Arsenal 1 – 3 Manchester United
My original post was succinct and to the point; one word. It summed up the frustration at the result and the manner in which we conceded goals, particularly the third.
Injuries played their part; there’s no point berating the performance, if that’s what you want to do, without recognising the impact of losing two central defenders at key stages of the game.
And then, of course, if that’s not good enough you can always blame Mesut Ozil for the defeat, the assassination of JFK, and hellfire, why not chuck in the sacking of Rome while you are at it. Or the sacking of Arsene Wenger, if you want to keep it football-related.
I’m not the German’s biggest fan but even I’d say it’s a tough gig for the flak he is copping from last night’s game.
The reality is that we lost in familiar circumstances. Concede two quick-fire goals and then a third while we chase the game. We’ve been here before with United and I suspect it’s a crime scene we will revisit in the future. But by all the hallowed souls in Valhalla, that doesn’t make last night any easier to stomach.
But let’s get the injuries out of the way first.
I think they weren’t big injuries for Sokratis [his ankle]. Maybe Laurent Koscielny is going toUnai Emery isn’t hopeful on Laurent Koscielny’s injury
hospitalto [analyse] what injury he has. Maybe he’s broken [his cheek or jaw] but I hope not.
Which gets that out of the way. Essentially, we’re buggered for the trip to Manchester City unless Sokratis can recover. Mustafi and Mavropanos; the M&Ms against Cardiff makes sense. However, against Aguero and co, the prospect of that pairing fills me with more than a little dread. And Reggae Reggae M&Ms aren’t a big seller.
A Good Day To Bury Bad News
The club, of course, is disappointed by the cup exit but it buried the 2018 accounts being issued to the suits relief.
We return to our scheduled programming which is essentially last night’s match. There were some good parts to the performance. We started each half brightly, particularly the second – no surprise – and were unfortunate when Romero saved well from Ramsey.
But the damage was done. Alexis opened the scoring from a tight angle after leaving the defence standing. It’s a shame that among all the pantomime crowd boos that nobody though to shout “BEHIND YOU!!!” as he left a static defensive line in his wake.
A sharp intake of breath later, Lingaard made it 2 – 0 as we were caught with our footballing y-fronts around our ankles. It’s Arsenal and we do like to do things the hard way.
And we did try to recover the situation. Aubameyang tapped in from two yards just before the interval and the team talks changed a little.
At this point, I’d originally written that it changed the post from “Bollocks” to requiring 749 more words. As I write, I think my original idea was the best.
Ramsey’s header promised a blood and thunder cup-tie. Sadly, it proved more thud and blunder. Koscielny felt the full force of Lukaku’s heel on his jaw and his night was over. Talk about stemming the flow of blood and Xhaka’s gestures made it seem as if a stud had punctured the skin.
In my mind’s eye, Koscielny was going to stand up and resemble a Connect 4 frame. Thankfully not.
And Then It All Went Wrong
The third goal was blunderful to concede. Lacazette lost possession on the edge of the United box and Tubby Shaw strolled upfield. Paul Pogba’s standing is improving to the extent that reports show him striding majestically through the midfield before shooting.
The reality is nobody bothered to challenge him. The Frenchman could have used a Zimmer frame and still got his shot away so porous was our defensive structure. Matters were made worse when Cech parried the ball into Martial’s path. That’s the unmarked Anthony Martial’s path. He didn’t miss.
Cech should have turned the ball aside, he will know that. He will also know his prospects of more first-team action this season are beyond slight. Leno is Number One in the Premier League and probably Europe as well.
So, the FA Cup adventure is over and like the League Cup, ended at home by a close rival. Odds on us drawing Chelsea in the Europa League, anyone?