Arsenal and Man United Match Revealed a Big Difference Between Both Sides


It sounds too simple, but the difference between Arsenal and Manchester United on Sunday was finishing. Both teams had several chances in front of goal. Manchester United scored most of them. Arsenal missed all of them except for one deflection.

There were several shots from Arsenal that skimmed past the post or straight at Edwin van der Sar. Andrei Arshavin and Alexandre Song had plenty of chances. So too did Cesc Fabregas and others wearing red and white.

But when Manchester United pushed forward and had a chance in front of goal, you had the feeling that something was going to happen, that they would make Almunia work hard, and that they did.

The other differentiating factor in today’s game was the combination of Nani and Wayne Rooney both of whom were on fire in the first half.

Finally, finally, finally Nani showed a little bit of magic. After two years of horrible performances, pathetic even, he finally showed one flash of brilliance and deservedly got a goal after beating three players and forcing Almunia to reach back to prevent the ball going to Park, only for the Spanish goalkeeper to knock the ball into the back of the net.

Then a few minutes later with Arsenal on the attack, Manchester United cleared the ball and went on the counter. Nani linked up with Rooney in their own half and then both went sprinted forward. Nani planted a sublime pass to Rooney who had gone on a blistering run and scored a delightful goal. You won’t see many goals better than that.

The Gunners pulled back a late goal after a deflected show from Thomas Vermaelen found the back of the net, but it wasn’t enough and was quite a depressing day overall for Arsenal players and supporters alike.

One more point: I was a bit alarmed to see Manchester United away supporters holding up a banner that proclaimed “Die Die Glazer.” It’s one thing to be angry at the Americans for the debt situation that Manchester United is in, but to go to an extreme like that is uncalled for.

Photo credit: Paolo Camera.

30 thoughts on “Arsenal and Man United Match Revealed a Big Difference Between Both Sides”

  1. I think you make a good point. Not having a true, in form striker to clean up some of these chances really hurt Arsenal today. Obviously there have been a lot of injuries, but I’m not inclined to cut Wenger much slack at this point. He knows Arsenal’s injury track record and the kind of cover he had. The team should have been better prepared.

    At the same time I have to give United a lot of credit. Ji Sung Park didn’t seem to have much of a problem burying his chance, and he’s not really known for great finishing.

  2. I think Nani made the difference I do think United were going to come out on top but not by such a margin. He was on fire today it was incredible.

    Now that his injury is cleared up he probably will be getting a lot more playtime. Unfortunately I feel like Nani’s playtime will come at the expense of Obertan and Valencias.

    All in all it was just the more clinical finishing by United. They wasted very little in the way of energy and effort. Arsenal played well and definitely had opportunities they just couldn’t convert them as well.

    I also agree with the post-match analysis in the box. The guys said Arsenal weren’t beat they were outplayed and that is extremely rare to see.

    I’m not discounting Arsenal. I’m glad to have beaten them but you can never count out Wenger. Great match, great teams and a great result for United. What a day.

  3. I’m not condoning the message on the anti-Glazer banner but it should give you some idea of the depth of hate at United for these asset stripping, money grabbing parasites (the chants were even worse BTW). You lot in the USA have no idea what ‘saccarrr’ means to us over here – it is more than just a game, much more.

    As it appears that you share a home-town with these avaricious blood-sucking leaches, please publicise the green and gold campaign in Palm Beach and let any Bucs fans know we are sick of the Glazers too.

    VivaNani. LUHG.

    1. Ask the Cleveland Browns what a “game” means to them before you generalize USA…. Do some research on a guy named Art Modell and you’ll see that Man U fans don’t have it as bad as we did in 1996

    2. @Redgm99

      Agreed. Also the use of the word “die” has been corrupted from it’s original dictionary meaning of “to lose life”

      It is commonly used nowadays as a form of rebuttal or a means by which to express displeasure.
      Person 1 (who likes dark chocolate): I love dark chocolate!
      Person 2 (who does not like dark chocolate): DIE!

      This does not mean theat Person 2 wants to see Person 2 dead, nor does Person 1 have homicidal tendancies.

      United fans just want a change and they want the Glazers out and I agree. Die Glazers…they don’t understand the sport or the fans and should stick with the Yankee sports they do understand.


    3. Soccer does not engender that depth of passion in the United States, but I can assure you that Americans know what it’s like for a sport to be “more than just a game.”

      If you ever get a chance to experience American college football, especially in the southern United States, give it a shot. When it comes to fan devotion, it is right there with the Premier League.

    4. Redgm, Malcolm Glazer sold his Palm Beach mansion last year for $24 million – the biggest real estate sale of the year in the entire county. I’ve driven past his former mansion alongside the ocean several times. Bloody nice place. Take a look at

      The Gaffer

      1. Interesting stuff gaffer. Without wishing to turn your debate into an installment of ‘lifestyles of the rich and famous’, this blog seems to indicate that the Glazer’s still live in Palm beach on ‘billionaires row’

        Also came across some intersting stuff regarding a local radio presenter, The Glazers and Bernie Madoff which explains a lot of stuff if true (although fear of litigation prevents me from going any deeper!)

  4. Sh*t…i messed up
    ******This does not mean theat Person 2 wants to see Person 1 dead, nor does Person 2 have homicidal tendancies.

  5. Poor Malcolm Glazer. . . takes a club in decline. . . and wins three straight campaigns and all he gets is grief because his Company’s balance sheet looks shaky. . . stupid Brits

    1. I could definitely go for a couple of those titles in return for a little debt. Arsenal’s financial stability doesn’t look near as good on the pitch as it does in the boardroom.

    2. A club in decline?? MUFC were a publicly listed company doing OK on the stock exchange until these avaricious c*nts bought it using the clubs own assets for collateral against loans on unfavorable terms.

      In terms of onthe field success we had already taken 8 league titles and an ECL in the 90’s/early naughties plus cups too numerous to mention during that time so I’d hardly call it a decline.

      No these ‘smart’ Yank businessmen gambled on the market continuing to rise and got coaght out when the bubble burst. They also forgot that the club’s best asset is the goodwill of us – the ‘stupid Brit’ supporters.

      We’ll see who looks stupid in the weeks to come pal.

      We want Glazers out!


      1. Titles and silverware in 90’s/early naughts and nothing in the 3 years before sale. The operations of the Company keep increasing mainly due to this goodwill that you think is tarnished, but the idiots in green and yellow keep moving the turnstiles to show how clever they are right into the Glazer’s pocket. I don’t think the anger would be nearly as vocal if he weren’t American or Jewish – but that’s just an opinion; unlike the facts that they have more turnover and more success on the pitch since the takeover.


        1. To american and jewish please add ginger and ugly – that’s all we stupid brits care about after all isn’t it? (that’s irony BTW in case you didn’t spot it).

          Are you a Glazer employee by chance BBC? Maybe one of the family?
          Certainly on the payroll somehow.

          Success on the pitch is due to Ferguson – no one else.

          Turnover increase is due to the Glazers upping ticket prices to bleed the supporters white. We don’t have a choice because we love the club and we’ve been forced to pay up front – guess you could call us stupid or idiots (as you have) for that but that’s the point of my original post. You just don’t get it do you?

          Green and gold til the club is sold – our time is coming – tick tock……

          1. It’s irony, it’s sarcasm. Irony would be trying to make a point that you’re not stupid without having a grasp of the language.

            The turnover increase is partially because of higher ticket prices, the ability to monetize that goodwill which you think is dwindling. Seems like a good business decision.

  6. I’ve heard a bit of talk on radio phone-ins and it seems pundits are beginning to wonder at what point Arsenal fans will turn their backs on Arsene Wenger. He’s been a fantastic manager (even a loyal Red like myself can admit that), but at when do Arsenal supporters decide enough is enough? How many more years do you need to go trophyless before people begin to question him more seriously? I’m not picking on Arsenal fans (I’ve got plenty of mates to gloat over), I’m just expanding on the questions asked by the pundits.

    I’ve heard Arsenal supporters say they would forgive Wenger’s approach to the FA Cup tie with Stoke if there was a massive turnaround in the League, but with a scary-looking clash with Chelsea on the horizon things have got to be nervy at the Emirates. If Arsenal start the second week of February with three or less points than they have right now, what happens then?

    1. Amp, the “In Arsene We Trust” crowd is still pretty strong and it seems no matter what Arsenal does, they will support him. Wenger has a similar magnetism to his club’s supporters as the “In Rafa We Trust” crowd. Sometimes I wonder when these managers will ever leave the club, such is their appeal no matter how few trophies they win.

      The Gaffer

      1. Well Gaffer, they are both world class managers, Wenger has done mountains for British football in terms of bringing over modern training and nutrition regimens (especially important for players over 30) to the UK. It’s their stubbornness that can drive supporters nuts.

        Ferguson tried the euro – single quasi striker non-sense a few years back with the Giggs experiment, when it faltered – he took out his cheque-book and signed Rooney and Saha ASAP.

        Also Gaffer, do you know if the sky 3-D broadcast experiment in the UK was a success? The HD logo appeared on FSC for the first time for the match here in NY, even though it looked like SD to me.

        1. brn442, the 3D experiment has been a mixed bag so far. Here are reports from The Independent – – and The Guardian –

          Yep, the Arsenal v Man United game was in SD because as far as I can tell, no cable or satellite providers are showing the channel in HD yet.

          The Gaffer

          1. Thanks Gaffer, interesting perspectives but it seems that the Guardian’s writer would complain that there are too many bubbles in his/her pint if they got the chance – quite annoying.

  7. I wonder if Wenger thought United played “Anti-football” this time.

    Arsenal needs a ruthless, experienced, world – class striker. If my memory serves me right, Wenger, has NEVER bought such a player in the 14+ years he has been Arsenal’s manger.

    Football is an awfully simple game, it’s the smart men that muck it up.

    You need a goalkeeper that’s not afraid to communicate with his own defence, much less catch crosses. Midfielders that distribute the ball to their colleagues on the wing, then onto someone who gets paid doing what the game was based on – scoring goals, using the LEAST amount of passes.

    So-called “top four” clubs World-class strikers (or close to)
    Chelsea 2
    Manchester United 3
    Liverpool 1 (injured)
    Arsenal 1 (injured)

    The managers of the latter two clubs in their stubborn arrogance, haven’t even made a serious attempt to get someone in, even on loan, with the transfer window about to close. Enough said.

  8. Redgm99 you clearly missed (not surprised as it was largely ignored in the media) the press release from the club last week in which they announced cash profits of £91m on turnover of £278m (and yes, this is AFTER financing costs).

    Btw Arsenal also have debt (admittedly less than Man Utd at around £250m) however this has been less publicised as they do not have a single owner who can be caricatured as an ‘Evil Yank’ (although funnily enough Arsenal’s shareholders take a lot more money out of the club than the Glazers). FYI the bond is not securitised against the club’s assets.

    This talk of ‘asset stripping’ is utter nonsense – Old Trafford is clearly worth a lot more money with Manchester United playing at it than as a Tesco.

    Back to the football…….Arsenal will not win a major trophy until Wenger is forced to purchase a keeper who can actually make a save. Dropping Denilson and buying a striker tall enough to ride on a rollercoaster would not go amiss either

    1. LG – I must admit I missed the bit about the £91m profit – could you send me the link to your source as there’s too much flak in the British media?

      I don’t think anyone is talking about asset stripping – we are worried about the owners milking the club for cash that should invested in the team – we simply cannot compete with Madrid or Barca (both of whom have a supporter ownership model BTW) for the best players at the moment.

      In terms of a tall striker – I think you need a tall team. In your famous ‘invincibles’ season I think Pires was the shortest player at 6’1″ but you didn’t play long ball football.

      Wouldn’t like to see the Gunners buy a Heskey or Crouch and go for a route 1 approach though.

      1. Redgm99: (also reported elswhere)

        Don’t forget RM and Barca have debt as well (RM in particular have a lot of it and have been bailed out by the local government in the not-so-distant past – they also securitise their debt against future cash flows, which is what got Leeds and Portsmouth into so much trouble)

        We don’t necessarily need a battering ram, just a focal point for when RVP is inevitably injured. Having someone who can head and hold the ball up (i.e. not Bendtner) would also provide a useful option even when he is fit. The GK situation is more ridiculous – in the past 18 months Schwarzer has moved for free, Given for £6-8m and Friedel for £2.5m, Jaaskelainen was also out of contract – these are all keepers whose ability far outstrips that of Almunia, who was third choice keeper at relegated Celta Vigo when Wenger signed him.

  9. Well stated BBC and LG. Redgm is just a part of a foul mouthed xenophobic/racist element that get off on hate filled vile.

  10. What amuses me about this anti-Glazer nonsense the most is how much their deficit spending has done for Man U. This match is exhibit A. Arsenal has no depth. Man U had a team full of expensive players on the pitch, and a backup squad of expensive players on the bench.

    So on the one hand, we’re told the debt of Man U is unforgivable. On the other hand, without that debt Man U would be a middle of the table team. Which way is it?

  11. regarding the game:

    Agreed. Arsenal were simply lackluster in front of goal. They had numerous chances to put United to the sword, and actually looked the better side in the opening 20 minutes. If Arsenal had converted any of their chances it would have been a different game.

    Very entertaining match. Rooney is in the form of his life, and based on form, I’d put him in the top 3 in the world right now.

    Nani finally showed something. Whether its a one off remains to be seen.

    I also think Man U was able to put Arsenal off their game a bit with their physicality. Carrick and co put in some nice hard challenges, and it’s something that to this day can knock Arsenal off their game.

    @the glazers:
    I’d be pretty peeved too if someone came in and bought my club by leveraging the club.

    I will say, at least the Glazers have been good about staying about day to day affairs. SAF still runs the show at the club, and that’s why you’ve seen United’s recent success.

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