By Walter Broeckx
Arsenal made four changes to the side that started against Olympiacos in the Champions League. Cech came in goal in the place of Ospina. Per Mertesacker played in the place of the injured Koscielny. And Ramsey and Monreal started again.
The Arsenal team that started was
Cech, Bellerin, Mertesacker, Gabriel, Monreal, Coquelin, Cazorla, Ozil, Ramsey, Alexis, Walcott.
The subs on the bench: Ospina, Debuchy, Gibbs, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Chambers, Campbell, Giroud
The big question would be how Arsenal would react to the midweek defeat in the CL. Would there be a CL hangover or not?
Arsenal immediately attacking from the start resulting in a free kick and a few corners. It looked as if Arsenal had no real hangoever and started with attacking very fearce against United from the first minute.
Özil with a low cross from the right and Alexis with a sublime backheel to put the bal in the net! GOAL!!!!! 1-0 To the Arsenal after 6 minutes. Arsenal get the ball back from the kick off and Özil puts Theo in some space, Theo waits a bit and puts the ball in front of Özil who cooly puts the bal in the net! GOAL!!!!! 2-0 to The Arsenal after 7 minutes.
What a start of this match for Arsenal. Koscielny certainly enjoying it.
Arsenal completely in control and MU shell shocked. Ramsey with a ball on the right giving it to Theo who gives it wider to the left to Alexis who dribbles inside past a few MU defenders and then unleashes a fierce shot that ends up in the top corner behind De Gea. GOAL!!!!! 3-0 to the Arsenal after 20 minutes. What a goal!
Young gets a yellow card for coming in too hard on Ramsey. Cazorla a bit later with a shot from distance but the ball went wide. Mertesacker with a good intervention on a low cross when United getting some attacks together. Darmian getting a yellow card for stopping Alexis when he almost got away on the wing. Rooney clearly offside but the assistant missing it and from the resulting corner Cech has to be strong to claim the ball.
At the other end Alexis with a delightful cross but Ramsey cannot get the ball between the posts. That should have been the 4-0.
Walcott with a sliding tackle winning the ball back but then he tried something in between a pass and a shot and the ball went wide. Utd trying with a few long balls but each time they only found Cech at the end. Arsenal more or less sitting back in the final minutes of the first half and that isn’t alwasy the best option as it invites pressure upon yourself. Martial with a good turn on Mertesacker suddenly free in front of Cech but our keeper had the last word and saved with his feet. The last scare was a foul on Alexis that saw him leave the field in some pain. Fingers crossed for the second half he would be able to continue. 3-0 to The Arsenal at half time.
Young with the first shot in the second half but Cech with a comfortable save. Taylor ignoring a blatant push on Walcott but Coquelin gets in the book when he trips Rooney. But the card stays in his pocket when Carrick trips Ramsey on a dangerous attack from Arsenal. Özil hits the wall and the rebound is diverted in to a corner. Rooney then gets a card when he brings Özil down when Arsenal could start a counter.
Arsenal leaning back but going forward when they get the chance. A good attack over the right hand side with Bellerin and Ramsey but in the end Ramsey cannot come to a shot. Good pressure from Theo make United lose the ball but Arsenal cannot capitalise. Rooney with shot but Cech with a good save.
Suddenly a ball that is missed by everyone and ends up in front of an United attacker but Cech with a brave save on Schweinsteiger who was in front of him completely free. Arsenal then giving the ball away but united cannot capitalise from the error from Gabriel. Mata in the end with a shot that went wide.
Arsenal then with an attack and Monreal laying it off to Özil but his shot is straight at De Gea this time. Shortly after that a double change for Arsenal. Theo goes off and Giroud comes on. And Oxlade-Chamberlain comes on for Özil. Alexis then goes off a few minutes later holding his groin. Something we don’t like to see. Gibbs comes on with 10 minutes to go.
United had given up after the good intervention from Cech on Schweinsteiger and Arsenal are happy with the 3-0 lead at the moment. Oxlade with a low cross but the shot from Giroud with his weaker right foot was also direct at De Gea.
Arsenal with a final attack in extra time and Oxlade-Chamberlain with a chip over De Gea but the ball ends up against the crossbar and so the final score stays at 3-0 to the Arsenal at the final whistle.
Arsenal can blow hot and cold and was last Tuesday cold then today it was hot, hot hot from the start. Once we got our big lead we decided to play the waiting and holding game. Our defenders did a great job in keeping United very quiet for most of the match.
A great attacking performance from the start, a great defensive performance for the whole 90 minutes. Now we have an international break and let us hope that after that we get all our players back in good health and ready to build on this great performance.
Arsenal now is two points behind league leader Manchester City in second position. Not a bad place to be after our opening defeat and all the moaning and groaning. Time to stop that and get completely behind the team in the PL.