By Imran Kardar
It was a Super Sunday fixture and a much awaited one however it turned out to be super for one set of fans and a nightmare for the others! Manchester United were absolutely thrashed by Arsenal in the first 20 mins. The Gunners came out all guns blazing and United had no answer. I must say this is one of the poorest performances I have seen from United in the past couple of seasons! They players had absolutely no desire or fight in them! They were there just because they had to be, no one seemed interested, and no one seemed to have any fight in them. They just lay down and let Arsenal walk all over them!
If Arsenal plays like they did in the first half of this game no team in the world can stop them. What pace! I hadn’t seen a football game in a long time where one team came out in 6th gear and steam rolled their opposition like that. It was like a race between a Ferrari and a Suzuki Alto! Arsenal passed the ball around with great determination and pace and were at the throats of the United defenders. Sanchez opened the scoring with a great flick from a pass by Ozil, who added the second with a great finish not long after. Sanchez then added another to his tally and United were trailing 3-0 within the first 20 mins. They were absolutely torn apart and had no answer.
Sanchez and Ozil were key in this game. Poor Darmian was being toyed with at right back by the Chilean attacker. He had an absolute field day at the Italians expense. Ozil was given too much time and space to orchestrate play in the middle of the park. It was one of his finest performances against a top four team in a while. There are always concerns of him going missing in big games but he was ever present in this one!
LVG decided to change his defensive line up and play Darmian at right back and Young at left back. I would have preferred him to have kept the same defensive line up as the previous game with Valencia right back and Darmian on the other flank. Valencia has the pace and strength to handle Sanchez, which poor Darmian couldn’t match. Then in the middle of the park I believe LVG got it wrong again by playing Carrick and Schweinsteiger together. They both are class players and did a good job together against Liverpool, but then Liverpool didn’t have this electric pace in their team. This match needed a battler and tough tackler like Schneiderlin who should have been paired with either one of Carrick or Schweinsteiger.
The only ray of hope in the game came from a brilliant turn and shot just before half time from Anthony Martial however Cech pulled off a great save. Had United gone in at half time with a goal the match could have turned out differently. LVG ringed the changes at half time with Valencia and Fellaini coming on however the damage had been done. There was no way back for United. There were a couple of good chances in the second half for United but Cech kept them at bay.
Not the ideal way to head in to the international break. The players will have to wait for a couple of weeks to sort things out. Their confidence would have taken a hit in this game for sure. However, its all part of the learning curve and the player should come out stronger. More key games ahead in the month of October however United need to focus on the next game which is away to Everton. Another fixture that hasn’t been an easy one for United in the recent past. But to be Champions you need to win such games. United will stage a comeback, they always have, they always will!