Report: A 2-2 draw at Old Trafford against Arsenal may not be the greatest result but it was a fair one for this side


Manchester United drew 2-2 with Arsenal at Old Trafford, which was a good result considering. Arsenal opened the scoring with David De Gea not parrying the ball and it going in under the crossbar. Anthony Martial scored an equaliser minutes later after some good play from United. Arsenal then took the lead again with some poor defending for United but Jesse Lingard equalised seconds later, capitalising from Arsenal’s incompetence.

United started the game with attacking intent which was something the crowd at the Theatre of Dreams was happy about, considering the roar around the stadium. Jose Mourinho had United in a three at the back formation, which on the defence, could turn to four or five with the wing-backs; Diogo Dalot and Matteo Darmian. In the third minute of the match, Anthony Martial played the ball into Marcus Rashford on the edge of the box with Jesse Lingard making the run behind the defence. Arsenal averted the danger.

Rashford had a shot on goal in the fifth minute of the match from 20-yards out, which was straight to Bernd Leno. The Old Trafford crowd were still making a lot of noise from United’s start, which was impressive based on the starts they have had in recent matches. United won a corner in the ninth minute of the match, which was taken by Rashford but the ball was not quite as precise as it could have been with Arsenal cutting out every avenue for United to find an opener.

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Arsenal had to chance to get something from the game in the 10th minute with Alex Iwobi looking to play Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang through but Chris Smalling stood in the way of the goal and the Arsenal forward, blocking the path to goal. The ball then found its way to David De Gea with a foul being called for but the referee gave nothing to the visiting team. In the 12th minute, United were toying with the ball in the middle third with Arsenal sitting back into their half.

Arsenal had a corner in the 16th minute which was nothing to write home about. It actually put United on the attack, which also came to nothing. Arsenal won the throw-in, which was played into their penalty area with United players running to regain possession in a dangerous area but Arsenal maintained their composure on the ball and played it into United’s final third. Eric Bailly stole possession from Matteo Guendouzi in the 18th minute but the pass he picked out was wasted with Arsenal regaining the ball.

Arsenal had a great chance in the 20th minute with Smalling unable to get on the ball in the United area, however, the clearance was made and Arsenal back on the ball and coming back for another go, to no avail. Arsenal won a corner in the 26th minute after Dalot dispossessed Sead Kolasinac giving away a corner. From the corner, Arsenal took the lead with a soft goal, scored by Shkodran Mustafi with De Gea parrying the ball, it not clearing the crossbar and crossing the line before Ander Herrera could clear the danger.

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United won a free-kick in the 30th minute after Martial was fouled just outside Arsenal area. Both Rashford and Marcos Rojo were stood over the ball with the Argentinian defender taking the set-piece, forcing a save from Leno. United kept the ball in play with Herrera playing the ball back into the box and Martial scoring from close range. Arsenal’s lead did not last very long. After the equaliser, Rob Holding suffered an injury and was carried off on a stretcher. Stephan Lichtsteiner replaced the 23-year-old.

United won a free kick int he 38th minute of the game after Mustafi fouled Rashford with the German defender shown the yellow card. Martial cut to Rojo, whose shot on goal which was blocked. The Argentinian defender then ran into the box and fouled Guendouzi, earning a yellow card for himself. United earned another yellow card with Jesse Lingard after a challenge on Torreira. Hector Bellerin was then booked for a foul on Matteo Darmian with Andre Marriner card happy for a few minutes.

Nemanja Matic became the fifth player to be shown a yellow card in five minutes after the Serbian pulled back Aubameyang on the halfway line. There was another injury as the game headed into halftime, this time with Aaron Ramsey, who seemed to injure himself whilst trying to get the ball. Three minutes of time was added on at the end of the first half. It was 1-1 at the end of the half, with all still to play for.

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Arsenal made a change at the start of the second half with Henrikh Mkhitaryan replacing the injured Ramsey. Jose Mourinho opted to make no changes at this stage in the game. Arsenal had a good period of play at the start of the second half where they attempted to gain an advantage in the game but United’s defence stood solid. United had a good opportunity in the 54th minute with Martial in the box but Arsenal regained their composure and averted the danger. However, it could be costly for them with another injury.

It was Torreira who suffered a niggle but he was able to play on but they do come in threes. United had an opportunity with Dalot on the right-wing, playing his cross into the box with Arsenal putting it out for a corner. However, it came to nothing for United. Arsenal gave away another corner after Rojo had a shot from distance in the 59th minute which was tipped over the crossbar by Leno. There was a handball appeal from the corner but nothing was given in United’s favour as there was nothing to give.

Mourinho made his first substitution in the 63rd minute with Romelu Lukaku replacing Martial, who seems to have injured himself in a tangle with Sokratis, despite it not looking like a serious one. Unai Emery made a third change in the 65th minute with Alexandre Lacazette replacing Iwobi. Mourinho had Juan Mata and Marouane Fellaini both warming up in the 67th minute of the game, possibly thinking about bringing both on.

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Arsenal regained the lead in the 68th minute of the game with a goal that will be credited to Lacazette although it could be an own goal for Marcos Rojo. United did not leave it there though. They scored from the free-kick with Lingard finding the back of the net after a long ball was played into the final third. Mustafi and Kolasinac were both asleep the Leno was not around to deny United from an immediate equaliser. 2-2. Game on, again.

United found themselves through again, with Lingard a minute after equalising but a free-kick was given in Arsenal’s favour. Arsenal then had a chance to get a third goal with De Gea standing firm and Dalot regaining possession in the box and making the clearance. Mourinho then made his second change with Fellaini coming on for Rojo with United maybe reverting to a back four. De Gea made another superb save in the 75th minute, denying Arsenal from scoring a third, again.

Paul Pogba was ready to be United’s third substitute with the Frenchman replacing Lingard in the 75th minute. It was a mixed reception for the Frenchman after being told he was a virus by Mourinho in the dressing room following the 2-2 draw at Southampton. There were just ten minutes remaining for both teams to try and find the winner. With Chelsea losing 2-1 to Wolverhampton Wanderers, an Arsenal win could see them inside the top four. A United win would find them a little bit closer to Chelsea.

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In the 82nd minute, seemingly in frustration, Jose Mourinho kicked the wall of the bench then smiled and shook the hand of a young supporter. The manager was probably just giving the media something to talk about for the next week or so. They seem to have been starved of exclusives for the time being. United got the ball in midfield and Rashford stuck a shot in, which went straight to Leno who could not keep the ball in his hands but United did not gain an advantage.

In the final few minutes of the half, Arsenal were piling the pressure on for United but a through the middle ball was collected by De Gea. Lacazette then headed the ball out of the Spaniard’s hand, scoring a third for Arsenal but it was disallowed. Four minutes of time were added at the end of the half, seemingly more time to find a winner. Arsenal pilled the pressure on for United, seemingly pushing for another goal, which Mkhitaryan scored but was flagged for offside.

United should be the team pressing Arsenal in these final stages of the game. United had an opportunity through Lukaku, from the right-wing, dribbling the ball into the box to create something, however, Arsenal managed to gather the ball to cut out any opportunity United had created, which was very little. BT Sport gave Nemanja Matic the Man of the Match in this game, which saw a different United take the pitch. The game ended in a 2-2 draw, a fair result for United still with some work to do.

Goals: Sead Mustafi 26′, Alexandre Lacazette 68′; Anthony Martial 30′, Jesse Lingard 69′

Assists: Lucas Torreira 26′; Ander Herrera 30′

Manchester United: De Gea; Bailly, Smalling, Rojo (Fellaini 72′); Dalot, Herrera, Matic, Darmian; Lingard (Pogba 75′); Rashford, Martial (Lukaku 63′)

Substitutes Not Used: Romero; Valencia; Mata, McTominay

Bookings: Sead Mustafi 37′, Hector Bellerin 41′; Marcos Rojo 38′, Jesse Lingard 40′, Nemanja Matic 42′

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