Man U – Arsenal, 1-1 the point that brings us at least third place?

By Walter Broeckx

The team at the start : Opsina, Bellerin, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal, Coquelin, Cazorla, Ramsey, Ozil, Alexis, Giroud.

On the bench: Szczesny, Gibbs, Gabriel,  Flamini, Rosicky, Wilshere, Walcott.

Both teams looking to attack but apart from a shot from Young from far that went well over no real goal mouth scenes in the opening minutes. Both teams also building in some safety when put under pressure.  Koscielny with a much needed block on Falcao resulting in a few United corners and United pressing more forward. When Coquelin tripped Mata ref Dean gave a free kick but Ospina made comfortable save. Arsenal not really getting some attacks together around the 15 minutes mark.

Jones falling on the floor almost gave a chance to Giroud but Jones could just do enough with his head on the floor to force Giroud to a too heavy touch. Fellelbow hitting Mertesacker, Dean giving a foul but no card. Jones again almost causing trouble at the back for United when he almost passes the ball out of the reach of De Gea but he can just kick it away. But on the other side of the field Young with a cross that goes over Monreal who had crept inside to help stop Fellaini and Ander Herrera has a free shot on goal and scores for United. 1-0 after half an hour.

Young again with a dangerous run but now his cross finds no United player. Özil tries to play it to Giroud but he didn’t expect the pass.   Mata getting away but Falcao clearly pushed Koscielny as he tried to go for the header and Dean rightfully gave the foul to Arsenal not that it would have been a goal as Ospina had stopped the bal.  Arsenal getting a free kick from the left flank, the ball didn’t fall kindly for an Arsenal player and United could clear.

Fellaini going down easily with Coquelin in his back but Dean gives the free kick to United and a well worked free kick sees Blind taking a shot but Smalling stopping the effort that looked to go wide. Arsenal looking tired in the first half with not much energy going forward. Maybe giving a few fresh players some playing time would be an option? Or will Wenger do this against Sunderland?

Fellaini almost on the end of a Valencia cross in the opening minutes of the second half but the ball ends up to Koscielny who can clear.  Young with a bad cross straight at Ospina when he could have done better. Finally a bit better build up play when Ramsey heads the ball to Alexis but his left foot shot goes terribly wide. Arsenal forcing a second corner but Smalling can clear. United being called back twice for offside and Arsenal now being a bit more better going forward. Ramsey finds Özil but his header finds no Arsenal team mate.

Finally a great attack from Arsenal. Ramsey to Özil who gives it to Giroud who can work himself past Rojo but he then had to stretch too much and De Gea can block his effort.  Alexis then to Ramsey but Rojo can just put his foot to it and gives a corner away.  Giroud had his shirt almost pulled over his head by Smalling but Dean thinks that is allowed?  That was a nailed on penalty mr. Dean. Young then can break but Bellerin show his pace and can stop him.

Cazorla with a great ball to Ramsey who lobs it over De Gea but Rojo can clear in front of the open goal. After 71 minutes Arsenal make a double substitution Bellerin goes off and Theo comes in his place and Wilshere comes on and Cazorla goes off. For United De Gea has to leave the field with an injury. Taking an awful lot of time before the game can restart.

Coquelin movest to right back I think for the rest of the match. Young with a dangerous run but Mertesacker can stop his run at the expense of a corner.

A long ball from Ramsey to Walcott bot take on Blackett and the touch from Blackett takes the ball out of reach of Valdez and Arsenal equalise! 1-1 after 82 minutes.   Özil with a low cros but the shot from Giroud goes just in the side net. Seconds later Giroud with another chance but his shot rebounds wide.  At the other end Van Persie fires over from around the penalty spot with his right foot. Alexis with a attempted curler but Valdez knew what was coming.  Flamini came on in the place of Alexis in the last minute of normal time.  A draw would secure third place almost for 99% certain for Arsenal.

Herrera gettin a yellow card for stopping an Arsenal counter was the last thing worth mentioning. But so it ends at 1-1 at Old Trafford. A golden point that means that we only need one point from our remaining two home fixtures to avoid the CL play offs.  Second looks impossible unless Southampton pull of something special at Manchester City next week.

Dean should have given us a penalty when Smalling was undressing Giroud but we have seen worse Dean performances at Old Trafford in the past where he screwed us over on more than one occassion. Deserved on the balance of the whole match. United better in the first half and Arsenal better in the second half. Both teams deserving a point for their effort so I think the final result is the correct one.


58 Replies to “Man U – Arsenal, 1-1 the point that brings us at least third place?”

  1. A useful result, in the first half I thought we were trying to play in a tactical and containing way – which went bottom up after we gave away a soft goal.

    Second half we were a lot better and began to control the game, and after the substitutions we gained further control – Ramsey in the center was excellent. Cazorla is normally excellent in that position but looked a bit jaded today.

    I note Sky are attributing our goal to OG rather than Walcott – it was hard to see but was Walcott shooting or crossing? My view was that Walcott should be credited.

    As for Dancing (no penalty) Dean – I await the ref review – but it looked like a biased performance yet again.

  2. I could see the Smalling shirt swap attempt with my eyes looking away from my TV…

  3. Your last paragraph sums this match up perfectly, it was a game of two halves. But looking at the comments being made on the other thread one could be forgiven to think we’d had an absolute stinker.

    We may have had less chances than them overall, but we clearly had the more dangerous ones (the Jones clearance when he was on all fours, the Rojo last ditch clearance after Ramsey had lobbed over their keeper, De Gea’s block to Giroud’s toe poke, the non given penalty when Smalling attempted to strip Giroud (incidentallying the same Dean awarded a penalty against Kos for a much less serious foul on Dzeko)). And not even mentioning Giroud hitting the side netting with Valdes a mere bystander.

    I think some people go by the nonsense that Neville and spout to decide whether we are playing well or not. Anyway, third is in the bag, hope the boss can save a few players for the final.

  4. And can I point at the pre match article where Tony said that a draw might be on the cards? 😉 Good prediction Tony

  5. With our skin tight shirts its obvious when someone tries to undress our guys. Yet we don’t get the call

  6. I did say we shouldn’t expect a penalty today so not surprised with that decision. Fellini of course should have been booked. I think we should re-name him elbows. Must be the first game when Flamini wasn’t booked.

    We were too slow and predictable in the first half. Much better in the second. Need to finish the season with three wins now.


  7. Well done lads.

    Spirited and determined fight back.

    We didn’t play well in the first half that’s for sure.

    -Santi gave the ball away time after time, but was it lack of effort?

    -Sanchez got bundled off the ball too easily, and ran down a lot of blind alleys, but lack of effort?

    -Rambo didn’t impose himself on the game enough, but lack of effort?

    Come on you haters, we just played poorly in that first half. It happens.

    But lack of effort? Don’t care? Really? Are you seriously suggesting that?

    But that’s the thing with these people, if we play well and don’t win they go overboard. No such thing as ‘bad luck’ for us.

    If we don’t play so great, yet dig out a well earned point, it’s still not good enough. No such thing as ‘sign of a good side’ for us.

    Anyway, they got there act together in the 2nd half and could of got what looked at one stage, a very unlikely victory.

    It just seems for some, anything short of a Barca Like performance, and a hatful of goals, is never good enough.

    You should take a long hard look in the mirror ask yourself why you bother to follow (I hesitate to use the word support) Arsenal, when you obviously hate them so much?

  8. Felleni will be player who will have more ‘ellbows’ to his name than goals..

  9. @Andrew Crawshaw
    “Fellini of course should have been booked. I think we should re-name him elbows.”

    How about “Fellaining Elbows”?

  10. No amount of “he’s world class” barge of stats on Giroud will substitute for the clinical forward striker we need to bring in to convert the several chances that fell his way – a clinician is needed in addition to Giroud. Maybe Thierry’s dissing is in his head, maybe not. But the man’s got to do better at the goal; the difference needed to win against the highest level sides has not been in evidence with Giroud – even as he says this very week that he is now able to convert against those sides. I sincerely wish he would do that. Such very small return in the last 3-4 matches. And the service was there today.

  11. “Fellelbow hitting Mertesacker” LOL Walter!! Fellelbow!!

  12. For years now, I’ve felt that the mayhem that goes on in the penalty area during set pieces, simply must be addressed. The ball is more or less ignored and defenders concentrate on personal contact of the most obvious and blatant kind. The antics are more like rugby than football. And referees take action very rarely, presumably on the basis of “six of one….”.
    The time has surely come when match officials must be ordered to take punitive action. Once a few attempted shirt removals result in penalties the lesson will be learnt and the game will be better for it.

  13. @Walter,
    Good summary! Game of 2 halves as you stated and secured a crucial point to help avoid the CL playoffs in August.

    Interesting to note, against other Top 4 teams, Arsenal have claimed 6/18 points, City 6/18 points, United 8/18, Chelsea 10/18 points showing not much really separating the top 4.

    Arsenal competing with these teams is incredible when you consider United didn’t have CL games to contend with and Arsenal had to overcome severe ref bias in many of these Top 4 Battles (just off the top of my head- Milner assaulting Debuchy, no red card for Cahill assaulting Sanchez/Ivanovic elbowing Ozil in the face/Cesc handball, Fellaini pushing Gibbs into Szczęsny to score his goal, etc.). Arsenal have made significant progress and hopefully a little better health next year, and I think Arsenal can win the PL.

  14. Some Arsenal players were in thought at Wembley already, you can not play good game with 4 players without form, agression or/and fight.
    Finally Arsenal got someething in the league and Old Trafford, some luck needed, that LvG changed Rojo for Blackett& Valdes came for DDG.

    5 matches in 7 without card for Arsenal player says something.

    But both teams and referee were -in diplomacy language-not very good, it was a poor match to watch.

    Arsenal is now 2 point adrift to last season fixtures, will get max 77, but for 3rd place 1 point is needed, really. What a consistency!

  15. A point apiece on Wednesday means Sunderland avoid relegation and we (baring a last day catastrophe)avoid the CL qualifying round.

    Do I dare suggests a diplomatic draw is on the cards?

  16. Arsenal played careful football & gave the ball away rather than get tackled. It showed United in an artificial light. United will go down next season with this team.
    The reality of Dean being not the only blind on the field was mentioned several times by the commentator ‘Dean didn’t see that’. Surprising how blue Giroud went with his shirt being pulled off by Smalling. Selective vision from the PGMO cheat who was less than 4 yards away & looking at the offence.
    A draw not the best result but sufficient to beat both the PGMO & rednose.

  17. Slow start, we were not at our best, but a well deserved draw……and,another point picked up against the big boys at a place where we have had difficult moments.
    Much better second half, good substitutions to shake up what at times seemed a bit of a lethargic performance.
    We won’t get second, but will get third, that will be a great platform on which to start next season, will also help to recruit any players Wenger decides on.
    Let’s put it beyond doubt against Sunderland, rest players in the final league game, give others a chance, then be fit and firing at Wembley.
    If we can get third and a cup win, that is tangible progress, especially after such a difficult start.

  18. “bob
    May 17, 2015 at 6:48 pm
    But the man’s got to do better at the goal; the difference needed to win against the highest level sides has not been in evidence with Giroud – even as he says this very week that he is now able to convert against those sides. I sincerely wish he would do that. Such very small return in the last 3-4 matches. And the service was there today.”

    With all due respect, I have to disagree on this one. Giroud hadn’t had service until Wilshere added drive and Walcott added width to our game. Giroud has scored a goal against United and two goals against City this season, a goal in each of the games against Liverpool, a goal in each of the games against Everton. He simply plays better when our team has width – the same thing happened last season.

  19. “Jambug
    May 17, 2015 at 8:11 pm
    A point apiece on Wednesday means Sunderland avoid relegation and we (baring a last day catastrophe)avoid the CL qualifying round.
    Do I dare suggests a diplomatic draw is on the cards?”

    I hope there won’t be such thing. If we can give them a good thrashing, let’s do it.

    I would love to see Rosicky though. He is such a wonderful player and I have a bad feeling that we won’t enjoy in his drive and genius next season.

  20. One of the things that we can all easily forget is that Henry had some games that were pretty naff, missing shots he would normally have got etc etc.

    It happens, and we have a back up for Giroud in Welbeck, who was unfortunately injured. But looking at the way Theo is being used it seems like the boss thinks that now is the moment to give Theo the chance of centre forwards work.

    It is possible that we might see Theo playing at number 9 in the midweek game, with Giroud on the bench, coming on, on the hour.

  21. Did anyone listen to 606 tonight? Worth listening to 5 live iPlayer. In the 2nd half of the programme.

    A ranting AAA came on with all the usual b*llox. Then a Spud came on and slagged off the AAA and sang Wenger’s praises to high heaven! Really made me smile.

    Jayram is only good for provoking comments – otherwise s/he adds no value whatsoever. At the first tiny opportunity the negativity comes pouring out. It is all a bit boring now – a waste of bandwidth. Trouble is it is hard not be provoked by such utter stupidity.

    As for the match, pretty limp in the first half but slowly improved as the game went on. Once we equalised I think we would have won had we needed to. Unsurprising as MU had put a lot of effort in for the first hour and were running out of steam.

    But the result is the main thing and 1-1 is very satisfactory.

  22. Tony – too right. Many a time Henry spent most – sometimes even all – the game standing around looking moody with hands on hips.

    I still maintain that we miss the Ox greatly. If everyone was fit I think he would be first choice wide right and, given a good run injury-free, I think he has enormous potential to develop into one of the best players in the country. He’s still very young – has pace, skill, work-rate etc.

  23. Pete, you pick up on a valid point, a lot of spurs fans have a greater appreciation of what Wenger has achieved than some of our own.

  24. josif,
    Yes, I do see your point on when Giroud is more effective. Still think we need complementary clinicality; and, contrary to Mr. Attwood’s “we have Welbeck”, Danny (whose work rate and two-way play is a true asset) has not been/is not clinical at the goal (along the lines of Van Gaal’s critique). Also, Josif, I feel a bit heart-broken about how it is going out for Rosicky. He’s terrific and deserves another two years somewhere high in the tables.

  25. Pete,
    You’re so right about the Ox. There’s a drive that he and Jack possess that puts opponents on their heels and can pose serious questions that they must work hard to try to answer.

  26. I don’t know what he’s been up to these last 3 or 4 months but Wilshere looks very sharp 🙂 On a serious note I think him and Ozil have come back sharper than they were before their injuries, which isn’t always the case with players out that long I must say.

  27. I guess he didn’t get the memo! This from a Guardian writer, Michael Cox, today, in an appreciation of Arsene as a bold tactician! So much for those who treat AW as tactically clueless:
    “Wenger increasingly makes eye-catching tactical decisions, both when chasing games and when shutting them down, and both were obvious in the second half. Jack Wilshere’s introduction in place of the underwhelming Cazorla made sense but it was more surprising to see Theo Walcott brought on in place of the right-back Héctor Bellerín, a very attacking move.

    This was a risk: Coquelin moved to right-back against Young, United’s most dangerous attacker, while Walcott stayed high up the pitch, running in behind fellow substitute Tyler Blackett. Walcott’s directness led to Arsenal’s fortunate equaliser, but equally crucial was the fact Ramsey, starting on the right, was switched to his preferred central role, from where he took charge and played a couple of outstanding passes.

    Arsenal were dominant and looked most likely to score the game’s third goal but Wenger was entirely happy with a draw, and his late introduction of Mathieu Flamini for Sánchez demonstrated he now has the squad, and the mentality, to change the balance of his side when required.”

  28. @bob:

    I pretty much agree with everything you wrote. I’d just add that a few lessons from Thierry Daniel Henry would turn Daniel Welbeck into a world-class striker. All Dat Guy needs is composure and goals will start pouring.

  29. I think Coquelin has played at fullback, just not lately. Has he done so in practice?

    We have a variety of players who can score in various situations.

    People on this blog and elsewhere, have mentioned that Jenkinson is probably the best crosser of the ball we have. I will let you argue his worth. But an accurate crosser of the ball from a wing (it would be better if it could be both wings) could work with someone running in from the far side of the field to provide a different approach to scoring in games where all the moethods we normally used this year don’t seem to be working.

    People can score from distance. Sometimes it is guile, in spotting the goalkeeper too far off the line to save a well placed shot. But it seems that power is often an important component. The accurate crossing from one sideline to far post or beyond is a long ball. Can Jenkinson also be turned into a long distance shooter?

    I don’t believe in a first 11. I believe you play the players needed for the game. In a boring league, it is entirely possible that all opponents appear the same, and you can get away with a first 11. I think teams should have a first 16 or so, and which 11 of the 16 start depends on the needs to win.

    Oh well, I’ve got a trilateration problem to figure out.

  30. People talk about of first half performance. BUT I think it is by design. I think we are trying to preserve energy for the latter half of the game.

    There have been some teams who have openly stated that they try to stay in the game against this ARSENAL team. And hit them at the end. Swansea got lucky. And Gary Monk openly said the same. I think the alterations were in process before, but against Swansea and Man Utd it looked obvious because of our inability to open a clear cut chances. Creative teams like ARSENAL go through these phase, and I believe they should go through such a phase every season.

  31. Of course we are all satisfied with a point, but INSIDE we are ALL hurting. Tell me i am lying. Now for the critic.

    The fact remains though that we were not tough enough. We cannot expect them or any team to lie down for us. We have to be just as tough, this lets them know they cannot dominate us. I do not mean dominate possession, that’s another subject.

    The fact that we have a final to go to of course defined the way we played, and can be given as a sort of excuse, but it surely does nothing for the confidence of the players when we get pushed around (not even going to mention the ref here). They will know INSIDE. We can usually defend sharp and together as a unit until a chance appears, and to slip back into this sort of performance will not cut it in CL much less the PL, we saw that again and again.

    I dare ANY arsenal fan to tell me they feel good inside. Satisfied we got a point, but feel good? If anyone does, they are probably lying. No one feels good when the team is pushed around, and to deny it is laughable. We did not stand up for ourselves in the 1st half, and this could have even caused more injuries as Manu increased their “roughness” all because we did not stand up for ourselves. This is the way teams like to play in the PL, and i thought we had realised that.

    If we go into the season thinking we are going to get beat at some time, we are going to play bad sometimes no wonder we do too. This self suggestion is vital before any challenge, we all know that. There is no other option but to know(suggestion again, the mind is a programmable thing) one is going to win.

    What ever happens, the mentality has to be, we’re going there to win, to control the other team, to upset them where ever, to seek out their weaknesses and exploit them with skill, basically TO WAR(football war i mean). This thought process will show up in the way one plays. Anything less than that is not worth turning up really.

    Look at our last two games.
    In one we got out played.
    In the other we got out bullied.

    Am i right or am i not right?

    For all those who are going to “attack me”, just know this.
    I am not angry, i am hurt inside just like many of you, and our players too.
    They know it. We know it.
    But we also know we are much better than this. The pain comes from that we did not produce that which we could.
    That’s all.

    Am i right or am i not right?

  32. Jambug are u serious? 🙂 Actually on second thought you are probably right.

  33. If you can’t win a game then you try not to lose it to your nearest rivals. This is a lesson this squad appears to have learned this season (with the notable exception of Monaco) that seems like good progress to me 🙂

  34. Pete

    “A ranting AAA came on with all the usual b*llox. Then a Spud came on and slagged off the AAA and sang Wenger’s praises to high heaven! Really made me smile.”

    Mandy Dodd

    “Pete, you pick up on a valid point, a lot of spurs fans have a greater appreciation of what Wenger has achieved than some of our own.”

    This is how it has been for a while. My non Arsenal supporting friends and colleagues give far more credit to Arsenal and Wenger than the Arsenal ones ever do.

    bob @ 12:05

    Agreed. To even suggest, as many in the media do, that Wenger ‘doesn’t do tactics’ is simply ridiculous. Makes a change to find one with a brain.

    For what it’s worth, my take on it is (because contrary to what some of my accusers say, I don’t think Wenger’s perfect} is, that he has sometimes put TOO much faith in certain players, or even the team. Sometimes I think he still thinks he can do what he did with the Invincibles, and go for it in almost every match, but as good as most of our teams have been these last 9 or so years, they where not the Invincibles.

    There was a time when he almost didn’t even have to worry about the opposition, because if we went out, and played our game, we would win. And 90% of the time that is exactly what they did. I just think that over time Wenger has gradually sent more and more teams out with the specific intention of stopping the opposition first, something he hardly ever, if ever did back in the day. He has shown time and time again over the years, especially in more recent times, that when his backs to the wall he knows exactly how to send a team out to ‘do a job’. Okay, sometimes we have just not been good enough, but it’s got nothing to do with Wenger not doing tactics.

    Josif @ 10:25

    Honestly I cant see it happening either. Just a thought 😉

    As for Rosicky, my thoughts exactly. I love the guy and really really hope he stays. He deserves it.

    Al @ 12:04

    Very true. First Ozil now Wilshere, both coming back looking sharper and stronger than before there injuries. Theos not quite the same, but not been bad, just lacking that sharpness. Maybe the goal will do him the World of good, even if he does lose it through the dubious goals panel, which he will.

    Arsenal 13

    “People talk about of first half performance. BUT I think it is by design. I think we are trying to preserve energy for the latter half of the game.”

    Spooky !

    I was just talking about that to Mrs J last Night. I agree, I think we do do that to a greater or lesser degree quite often. The problem is it doesn’t always work, for various reasons.

    Take the Swansea game. Wenger knows that getting passed a parked bus, or a couple of parked buses in Swanseas case, is going to be tough. Exhausting them is a valid and very effective tactic, most of the time. Okay, they would of liked to of created a few more chances in that first half, but the main aim was to pull them all over the park and sap the legs, and it worked. By 10 minutes into the 2nd half, to coin a phrase, ‘there legs had gone’.

    If it wasn’t for some poor finishing, some decent keeping, and a bit of bad luck, we could of been, should of been out of sight before they scored. They where so lacking in energy I believe they scored with just there 6th touch in our half in the entire 2nd half. Not effort on goal. Not attack, TOUCH.

    But, ‘best laid plans of mince and men’ and all that. It happens.

    As for yesterday. Not so sure about that. It MAY of been the plan, but to implement the plan you need the lions share of the ball, and we didn’t manage that. You cant tire a team out if you don’t have the ball, or at least you shouldn’t be able to.

    Either way, we stayed in the game and despite United having more of the ball in the first half it was indeed them that run out of legs. Maybe we are just a fitter side than most.

  35. We will finish third, behind only the oilers. Yet if you read some reports, posts, blogs, listen to some phone ins, it’s almost as if we have been relegated. The new narrative, how far behind Chelsea we are. Chelsea are a club these days handed everything on a plate, financially, a win at all costs for a couple years manager, a team permitted by the pgmol to put in potential leg breaking reducers on creative opposition players in the first five minutes with impunity.
    Arsenal have done it the hard way, off their own back, without friends in Sky high places. Yes we are behind Chelsea and City., with the start we had, not surprising. Let’s see what next season, with a proper summer break brings.

  36. Money is numbers and numbers never end. If it takes money to be happy, your search for happiness will never end. – Bob Marley

  37. Para
    Don’t be such a drama queen.
    I feel none of the emotions you demand I should be experiencing and probably all of the ones you think I shouldn’t.
    We progressed, I am relieved, ambivalent as to the way the match played out, and yes eventually satisfied with the end result.
    No “lying” involved, but I could never be a accused of wearing my heart on my sleeve.

  38. BBC2, MOTD 2

    Didn’t even show the attempted removal of Girouds shirt.

    A 100% penalty not given by the referee who was just 10 yards away and looking straight at it.

    A massively contentious incident, totally ignored. The question is would it of been:

    Had it been a United player?

    Had it happened for any other team playing against us?

    what do you think?

    Absolute Joke.

  39. jambug

    I’ve not watched MOD yet, but was the shirt incident edited out of the action part?
    It was certainly a penalty and in a game with not a lot of incident you’d have expected it to be left in and later discussed at length.
    I bet they showed Jones’ ground header though.

  40. It’s really irritating to see defenders wrestling with the opposition during corners and free-kicks. What was Smalling doing there?! For some reason, referees always seem reluctant to give those penalties. I can only remember one instance of a penalty being awarded- us against Southampton last season when BFG’s shirt was pulled.

    Al, I remember that foul on Dzeko by Kos. He even got sent off for it. That was however an easier decision for the ref as it was not a set-piece.

    But this issue needs to be addressed- United got away with even worse against Chelsea earlier on in the season- Smalling on Ivanovic if I remember right.

  41. Jambug

    I was amused by Neville saying something like ‘oh,they got lucky there/they got away with one there’. Making it sound like (a) it was a rare event and (b) that the outcome was determined by luck.

    The pretence is that on another day Smalling or one of the other Utd defenders would be penalised for it. Think I’m right in saying that they have never been penalised for it in premier league history, despite indulging every single game. So it’s not exactly foolish from Smalling, and there’s no trace of luck in getting away with it.

    It’s interesting that it was that man Michael Oliver who had the temerity to try deal with it, in the Stoke Swansea game, this year. Hughes slammed him, media support of the decision was a lot weaker than you’d expect (they regularly claim to want it dealt with) and despite Pgmol supposedly backing the ref I somehow doubt how much they did. I doubt he’ll do it again in his career. If it’s guaranteed the manager of the penalised team will kick up a stink, and media support is lukewarm, you either need an iron will , strong support from your bosses, or both. It’s just too easy to let it go and not risk the hassle.

    I remember Mike Jones amazing me by giving a pen for holding on Giroud in a Norwich game. At the time I thought ‘hmm, this guy could be ok’. Pretty much since that day he has systematically been a letdown (the crap decision to disallow Tiote’s screamer against city, the Kos pen up at Stoke) and looked to me like a haunted man out there.

    It was all there for Dean to give it, including the fact Utd- Smalling I think- had been heavily flagged for doing the same in the Chelsea game. Smalling could have pulled Giroud’s shirt over his head if he wanted to. Nothing would make Dean give a pen. Unless maybe one of the team’s had a three goal lead or something. (I’ve not seen replay, but I’d have a little bet that Dean waited to see if a goal was scored before penalising Falcao for the push on Koscielny. Those little actions are the way I’d cover myself if I were a crook)

    Finally, it becomes even more annoying when you remember this. A dvd, with the soothing tones of Webb himself!

  42. hrishi

    “But this issue needs to be addressed- United got away with even worse against Chelsea earlier on in the season- Smalling on Ivanovic if I remember right”.

    And I bet they was all over it during the post match analysis.

    That’s the thing, when it suits out comes the microscope, when it doesn’t they ignore it completely.

    I cant recall the specific incident, but I remember sheerer getting the microscope out to justify a penalty against us.

    But when it comes to us it seems the removal of someone’s shirt isn’t even worth showing, let alone analysing.

    No agenda there then.

  43. rich

    “I was amused by Neville saying something like ‘oh, they got lucky there/they got away with one there’. Making it sound like (a) it was a rare event and (b) that the outcome was determined by luck”.

    I know. As if there was ever ANY chance of it being given.

    As bad as Dean was for not giving it, at least he has the defence that NOBODY would of given it, where as MOTD have no excuse for not showing, what was after all THE most contentious event in the entire match.

  44. Para 7:57
    Context is everything. Given who we were playing against, where we were playing, who the ref was and what was at stake I can’t see why you would be hurting inside. If you look at that we were trailing for so long this actually makes it a very good result. I’m more than satisfied with this result. I’ll probably not use the word happy because of the other stuff that dean let utd get away with (Smalling and felaini incidents) but I can definitely not say I’m sad. The aim was to pip utd to third, and we did just that, so for me I cannot see any reason to be despondent about. In case you may feel I’m attempting to sound wiser after the event I said it before, as well as others like Tony etc, before the match that I would take a draw as it would put third place beyond doubt, and that’s exactly what happened. Of course we might even had won this given how we had utd on the ropes in the final 10-15 minutes, but overall am satisfied. And that’s the honest truth. Job done, no major injuries, rvp did not score…, what more could we ask for.

  45. @Para sorry if you are sad, as of me im happy after winning a million shillings and puttin the manures at oldtoilet where they deserve to be. Im just waiting how the incidence on giroud will be left scot free when manure fight it out with atletico madrid for the right to be in the champions league and Para my friend on that match you will all be hurting.

  46. Jambug,
    They were not exactly all over it. Passing mentions in the Daily Mail and Guardian reports. Here are the links:

    What about yesterday’s game?- Guardian ignored the foul while DM had a box in green titled “Graham Poll: the Official Line” on the issue.

    While it is debatable as to what constitutes greater cumulative coverage, the fact that Guardian and MOTD ignored it (the Ivanovic incident was shown on MOTD) might force me to accept that yesterday’s foul indeed had less coverage. What might be the possible reasons? An anti-Arsenal agenda certainly might be one of them while the fact that Smalling’s foul on Ivanovic was graver and possibly a red-card offence might be another.

    My view is that both those incidents got less coverage than they deserved. Had a penalty been given yesterday, you would have had a lot more stuff on it and most of the pundits would have called it ‘soft’. I don’t think that would have changed had the roles been reversed.

  47. TailGunner, Al.
    I stick by what i said. Sad that we can let ourselves be pulled out of whack for the first half. Sad for the players for they will know. One cannot hide it from oneself, and we all know it.

    We can ignore it but it is something that needs to be fixed. This is why we have a big squad to prevent those little blips by playing a “rearing to go player” instead of a little tired one.

    If this was the plan as some suggested we do, it nearly backfired on us.

    Now watch the breakdown to see that i am right.

  48. I think Giroud played well despite being man-handled by Smailing and Jones so often. Many people fail to realize that Giroud is not a typical striker who wait for chances but he also helps to create and defend at the same time. No striker in EPL is as strong as Oliver Giroud and he can take on both opposite CB in a fair game anytime. Despite that, his bulk restricts his movement compare to faster strikers. But the rotational midfield formation won’t work without Giroud so I guess when the battle is going on in the middle, other players gotta be smart with their movement. Nevertheless, the way Man Utd started the match like a rampaging bull definitely worried our players, so defending came first. I don’t understand, it’s end of a long season, at Old Trafford, Man Utd barraging our players and non-stop attack but still we came away with a point while some lunatics thinks our players are lazy, unmotivated and arrogant. Man, wake up from your slumber.

  49. from the guardian…
    “Mesut Ozil is a luxury Arsenal cannot afford
    Mesut Ozil continues to be an enigma for Arsenal and the German was once again anonymous in this game.
    He may have his sporadic moments of brilliance within the safe confines of the Emirates, but he is too often a passenger away from home when increased work-rate and defensive discipline is crucial.
    The former Real Madrid playmaker possesses all the talent in the world, but he rarely shows it and, in a team that already has the flair of Santi Cazorla, Alexis Sanchez and, when fit, Jack Wilshere, Ozil is simply a luxury that Arsenal cannot afford”

  50. @Al – I’m with you not happy but satisfied that we came out unharmed.

    @jambug – MOTD? the biggest biased football show on TV. Moron Of The Day more like.

  51. No red card for that foul on Beraninho from WBA against Terry? And Cesc has been sleeping with the dogs and now has fleas….

  52. Interesting Brent Jones, that would be the Manchester Guardian that lambasted Wenger for not signing Cesc last summer…..a very similar player to those mentioned. The beauty of being a lazy journalist, or publication, you can contradict yourself, spout hypocracy to your hearts content

  53. Maybe Cesc has a Grand Prix he wants to get to, he has missed the Spanish, but Monaco up next

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