Arsene Wenger featured a bizarre and uncharacteristic Arsenal lineup in Saturday’s FA Cup against the Red Devils at Old Trafford on Saturday. Even though Fabregas (who didn’t play Sat) crushed Lleyton Orient in the previous FA cup match scoring multiple goals, they looked anemic in the midweek CL match where Messi continued to look like a playstation player. The gunners came out firing and actually Arsenal dominated much of the first half. ManU’s goals came from Fabio da Silva in the 28th minute (who paired well with his brother) and Wayne Rooney in the 49th minute. A close to 75,000 fan contingent made the trip out to Old Trafford and also witnessed a pleasant surprise when they saw Antonio Valencia fit again for the first time in 6 months. The Ecuadorian winger played very well going up the right side after entering at the start of the second half. Van Der Sar played a spectacular match with multiple solid saves and Arsenal was forced to start the Spanish keeper Almunia in goal after Kuszczak’s hand injury against Barca. Even after ManU’s second goal, Arsenal still held a slight edge in possession and doubled the shot total of ManU, however, ManU continued to be in the right place at the right time.
Arsenal hadn’t scored a goal against ManU in the last 3 appearances against them in FA cup matches. Unfortunately, nothing changed and Arsenal was dealt another blow to their Premier League title hopes in this 2-0 loss. It’s also important to note that Johan Djourou was injured with a dislocated shoulder and will be unavailable for the remainder of the season. Arsenal’s loss means that they’ve bowed out of three competitions in two weeks.
Arsenal are now at a crossroads and must decide how they’d like to grow within the next couple of weeks. Wenger and Fabregas must focus on a final table push while battling the intense pressure of the Premier League and the likes of Chelsea, Tottenham, ManU, and ManCity (who’s chomping at the bit).
About the Author
Written by Timothy Ashe Jr.
Tim was born and raised in Downers Grove, IL (a suburb of Chicago). He graduated with a degree in Political Science and Spanish from the University of Illinois @ Urbana-Champaign and also holds University English Language Excellence certificates. He's fluent in Spanish and teaches both English and Spanish in his spare time. He's a Real Madrid and Chicago Fire aficionado and is partial towards the EPL and LFP. His hope is that the game of soccer can continue to grow in the U.S.A. and for our men's national team to eventually win the World Cup.