Manchester United vs Arsenal: 1-0, full-time report and player ratings – A very flattering score
Written by Chris on April 30, 2009 1:00
Regardless of the point of view you look the match from, this will go down as yet another game in which we should consider ourselves lucky not to have conceded more and more goals. Yet again, Arsene Wenger’s line-up will raise a lot of questions although injury and flu problems didn’t leave him much choice.
The second half was quieter than the first with Manchester United clearly satisfied with the score-line and not pushing as much as they did in the first 45 minutes. But, the Arsenal’s approach was still very similar to the first and the best opportunities fell indeed to the home side. Apart from an Adebayor volley and a Bendtner header with Nicklas who could have done better, there isn’t a lot to report on our goal opportunities. Manchester United went close in more than one occassion with Cristiano Ronaldo unleashing a 35-yard shot which smashed against the crossbar. Luckily, we survived and the score in the second half didn’t change.
I have mixed feelings now that the game is over. Again, Wenger had very little options to choose from but then again, doesn’t that mean we’re back to square one in questioning the depth of the side and why no players were signed last summer? I wanted Wenger to try Nasri in a more central position but although this worked out last weekend, it didn’t today and in more than one occassion you could see he and Cesc were not happy out there. The funny thing is that I wanted this experiment to be tested four months ago, not today, in such a crucial game. But anyway, it won’t be easy next week, that’s for sure.
Almunia: 8,5 – The reason why the scoreline only reads 1-0.
Gibbs: 6 – Shocking start, but recovered well. Still learning of course and Cristiano Ronaldo is no easy client.
Sagna: 6 – Kept busy of course but still looks far from his best fitness level.
Toure: 6 – Hard time against Tevez and constantly beaten in the air.
Silvestre: 6 – We’ve seen much worse from him, guilty party in the conceded goal but made a number of important tackles.
Nasri: 5,5 – Clearly unhappy in this position, didn’t click that well with Cesc, who also looked uncomfortable.
Song: 7 – Kept the ball in dangerous areas and gave it away cheaply a couple of times but overall, his performance was majestic.
Fabregas: 6 – Tried hard but never saw enough of the ball to create the magic he created against Villareal.
Diaby: 6 – In terms of determination, strength and willingness, I think this was one of his best game of the season. Believe me, you won’t see a better performance from him.
Walcott: 5,5 – Many will criticise his performance, but his runs were not used at all. After all, in the only occassion where he had to do something in the first half, he zig-zagged his way past three United players and created an opportunity.
Adebayor: 4,5 – Disappointing. Again. I understand it was all defending but provided no help to the midfield.
Bendtner: 5 – Defending near our corner flag shows more determination than Adebayor although should have done better with that header.
Eduardo: No Vote – Glad to see him back but very little to judge, let’s just hope Ferdinand’s challenge will not send him back to the injury room.