsh Jesus had a bad day in the office and Cazorla showed signs of rustiness.

Wenger though had a different opinion about the game, and since he’s the man incharge, his thoughts matters enormously.

“I nearly tend to say it’s unfair because we put a little bit ourselves on the back foot in the first half because we rushed our game and were too nervous,” Wenger told Arsenal Player.

“When we started to play we dominated the game completely and were unlucky not to score in the second half. I hope that everybody’s full of rage basically against ourselves because it’s unbelievable to lose a game like that.”

He continued: “Maybe because we haven’t won for a while here, we were just not ourselves in the first half. In the second half we should have come back – we were honestly unlucky.”

Similar to the Dortmund tie, the Gunners were exhausted, however, were very disciplined and unlucky to concede. Still, a win against Southampton after the International break, and all these would be history.

 

Written by Femi Hilekaan

Follow Femi on Twitter @femi4arsenal

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