Arsenal are on the brink of securing the third position in the league table after managing a draw at Old Trafford. Manchester United were impressive in the first half and they got the goal through Herrera to lead the match at break 1-0. Just when the match was set to finish in United’s favour, a fortunate deflection of Tyler Blackett shared the spoils.
Let us look at the five talking points from Manchester United vs Arsenal encounter –
A much improved performance from United
Last time when Arsenal visited Old Trafford, it was a 2-1 victory for the Gunners in the FA cup quarter-finals. On that night, United were decent in attack, but were mediocre while defending. But, that defeat triggered a four game winning run for the Reds. And, the improvement to United’s game since the defeat was evident in the game against the Gunners on Sunday. United dominated the game with more possession and they were more purposeful with the ball. But, the most pleasing aspect was the defending. Arsenal did not have a single shot on target in the first half and that spoke volumes about United’s defending. Definitely, a much improved performance compared to the previous outing!
A captain’s performance from Smalling
To the surprise of many people, Chris Smalling made his captaincy debut against the Gunners. With captain Wayne Rooney and vice-captain Michael Carrick missing through injuries, not many would have anticipated Smalling to captain the side. But, the English centre-half did not disappoint many and was upto the task. He stood tall at the back and was a real leader at the back-line. He helped his team maintain their composure at the back with a solid performance. Smalling may not be in contention for the arm band when the injured players return, but nonetheless Smalling did a fine job in his first outing as a captain.
Young is United’s second-half ‘Player of the season’
Its funny to think that just a year ago Ashley Young was on the verge of being axed from United. But, how soon things can change. In the first half of the season, his adaptability to play in left-back and left wing-back position maintained his status in the squad. But, in the second half of the campaign, the sizzling wingers incredible form has made him the teams main man. He was without a doubt the clubs best attacking outlet against Arsenal and no wonder the opening goal came through his cross. Also the Englishman was really good in defending. If Young continues to perform in this manner, then the British record signing Angel Di Maria may have to settle for a place in the bench for a little longer.
Falcao’s days are numbered
Falcao surprisingly got the nod ahead of Van Persie on the night against Arsenal. But, the Colombian did not make use of his latest chance. Falcao lost the ball many times on the night and was easily bullied off the ball. Even when he had the chance, the forward did not make much use of it. Also Falcao struggled to keep up with the pace of the game. Its unlikely United will make the loan move permanent, so Falcao may very well have played his last game at Old Trafford against Arsenal.
As De Gea played his last game at Old Trafford?
When David De Gea was substituted after sustaining an injury in the second half, it felt like a farewell considering the reception he received from the supporters. The Spaniard was undoubtedly United’s best player of the season. At times he single handedly saved several points for the club with his hands and feet. But, latest rumours have linked him with a move to Real Madrid. Also with De Gea reluctant to extend his contract which is set to expire next year, the rumours may well become true. No matter how much money United have to spend this summer, it will be difficult to replace a player of De Gea’s calibre!
Image Courtesy: Daily Mail