The first half was dominated by Manchester United in terms of possession and creating opportunities. Arsenal were merely playing defence for much of the first half and couldn’t create any meaningful opportunities at the other end.
United created one great chance and Robin van Persie got a clear run to the corner cross and headed home above Gigg’s head. Arsenal’s marking was poor, to say the least.
The second half was altogether different. Arsenal dominated possession and started to create chances, although the best chance of the half fell to Wayne Rooney, who dragged his shot wide.
Several fine crosses from Sagna met no final touch, an Ozil shot just missed, Giroud had a chance blocked … but to tell the truth, De Gea did not have a tough save to make the entire game.
Arsenal still enter the international break two points to the good, but will look back with despair at a chance to put more space between them and their rivals.
Szczesny 7. Was not at fault on the goal and had a good game in command of his area. Took a bang on the head, but he was able to continue.
Sagna 8. My man of the match. Made a number of delicious crosses that should have brought a reward. Was strong in the air, tough in all challenges, and had a solid game. One of his only faults was losing possession prior to United’s decisive corner.
Koscielny 7. Laurent had a good game and made a number of key interventions during the match.
Vermaelen 7. A surprise starter but he responded with a solid match. Good in the air, great on the ground, it was all we could have asked for. Well, he needs work on his free kicks.
Gibbs 7. Had a busy afternoon dealing with Valencia, but he still got forward a number of times and almost got on the end of one of Sagna’s crosses.
Flamini 6. Had a useful game, seemed to be focused on Wayne Rooney most of the time, but he wasn’t able to make an offensive contribution to the game.
Arteta 7. Excellent in the middle. Constantly swept up the ball and restarted Arsenal attacks (mainly in the second half). Was able to get forward more as the game wore on.
Ramsey 7. Disappointing in the first half. Ramsey made several poor passes and he often tried to force things. He improved in the second half, but the magical goal didn’t come today.
Ozil 7. Mesut had a strong second half. He too had a number of errant passes, but as the game progressed and space opened up, he became more dangerous. However, he couldn’t provide the decisive pass.
Cazorla 7. Also had a game that was a little disappointing in the first half but became stronger in the second half. Was substituted early.
Giroud 7. Always battled for the high balls, often with success. Lacks that ability to shoot right away as his slowness allows defences to close him down. Had a couple of half chances that United managed to clear.
Wilshere 7. Jack had a good outing and made Arsenal look a little more dangerous and incisive. Roy Hodgson will be encouraged by his game.
Bendtner 6. Should have done better with one of Sagna’s crosses. Can he score at least once this season?
Gnabry 7. Brief appearance, but even in a few minutes he was impressive, making a good run and cross into the box (I wanted him to go for goal).
Source: Arsenal World