What was expected to be a high-voltage weekend extravaganza fizzled out into a tame draw for the home team? Arsenal held Manchester United 1-1 at Old Trafford today. This should have been Jose Mourinho’s best chance to register a win against their traditional arch-rivals in the English Premier League, but a late equalizer from Oliver Giroud ruined it. Arsenal, again, could not avenge their 10-year drought of wins at Old Trafford against Manchester United this weekend.
What were the odds of Arsenal beating Manchester United?
Very low actually. Arsene Wenger came with an unimpressive record at Old Trafford. The record is worse when he faces Jose Mourinho. Arsenal had lost seven games out of their last nine games at the Old Trafford before this match. The Gunners were offered a modest 17/10 to take three points today. However, all that could have changed today if they took more shots at the net and stopped Juan Mata from scoring. For the first time, Arsenal hardly posed any kind of an open challenge to Manchester United. With just one attempt at the goal, Arsenal should be regretting their play. It took a late header from Oliver Giroud to equalize the scores in the 90th minute.
The betting masters were still favoring Manchester United with 32/21 bet. After overcoming Swansea City in their last match, Jose Mourinho’s side seemed to have regained their lost touch. However, the absence of Zlatan Ibrahimovic did hurt the prospects dearly today. It was the defense and midfield that sunk them again.
How could Manchester United win today?
Jose Mourinho’s bitter rivalry with Arsene Wenger is very well documented. Given his poor management at the club, Jose might not have survived a defeat this time around. Injuries aside, his team is already under doubt and facing accusations leveled by the manager. The match changed all that. The defense is cracking up and the strikers are hardly taking enough shots on the goal. Add to it the late yellow card that Wayne Rooney grabbed for ranting at the referee.
The contest was as much between the managers and the fans as much it is among the players. Last month, Manchester United was hammered by Chelsea in a 4-0 loss. Thereafter, they have played defensive football. It was evident from the 0-0 draw against Liverpool. Today, they played more aggressively, pushing the ball forward from the right more often. The late equalizer from Giroud proved too costly after all.
It wasn’t tough for Manchester United to hold Arsenal back initially. Chris Smalling, Marouane Fellaini , Eric Bailly and Antonio Valencia were missing from the defense line. Arsenal has scored 20 goals in their last 7 matches. With that kind of power, this match was expected to see a 3-0 drubbing for Manchester United. At full-time, we have the 1-1 draw.
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