Manchester United – Arsenal: Counterattacks and mistakes open up a dull affair (1-1)
A match so painfully short of effective attacking mechanisms that neither team pushed on to be the dominant force, as both sides mostly mirrored each other’s defensive shape. The most that could be said on the invention front was Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s various tweaks throughout, which were positively reactive but equally limiting at times.
Tactical analysis and match report by Peter M.
An unsteady start to the 2019/20 league campaign has seen Solskjær’s United win just two of their first six fixtures. Now eight days on from their 2-0 defeat to West Ham United, they welcome Unai Emery’s Arsenal to Old Trafford, who have their sights set on finishing this round of fixtures in the top four.
Whilst the Norwegian made three changes to his side, the Spaniard only withdrew Ainsley Maitland-Niles, through suspension, and Dani Ceballos from his eleven. In their place came Calum Chambers at right back and Lucas Torreira on the right of a midfield three.
The hosts had changes in all three sections of their team, as Axel Tuanzebe stepped up in place of the injured Aaron Wan-Bissaka; Paul Pogba returned to take his starting spot; and Jesse Lingard – a player who has a knack for bagging goals against Arsenal – replaced Juan Mata in the number ten spot.
A lifeless beginning
There are plenty of times where teams man-mark each other and they get caught out by individual moments of quality or movement, but that was far from the case here. As such, it quickly defaulted to a fairly unlethal showing from both sides.
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