Arsenal 3 – 1 MU: The Four Shots That Were Key

Arsenal 3-1 Manchester United

Eight Observations:

  1. We scored so very early and that was of course a bonus. What was really good is that Arsenal did not put the foot off the gas after Tavares’ tap in. Yet being a goal up in a tense fixture can take a toll on our concentration levels and we gave Manchester United just too much space between the lines. This gave them a chance to get into the game. Elneny and Xhaka played well again but the connection between midfield and defence was missing, allowing the Mancs to get the ball around our box far too easily and leading to too many half decent chances for them.
  2. Yet Arsenal produced the better football and chances with Eddie being in the right place twice in short succession. The Ode produced his magic between a sea of Manc defenders and he and Saka were the real difference between the two teams. Saka’s pen was convincing and one of the four shots that made the difference on the day.
  3. Our left side in attack was almost none existent. You could tell that Xhaka was reluctant to play the ball to the left with both ESR and especially Tavares lacking the confidence and ball tightness so needed to be effective. Bruno is such a raw Eboue-esque talent. His running is beautiful to watch and his desire is a joy too, but Tavares has a lot too learn in all aspects of the game. His fellow players are still getting used to him and they lack confidence in him, so for now a different left back solution seems necessary (Soares?). Yet we’ll done Arteta for not sacrificing him to the crowd.
  4. Understandbly, after the game at the Bridge we lacked the energy to close our opponent down and from such a situation we allowed Ronaldo to score. It was poor play by us all round and it allowed the Mancs to regain their belief that they could get something from this game. On our left side we gave away too much space for shots and runs into the box and only by luck did we not concede more goals from that area.
  5. The start of the second half was for the Mancs. They had us in a spell it seemed. It was only a matter of time for them to get equal and they had the greatest opportunity to do so when we conceded a very poor penalty. The second key shot of the game was Fernandes’ frivolous attempt to convert the penalty. The jester hit the outside of the post and the home of football erupted with relief and collective schadenfreude. Saka’s pen was so much better and this was one of the difference makers in the game.
  6. Yet the Mancs kept coming and we just couldn’t control the game. Although Elneny played a tidy game, we were now missing Partey’s ability to enforce our midfield badly. Arteta put on Martinelli for ESR but that did not help much. Then comes the third key shot of the game, one that I did not understand straight away. Soares conceded a foul and Granit kicks the ball high into the stands. “Stupid!” the reporter said and I agreed. Xhaka gets carded and we all say typical Granit. Yet after I watched the game again I noticed how this was the moment from which the game changed for Arsenal again. We started to keep and pass the ball much better and for the first time in a while started to create chances again. Xhaka’s crazy kick seemed to have signalled something to the team; his card seemed to have taken a bit of pressure out of the game. Maybe it wasn’t such a stupid thing to do after all?! Maybe it even was done deliberately: one for the team so to speak?
  7. Five minutes after his yellow card, Xhaka produced the fourth key shot of the game. It was a howitzer reminiscent of Arteta’s screamer many years ago v Man City. It was just what the team and supporters needed: nothing is more enjoyable than a long distance, decisive goal late on in the game in a pivotal match. Granit delivered and the crowd showed him their love. For once he was our undisputed hero (how he was not picked as MotM by that airhead McManaman is beyond me).
  8. Arteta used his insurance policy to see out the game by bringing on Holding, who is just perfect for the role of shoring up our defence late on. All, in, all, we rode our luck and it could have finished differently but there is no doubt the team gave their all. And what more could you wish for? We need to remain focused on OGAAT. Don’t look back or around us, don’t predict how many points we and others will win or drop: the only goal is getting three points from the Hammers this weekend. The rest is out of our hands and distracting. Focus, focus, focus; OGAAT, OGAAT, OGAAT!!!!

By TotalArsenal

22 thoughts on “Arsenal 3 – 1 MU: The Four Shots That Were Key

  • Hi Total I will read your post a little later.

    Here are last weekends results:-

    1st Eris with 5/6 plus most correct predictions = 9 points
    2nd OX10 with 3/6 plus 1 correct score = 5 points
    3rd Stuart & GN5 with 4/6 = 4 points
    5th Madhu with 3/6 = 3 points
    6th Total with 2/6 = 2 points

    For the season:-

    1st Eris – 177.19
    2nd OX1 – 154.19
    3rd Madhu – 138.46
    4th Total – 138.36
    5th GN5 – 129.83
    6th Kev – 123.73

    Kev’s at it again – big win – well done Sir!!

  • Next weekends selections:-

    Southampton V Crystal Palace *
    Watford v Burnley
    Wolves v Brighton
    Tottenham v Leicester *
    West Ham v Arsenal
    Celtic v Rangers *

  • Total, Thanks for the post. My earnest hope is that the club get Nketiah to sign a long term contract i it sounds like he wants to stay so it seems like a no brainer. It also seems that the fans have now taken to Xhaka again and it would be great to see him as our Captain in 2022/23.

  • I think odegaard is going to be captain next season. Would be happy for Eddie and Elneny to sign new deals as both are good back ups.

  • Cheers Total. I agree with those observations.

    Really digging the Elneny comments too. He’s happy to stay with Arsenal even if he’s just a bit part squad player. His love for Arsenal is undeniable. You’d be crazy not to sign him up for another 2 years. Where else can you get an international mid that is happy being 3/4/5 string but gives it 110% every time he’s called upon? A player that doesn’t sulk and is always in good spirits. He’s a rare breed in that despite a lack of minutes he always comes back into the team at the same consistent level. He also has the biggest social media following of any of our players so that’s another positive for the club.

    Rob Holding is the same. I’d definitely keep him too.

    Read an interesting stat the other day: Xhaka has never picked up a 2nd yellow card in a game. Only a yellow or straight red. So it’s pretty unfounded when people worry when he’s on a yellow.

    West ham have no CBs for the game on the weekend. I know Chelsea took a while to unlock them but they did have 1000 shots. They may be forced to play Rice there which helps our mids too.

  • TA, your observations on those 4 key shots are profound, in the overall context of the result. Of course, Xhaka’s was the key shot of the day and it was interesting to see how much pace he showed as he raced to celebrate with Laca and the fans at the corner flag. Lol, at those who say he can’t run 🤓. While I prefer to have us score with such a goal, I have been curious to know how the Ref/VAR would have ruled on the handball shout right before the Xhaka-boom. Anyway, water under the bridge now, eh.

    Not sure, but you may be right about our resurgence right after that crazy decision by Xhaka to kick the ball up into the stands, copping a yellow card in the process. I recall feeling really annoyed with him as it only adds to his stats portraying him as a “dirty player”. Since we scored right after that, maybe it helped to refocus everyone else, knowing Xhaka had to be more careful now.

    Bruno Hernandez’s penalty miss was a very crucial event too. Had that gone in, it could have gone either way so, thankful for that and enjoyed Ramsdale’s “in your face” celebration that was reminiscent of Keown on Rudd van Nistelroy those many years ago.

  • GN5, well done with keeping the log going. You mentioned Kev but didn’t include his position for the week. Maybe, you want to update that after confirming.

    If I am really 1st, looks like I am back!!!! Right on cue with Arsenal’s resurgent form. 😝🕺🏾💃🏽

  • Southampton V Crystal Palace * 1-2
    Watford v Burnley A
    Wolves v Brighton D
    Tottenham v Leicester * 2-1
    West Ham v Arsenal A
    Celtic v Rangers * 2-1

  • I agree with contact for nketia as it would help us to spread our spending across the squad. We can delay the backup striker spending atleast a season. If nketia becomes a real deal next season we can invest elsewhere or sell him next year if he fails to and invest in a new backup.
    On Elneny iam a bit divided. I love the man, I love sportmen who are not flamboyant goes about their job like a true professional always improves abd never complains. So i would love to have him at Arsenal but at the same time I hate when fans call him substandard. It’s better off he earning his living elsewhere where the fans doesn’t complain about his standards.

  • Re Eddie, I think to survive and then thrive at Arsenal he would need to work even harder in midfield. That’s what Laca brings. But yes I hope he will stay.

  • Hey Oz, I didn’t know about Elneny having the largest social, following. Nice one.

    We do need squad players like like, especially if we are, also playing in, Europe next season. Elneny, Holding, Soares and Eddie are all making excellent contributions to the team’s success.

  • Eris, good stuff. It took about five minutes between card and third goal, and it was remarkable how the game changed since the incident. It seems to have been an enforced time out moment – an opportunity to take a breath and refocus.

  • You know, I just realised Kev hasn’t posted for a bit now.
    Hey Kev! Give us a shout, man.

  • My predictions for the weekend’s picks follow:

    Southampton V Crystal Palace * H 2-1
    Watford v Burnley D
    Wolves v Brighton D
    Tottenham v Leicester *. H 3-2
    West Ham v Arsenal A
    Celtic v Rangers * H 2-1

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