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- Arsenal v Manchester United. Saturday 22nd at 10pm. The preview
We have a statement on the starting XI for tonight’s match, kick off 10pm BST…
Holding, Trossard, Vieira, Jorginho, Balogun, Marquinhos, Trusty, Cozier-Duberry
So Timber and Rice make their first start.
I’ve paid of a TV season ticket on the pre-season tour but a lot of people have been posting that they are having problems for this match but I’m getting it ok online.
And from the start it is clear it is an appalling pitch – which is certainly affecting the way Arsenal can play. Indeed it doesn’t look as if Arsenal were ready for this sort of pitch at all.
Arsenal had the best of the opening part of the first half, and then Manchester United upped their game, and could have had a goal from Martinelli, and then Manchester United scored and Arsenal seemed to lose themselves completely and went down to 2-0 down. Certainly Manchester United are treating this like a league match – which of course they can do. But I am not sure this going to be how it is in the season proper.
And Arsenal are playing this as a pre-season game, while Manchester United are playing it as if it is a league game – a game that matters.
One good thing about this match is that Manchester United are playing a long-ball game combined with a “kick them when you have a chance” approach. This is what Arsenal can expect from a lot of teams, so it is a good preparation for what is going to happen in the league this season.
Commentary from the supporters at the Arsenal ground are suggesting Timber isn’t really expecting the sort of aggression. And of course the fact that we have three new players in the team.
It’s half time, and certainly the studio commentators on Arsenal TV are suggesting that Arsenal should be playing Route One football. There are also suggestions that we have prepared for a friendly game, whereas Manchester United are out there kicking Arsenal as they would in a league game.
As the TV panel is saying, the Arsenal mid-field is not asserting itself.
Second half: Arsenal have made one change: Tierney on for Tomiyasu. Martinelli off Jesus on. Rice off, Partey on. Timber off White on.
63 minutes Rashford misses an open goal but may have been offside. But the level of fouling by Manchester United is getting ludicrous for a friendly game. What is the point of all the arm pulling etc in a game like this?
Multiple changes for Arsenal, but Manchester United are upping the level of kicking – seems to be an attempt to take out players for the start of the season. Ball hits a Man U player in the face and the rest of the squad run around the ref complaining. I think we have a fair idea of how Man U are going to approach this season
Quite a few variations on the actual rules of football: it seems to be a game of four quarters – in the gap between the third and fourth quarter the stadium speakers are playing music to keep the crowd interested.
And it ends 2-0. Utterly ludicrous game played on a truly awful pitch, with multiple changes – Manchester United seemingly putting out a different team in the second half. And just to rub it in, they are now going to have a penalty shoot out for reasons that have not been explained.
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