Manchester United 1 v Arsenal 0

The best away record in the Premiership may still be intact, but Arsenal went down 1-0 to Manchester United at Old Trafford through a goal of pure chance from Ji Sung Park. When Nani strode forward, Gael Clichy backed off, but should have shown him down the channel.


The Portugal midfielder however was able to see his deflected cross hit Clichy onto the arched neck of the South Korea player and in off the post of and past ‘keeper Wojciech Szczesny . This was an out of sorts Arsenal who rarely created anything of significance, even after a second half Wayne Rooney penalty miss.

Cut up

Arsene Wenger gave the captain’s armband to Tomas Rosicky who was given a central role with Samir Nasri and Andrey Arshavin wide in support of lone striker Marouanne Chamakh. The Morocco forward dived low to head Arshavin’s cross on ten minutes, but Edwin van der Saar held firm. On a heavy pitch that cut up quite badly, passes were going astray as both teams played a cautious waiting game.


Nasri so effective from a central position up until now was seeing very little of the ball out on the right. United went close through Nani midway through the first half, as the poor defensive header from Sebastien Squillaci that created that chance seems to be a worrying and a recurring theme.


Having taken the lead, United sat back for most of the reminder of the game as Arsenal rarely troubled a well drilled defence. In the Arsenal’s best chance of the game, Nasri’s powerful shot was only parried van der Saar, but Chamakh was unable to capitalise from the loose ball as Nemanja Vidic cleared for a corner.


Rio Ferdinand’s drop kick on Bacary Sagna went unpunished, and on 73 minutes, the home side were awarded a dubious penalty. Clichy’s arm came in contact with the ball as he went to ground, but it was definitely a case of ball to hand. Rooney’s very bad miss was greated with a huge cheer from the travelling Arsenal fans who sensed an opportunity. Szczesny had a memorable Premiership debut and he looked the part at a very hostile away ground. The Pole is surely destined for a big future at Arsenal.


Robin Van Persie, Cesc Fabregas and Theo Walcott were introduced but were unable to influence the game, the latter saw two half chances go wide, as frustration and a lack of creativity in the opposition’s half cost the Gunners the points.


” We gave everything in the game which was very intense,” said Wenger. ” Both sides were very organised on a very bad pitch. That’s why you saw mistakes on both sides.


” You have to give credit to Manchester United’s defensive qualities. We had a few chances and were unlucky to lose the game. We have to take encouragement from tonight’s game.” Wenger will hope for much more when Stoke visit the Emirates on Saturday.