Manchester United failed to grab a win against Arsenal after a truly spectacular performance. Excellent in all departments of football, United’s control of the midfield allowed them to limit Arsenal to very few chances. Heroic central defensive performances from the stop-gap duo of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo prevented Arsenal from creating chances. United’s three fullbacks, Antonio Valencia, Matteo Darmian and Daley Blind, were excellent, particularly the former, who was marauding from back to front all match. In midfield, Ander Herrera and Paul Pogba were stabilized by Michael Carrick, and they were the two best players on the pitch once again. Juan Mata, the goal-scorer, was freed by Valencia’s incredible running and took his goal very well. Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial provided a vital turn of pace and good link-up play.
Despite a nearly flawless performance, though, United was unable to grab a win, as Arsenal’s one shot on target resulted in a goal for Olivier Giroud. Arsene Wenger needs to be given credit for some excellent substitutions, but United was denied a clear penalty after Shkodran Mustafi blocked the ball with his hand in Arsenal’s box, and Phil Jones was fouled by Laurent Koscielny before Arsenal’s goal. That being said, there were more positives, and even if it doesn’t come this season, Mourinho has shown he has the credentials to make United one of the best outfits in the world again.
Goals: Mata (68′)
Assists: Herrera (68′)
Manchester United: De Gea; Valencia, Jones, Rojo, Darmian (Blind 64′); Carrick, Herrera; Mata (Schneiderlin 85′), Pogba, Martial (Rooney 63′); Rashford
Substitutes Not Used: Romero; Memphis, Lingard, Young
Bookings: Darmian (25′), Mata (69′), Rooney (94′)