The dust has settled on Manchester United’s 1-0 victory over Arsenal, what have we learnt about the two teams? Manchester United have taken control of the Premier League and look a good bet to regain their crown. Have we seen the most pivotal moment in the Premier League season? We examine 5 things that we have learnt from both Manchester United and Arsenal following last night’s game.
Anderson is finally living up to the hype
After Paul Scholes failed a late fitness test it was difficult to see who would be United’s midfield creative threat. Anderson stepped up to the plate last night – like he has in the last few weeks. He was superb. He drove Manchester United forward with speedy counter attacks as well as tracking back well. Anderson is now showing Manchester United fans what a talent he is and long may it continue
Nani is a special player
He may not be Cristiano Ronaldo, but Nani is something special. He gave Gael Clichy a torrid time last night, and sprung on Arsenal brilliantly. Going into the game United knew Nani would be their match winner and in the battle with Samir Nasri he won hands down. He set up Park’s glorious header and his persistence in the corner of the box led to Manchester United’s penalty. Last years game at the Emirates was the tuning point for Nani, and he hasn’t looked back. The favourite for player of the season?
Manchester United won the battle of the mind games
Did Patrice Evra’s comments have an effect on the Arsenal players? Arsenal played within themselves, almost scared of what they could have achieved last night. Whether it was a task too daunting for them or Evra’s words made them think – Manchester United know how to get under Arsenal’s skin. Evra was superb last night, without doubt his best performance this season. It was this performance that summed Manchester United up. They wanted it, they believed they would win. Did Arsenal concentrate on beating Evra and not Manchester United? Furthermore, did Arsenal truly believe they could win last night?
Arsenal are not a million miles away
Although Arsenal didn’t play great last night, they certainly have closed the gap on Manchester United. They kept the ball better in the second half, and had Cesc Fabregas and Robin Van Persie been a 100 per cent match fit, they would have threatened Van Der Sar’s goal a lot more. Jack Wilshere is different class, making Michael Carrick look pedestrian until his substitution – which was forced after a strong challenge from Carrick. Arsenal are not a million miles away, but they have to start winning these games if they are ever going to re-claim the Premier League title.
Praise Arsene Wenger’s brave call on Wojciech Szczesny
He may have the hardest name to spell in the Premier League but he showed last night why Arsene Wenger has talked him up for some time now. It was a toss up between the Pole and the rubbish Almunia, but Wenger could have opted for the more experienced Spaniard. Szczesny was excellent, making two high class saves, first from Anderson and then from Rooney late on. The Anderson save kept Arsenal in the game – a goal then and United could have taken over the game. Wenger made the right call last night and fair play to him for that. If last night’s performance is anything to go on, Arsenal may have a top class keeper for along time to come.
Comment below and follow me on twitter