Arsenal 0 Manchester United 0

Asked the question, but ultimately Arsenal were unable to answer. Manchester United, that is David Moyes much maligned Manchester United prevented the Gunners from scoring at the Emirates, and through Robin van Persie almost grabbed the win for the visitors. Wojciech Szczesny let in five goals at Anfield last weekend but at the Emirates stadium, he was to deny his former team mate, firstly in the opening few minutes and then more dramatically deep into the second half. Laurent Koscielny was unlucky to see his header headed off the line by Antonio Valencia on a night when Arsenal couldn’t find their way through.

Pass and move as they did, Arsenal were unable to get past a well drilled United rearguard, who given their current plight will be satisfied with the point, although publicly you won’t hear that from them. It says something when Wayne Rooney hardly registered a shot in anger, but credit must be given to the Gunners’ defence and the defence as a team. Mesut Özil so lacklustre of late was actually tracking back and defending the team’s cause as was Santi Cazorla. Neither would have imagined that the rigours of the English game would make such demands of their genuinely attack minded talents.

Now, all Arsene Wenger has to do is to try and sort out the lack of goal scoring efforts, and given this is the business end of the season that is another worry he didn’t need.Olivier Giroud ploughed along, resolutely and muscularly, but efforts on target were sparse. When he did get beyond Nemanja Vidic, poor headers followed when David De Gea was exposed.

” I felt we were nervous, yes. Where we are usually very dangerous breaking through the middle with speedy passing, Man United defended very well there. We got plenty of crosses in and their experienced players, people like Vidic and (Rio)Ferdinand in the second half, did very well with that. When we tried cut backs they defended well because they had (Michael)Carrick, who has a lot of experience as well. Man United is a good team who can play against anybody in our league. At the moment they are not where they can be, but you cannot say with the players they on the pitch that they are not quality. They are quality,” said Wenger.

Adverse weather conditions saw Manchester City’s game against Sunderland postponed, which means that Arsenal remain in second place in the Premiership, two points behind leaders Chelsea. A win was a must, but Wenger was also content with not having lost to the reigning champions.

” If you look at the domination we had then yes ( we should have won the match) but Man United restricted has to very few chances and the few we had we couldn’t take. On top of that, the quality they have going forward, when we lost the ball in their half they were dangerous, not always, but on one or two situations. When you have Van Persie, Juan Mata, Adnan Januzaj – they are all players who can be dangerous on the counter. On the other hand you felt our team was highly focused not to concede, and that maybe restricted our game going forward a little bit because we were certainly hit by the five goals we conceded on Saturday. You could feel that here,” he continued.

Adverse weather conditions saw Manchester City’s game against Sunderland postponed, which means that Arsenal remain in second place in the Premiership, two points behind leaders Chelsea. A win was a must, but Wenger was also content with not having lost to the reigning champions.

The nerves from Anfield were evident early on. Szczesny rolled the ball to Mikel Arteta who had van Persie in his eyeline, yet managed to lose possession. The Holland striker omitted to pass to Rooney and hit a shot that Szczesny was able to save low down.

Jack Wilshere was again the recipient of some of the rough stuff, but he worked an opening that saw him go through only for Chris Smalling to block the final shot for a corner. Cazorla swung in the corner and managing to free himself of the attentions of Vidic, Giroud header was more of a flick on when power would have been rewarded.

Tomas Rosicky drifted in from the left and struck a shot which caught Vidic, but De Gea was able to recover and save. United responded when Mata found van Persie out on the left. He cut in onto his right foot but shot wide of Szczesny’s upright. Giroud and Kieran Gibbs went close, the latter requiring treatment after his downwards header. The second half promised to deliver much more, but eventually was to offer more of that which had preceded it.

You could sense the on field nerves, but the Emirates faithful were urging the Gunners to attack. Giroud was clearly fouled by Vidic’s elbow in the area, but no penalty was given, as the Gunners went in search of the opener. Koscielny and Per Mertrsacker added aerial prowess with the former unlucky not to break the deadlock from a header which Valencia had to clear off the line.

From an Arsenal attack, Arteta’s back tackle kept United’s counter move alive. van Persie and Rooney crafted an opening which saw the former head powerfully, but Szczesny was it’s equal, producing a spectacular save.

At the death, Arsenal almost won it. Cazolra had already seen De Gea deny him, but late on after a swift move of the ball, the Spain midfielder struck low but once again his fellow countryman was to deny him and Arsenal.