Thursday, January 13, 2011

Their past came back to haunt them again…

The gunners played the red devils on Monday night hoping to silence their detractors for ever. The Odds were heavily stacked against them; every where match-pundits had already proclaimed a victory for united even before kick-off. In the last 26 years Arsenal had failed to score more than one goal at Old Trafford in a single game. Their last victory to United came in 2006, history and statistics were certainly not on their side.

Even though a victory for united seemed inevitable.  Arsenal faithful across the globe sat with bated breaths, keeping their fingers crossed hoping that this time for once the players can crunch out a victory albeit a narrow one but a win at the theatre of dreams.

But after watching the game most of the supporters were left with a sense of déjà-vu. We were outplayed for a major part of the game, the tight possession and slick passing for which the gunners are famous was completely missing.

Arsene Wenger’s biggest trump card Samir Nasri remained anonymous for most part; the little Russian Arshavin seemed out of touch and struggled to keep possession. Maroune Chamakh’s aerial threat suddenly became invisible. 

Arsenal’s is considered to have the strongest bench strength in the league and in the second-half Van Persie and Fabregas were brought on along with Theo Walcott in a last ditch effort . However they were helpless and could do nothing and in the dying minutes of the game, as the clock inched towards full-time whenever the gunner’s got hold of the ball a dim ray of hope arose in the minds of the fans that an equalizer might just be on its way, a victory was out of question a draw still seemed a possibility.

It was ironical that where the big guns failed to deliver the most convincing performance came from Wojciech Szczesny a rookie goalkeeper who was making his premier league debut against United.

Manchester United was rock solid in defense; they restricted the gunner’s free flowing football whose woes were already compounded by a slippery pitch. The most appalling fact was that Arsene Wenger’s side had no aces up their sleeves to match the tactical brilliance shown by their counterparts.

And in the end when the final whistle was blown the axe fell. All the hype before the match, the verbal lashing of tongues seemed futile. United had once again proved that there is still a long way before the men in red and white can beat them in their own backyard.

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