It’s funny how quickly things can change and the mood around a result can shift. In this fixture eleven seasons ago, a 2-2 draw had Sir Alex Ferguson skipping to the United fans at the Clock End of Highbury with a clenched fist of celebration. A draw away at Arsenal can rarely be classed as a bad result. Whilst there was nothing wrong with tonight’s result, it was the turgid performance put in from United which has angered most United fans of my acquaintance.
The Arsenal stadium, just after the second half had kicked off
At no point did I think United would score. United were bereft of any ambition, intent and, worst of all, any idea. A potential counter-attack for United in the penultimate minute of injury time summed this whole game up for the Reds. The move broke down through Michael Carrick and United strolled the ball around the middle of the park, content with possession alone. When United had possession during the match, they played as if defending a lead – which is all well and good when actually in the lead.
In the second minute, Robin Van Persie snatched at a chance and in the 79th, Arsenal keeper Tomasz Szczesny parried a Van Persie header onto the bar. These were isolated incidents as far as United were concerned. Arsenal had chances; they found David De Gea on particularly good form. It’s debatable who the man of the match was tonight. To me, it was either De Gea or referee Mark Clattenburg. There were one or two rum challenges going in, more often than not ones that would lead to a booking. With admirable common sense, in a throwback to how referees used to manage games, Clattenburg didn’t flash his card at all until the 86th minute, when he booked Arsenal full back Bacary Sagna for a foul on Wayne Rooney. In the 62nd minute, Antonio Valencia headed off the line from Laurent Koscielny. Two minutes later, Arsenal were denied what I thought was a certain penalty when Nemanja Vidic pushed Olivier Giroud in the United penalty area.
United fans had travelled to London en-masse for this match. It’s not a divine right of United fans to expect victory, despite what some clueless knobheads who get all their football knowledge from Nick Hancock and David Baddiel may think. Most United fans would’ve spent £100 before slurping a glass of water getting to this match, plus a day off work. However, travelling Reds deserve a better performance than the crap served up tonight. Who’s looking forward to Euro aways in mining villages in the old East Germany next season? It’s as good as it’s gonna be.
8 thoughts on “With A Clenched Fist Of Celebration – Manchester 12th February 2014”
I for one can vouch that a trip to Lokomotive Leipzig, Dynamo Dresden or Erzgebirge Aue would rank among the best ever. Bring it on.
Nice one Matt, who wants to go to Milan anyway? It’s an over-rated shithole.
Is the beer alright in Leipzig and Dresden? Where the bleedin’ hell is Erzgebirge Aue by the way? I’ve never heard of it 😉
Aue’s a proper East German mining village. Make’s Donetsk look positively bourgeois! Guaranteed top few days in Leipzig. I’ll sort us a lock in at the famous Killiwilly Irish Pub.
Sorry Matt your knowledge of the obscure place has been completely ruined by last line re Irish bar. Surely there’s proper local bars ?
What makes you so sure we’ll even make the Europa League?
I think United will make it, wouldn’t put any serious money on it though. Working on the assumption that City win the League Cup and two teams in the top six contest the FA Cup final, should make seventh place good for the Europa League.
Dear me, this is desperate 🙂
Drawing against a title contender away from home is never a bad result. However, it seems that a draw has got to come in the Cavalier style of old. Showing discipline, holding the ball late on, to secure a point is where we’re at. Last Sundays Fuck Up seems to have evaporated. If United had shown the same tactic,on Sunday, then ,we would be talking of a mini revival. Blame Moyes,if you must, but at least the team are taking notice of him. Do I want attacking footy, of course, we all do. But when you pick a drunk up, of the floor, you don’t encourage him to chase a bus he has no chance of catching. Smarten yourself up pal. there’s another one coming soon, would be my patient advice. Respect to you Murph
I wouldn’t say the cavalier style, just play with a bit of balls, especially on the counter attack with seconds remaining and the chance to nick the points. The last minute goal given away on Sunday has affected confidence, I’m sure of that. United maybe a drunk on the floor with confidence after that goal but Arsenal themselves got absolutely clobbered at Anfield the previous day. They were wary and there for the taking and not only that, with United so far behind in the table in pursuit of that no precious fourth place, United should’ve gone for the win. Having players with the attacking menace of Rooney, Van Persie and Mata available on the pitch, the tactics were surprising.