Man U 0-0 Arsenal; the Good, Bad, and Ugly

Match Reports

ESPNSoccernet: Title in the bag

Telegraph: Carlos Tevez seemingly waved goodbye to Old Trafford as Manchester United claimed their 18th league title with an uneventful 0-0 draw at home to Arsenal.

Man of the Match

This is a tough one because all the players played so well. I was so proud of the way the team played and it was a a bit of a consolation to see the looks on the Man U fans faces as they prayed for a 0-0 draw.

That said, some of the guys were just exceptional. Song as a center back was a particularly bright spot and it speaks volumes of how far the player has come that he looks more assured in defence than some of the more geriatric players. Cesc too looked far better in his more traditional reserved role, paired with Denilson. Denilson too sort of reprised his role from the start of the season — where his bright play had people saying that maybe Arsenal didn’t need a partner for Cesc.

Only one guy can win MotM, and for me (and Setanta!), it was Andrei Arshavin. His crosses, passing, vision, touch, and dribbling were all top class. Arsenal had 4 shots on goal and most of those came from Arshavin threatening Man U’s defense and picking out an Arsenal player or taking on Man U for a shot himself.

I can’t wait to see him fully fit, with a pre-season of practice, playing with a full compliment of world class strikers like Eduardo and van Persie. If these 6 months have shown us anything it’s that the Arsenal attack will be crazy potent with the diminutive Russian pulling the strings up front.

The Good

I loved that one at a time the Arsenal players took turns kicking Evra. I didn’t write about it at the time, but after the loss to United in the Champions League Evra was quoted calling Arsenal “babies.” Like I’ve said before, people who are hyper competitive don’t stand for that kind of stuff and it was good to see some of Arsenal’s players kick him a little. Nothing too dirty, this wasn’t a Joey Barton assault, just little nips here and there.

As I’ve said already, though it can’t be said enough, I was dead proud of the way that team played today. They bossed the champions around, moving the ball nearly at will, defending strong, and taking the game to United… on their home ground… with nothing to play for but pride.

After, the boss put it like this

I believe we played with a lot of heart and desire. When we played in the Champions League I think we were inhibited a bit by the occasion – it was too big perhaps – and in the second leg we had no chance to play the game. Today we showed we have the quality. We played a lot of authority on the pitch.

I would agree, and just add that with a touch more quality Arsenal would have won that match. But think about it… Arsenal took 4 points off Man U this season. Who else can say that?


The Bad

Referee Mike Dean was a disgrace, handing Arsenal 5 yellows for ticky-tack fouls and giving none to United when they committed the same. It was a typical performance from a referee who is scared to make calls against United.

The only thing that prevented his performance from dropping into The Ugly was that he never had the opportunity to award United the penalty he so clearly wanted to give them.

The Ugly

Well, it’s never nice to have to watch your opponent celebrate winning silverware. I hope the image of that burns into each and every Arsenal player’s mind and they come out next year hungrier than ever.


T-minus 1 match before the flurry of reports linking us to so-and-so start flying around. I can’t wait. [eye roll]

See you tomorrow.


  1. deans whistle was permanently in his mouth, the game was a bit stop start. we didnt have many ideas when we got outside their box. bring on stoke next week and get this season over with. im having to take my mates dad to the game and hes a stokie lol thank god they arent in danger of going down!!

  2. was it me or we never looked like scoring… I think we need someone to just bring speed to trans between midfield and forwards. We looked solid defesively all because of song… Gibbs had a good game… It’s just we never looked like scoring. Everytime we crossed, no one was there to collect the ball WTF?? I really want to see more player inside the box when a cross comes in. Anyway proud of the guys today they bossed the Manures but never finished them off… All because we are nice people

  3. No one was in the box because our lone striker just wasnt a proper target man, 4 5 1 withe rvpp up top just dont work. Bendtner perhaps could have started. but like i said, we need a good summer now, 3 signings and keep 95% of the current lads

  4. But shouldn’t midfield help the lone striker??? Especially diaby… He is good enough to head a ball… So why not join van Persie when a cross comes in… Arshavin can’t cause he’s too short.

  5. Diaby in my view just doesnt know what he is!! Nasri isnt a lampard/scholes/freddie type goal scoring midfielder, so maybe doesnt have the instinct for a run into the box. 2 up front from next season, EVERY GAME

  6. And Also can I say something…. That alan whatever his name is from sky… That Scottish twat… Doesn’t like giving credit to arsenal does he?? He says that manure was not playing well… Well is it not because we didn’t let them… What a TWAT. I H8 sky… Filled with Liverpool/Manu fans. Should call themselves Skunk not sky.

  7. lol Martin Tyler is a massive gooner, its a shame he dont commentate on all our games like he used too, think he had a falling out behind the scenes. Alan McInally is ex Villa, so surely a bit bitter that their season has fallen away

  8. The only good thing diaby has done for arsenal was kicking john terry in the ass.. I mean face… Look the same though

  9. Where was this Arsenal team 10 days ago? We play brilliant when there’s jack all at stake and get blow out of the water when the season is on the line.

    My only gripe was how Wenger managed to take off both Nasri and Arshavin for Walcott and Nicky. Clearly he felt the need to go to 4-4-2 and put a big man with RVP. But he takes off 2 of the players who retained the most possession, were the most active in open play and were most capable of putting in good crosses for Bendy – puzzled.

    We should never………ever……..let RVP play defense or tackle………..EVER. Can he even make a tackle without blatantly fouling his opponent? For the money these players get paid, you’d think they could be at least competent in most aspects of the game.

    So before the game the announcer was saying Ade was moaning about some comment Wenger made – I was half asleep but I believe the little I got was his comment about selling a player if he thinks they need to go. So whether it’s Milan, Barca, Chelsea et al that want to drop 30M on Ade in the summer they can have him and we’ll throw in a free back rub. The Man Utd game shows we just don’t have a reliable striker and everyone says we’re fine in attack but the fact is that no team has won the title without a 20 goal a season player. Ade looks uninterested and looks to be on his way out, RVP looked good up till about Feb. but aside from his penalty against Chelsea last week he hasn’t really scored for about 3 months or so now and Bendy was never going to score 20 goals.

    Good game to boost our morale and let the fans know the team isn’t a total waste and Wenger hasn’t been spouting nonsense. That being said we still need to fill in some very important roles in the summer which will probably cost some coin.

  10. Christ, how many alts do you have Gareth? I mean.. “Arshavin’s Right Boot?”

    I appreciate you keeping it civil today.

  11. i apologise for all that shit earlier. not on too start with anyone, guess itt makes a change from tlkin arsenal down the pub

  12. I think you’ll find we all love Arsenal!

    Also, I appreciate having guys like you on here, for example, your insights into the Sky announcers, we don’t get much of that.

    Anyway, I have to run, I have to get into everyone’s business, it’s what we Americans do!

  13. Like Atbin19,

    I never felt we really threatened their goal seriously and our plays continued to peter out in the final third. Outside of Arshavin, total lack of creativity in final third.

    Yes, we bossed the game. But, Manure sat back and waited for the counter which never happened, knowing they only needed a draw to celebrate the title on their home pitch. This game does not vindicate Wenger.

    Thought our back 4 played very well as a unit and individually, and Gibbs continues to impress me. Once again, stupid substitutions.

  14. No probs Tim!

    the Bendtner on the wing is a strange win, i fully expected when he came on for us to go 4 4 2, but no. A few more wasted crosses that he might have done better with…he def would have taken rvp’s headed chance in the first half!

  15. Referee utter disgrace, gives yellow cards just for looking at a Manc player. The keys to the new BMW are in the envelope on the dressing room table, by-the-way. It always feels like that when the Mancs play at home.

    The Scottish arsehole commentator is Andy Gray, a crap player in his time, and Fergusons secret lover!

    Felt the back four played well today, Kolo looked steady, and Song filled the position well. In fact he looked better there than he has done further forward. Arshavin, this guy is gong to be a magician, with his reading of the game, positioning and foresight. It’s up to the rest of the guys to keep up with him and benefit from his vision.

    RvP, seems to spend a lot of time recently on his backside, or the wrong foot, and what’s with all this fairy arm waiving business? He always had an odd running style/arm action , but it seems to be getting worse.

    Again Bendtner wasted, wandering about on the wing, for Godsake get him in the centre, where the big lad can do some damage.

    If I can find real fault, it is this, and it has been prevalent all season, no one attacking the ball in the box. To much standing watching it from outside. Just get bodies in there, and get something on the ball, head, leg, chest, dick, anything.

    Next to finally, an Oscar for Ronaldo, (El Horizonte), for all his drama, simulation, and grass kissing falls.

    And finally, how about a cameo appearance, against Stoke, for Rosicknote and Dudu, if they’re up to it, in the last five or ten minutes, circumstances permitting?


  16. “I can’t wait to see him fully fit, with a pre-season of practice, playing with a full compliment of world class strikers like Eduardo and van Persie…”

    …along with Cesc Fabregas, Nasri and Rosicky in midfield.

    Worth to wait. And I’ll wait. We will.

    @viva los gooners : The two can hurt themselves even when they’re warming. Forget it 🙂

  17. Re: Arsenal the Great, point taken, maybe a lap of honour then, so long as they don’t take off their tracksuits, and walk at a steady pace.

    With our ill luck with injuries, walking down the tunnel is going to be dangerous.


  18. I totally forgot evra’s comments!! LMAO!!!! That shed some light on the kicking…LOL. I think Kolo had a terrific game 😀 So did Gibbs, again vs. Cronaldo, even taking him on a ride in one attack. Lovely 😀

  19. the most funny thing was king kolo out ronaldoing ronaldo how funny was that =d the big man got skills all that is left is buying a defender yes no atackers we got a bunch of ’em no midfielders denilson can play in my team the lad is quality and really underrated man i love being a gooner

  20. @Atbin19

    Sorry i when you said alan i thought you meant Alan McInally as he was on sky sports news today! If it was Andy gray you meant, he really loved The Arsenal when we were steamrolling teams and TH14 was running the show, not so hot on us now lol or at least he dont show it! There is no worse pundit on sky than Jamie Redknapp, im sure all who have access to sky will agree

  21. There’s lots of positives which you guys covered, but the one thing that bothers me the most is WC’s comment. Wenger said the same thing in almost the same words after the CL losses: We don’t win the big games. It will come with experience I hope, but this has been the tale of this season unfortunately.
    On a brighter note, I am in love with Arshavine. The rest of our team appears to be playing in a lower league when he is on the field. Scary. The other thing is that how Arshavine is playing is exactly what I expected Nasri to do when we signed him, after having watched him play in Marseille but that has not happened (yet). Maybe he is adapting to the EPL still, or he’s young (only 21 right?) or maybe because he is on the left now, whereas with Marseille he was a traditional number 10 in the middle…

  22. It seemed to me that when Bendtner came on, he played as a right winger, with Walcott up front with RvP – a sign that Walcott may play as a striker next year?

  23. Also I think Denilson showed why he is a better prospect than Song in the midfield. SOng played brilliantly at the back, and that is what he is – a defender. Denilson was brilliant all afternoon at mopping up and starting attacks and feeding Cesc

  24. Did anyone else hear about our transfer kitty cut to 13 million? Is this really true/confirmed? I find that quite surprising given the major shareholders (Usmanov, etc.) saying that they are prepared to provide the funds Wenger needs. I was hearing a few weeks ago that the budget was likely to be in the 40 million range. Not that Wenger will use all of it, but still, it’s essential that we have the resources should Wenger need it.

    I doubt we can get the players we need with only 13 million, especially since Wenger is trying to bring in 1-2 experienced players.

    Anyway, on a lighter note, I’m willing to put the house on Wenger buying some unknowns like when he astutely bought Sagna and Dudu. I’ve always been impressed with his ability to spot the diamonds in the rough.

    Good performance overall from the boys, although a goal or two would’ve been well deserved. I will say that perhaps Denilson deserved the MOTM, he was the last man so many times and still dealt with the threats. Also, did anyone think Diaby played well, bar a few mistakes? He put in so many crunching tackles. Finally, Arshavin is such an endearing player, he didn’t even argue with the ref for giving him a yellow despite Carrick tripping over air. I’ve been signficantly impressed with him, for his attitude, skill, sportsmanship, and physique (he bounces off players like a dodgeball, see the run taking on 3 United defenders).

  25. Agreeing with ATBIN completely. yes we played well and passed the ball around good, but i never thought for a second we would score. i think this season was too experimental and wenger still hasnt been able to pick out his starting XI. arshavin’s crossing is no use unless theres someone in there to head the ball into the net. adebayor is not the best at it. yesterday i saw the rarest of things, not in the arsenal match, but far away in spain, in villareal madrid match. Robert Pires, our legend, scoring with his head and i thought to my self have i ever seen him score with his head before? has anyone quite frankly? my point here is, yes we play lovely n smooth but we do need a player who can head it in. i thought before the season bendtner could be that but he had a difficult time keeping his clothes on let alone score a goal. but despite that he still scored a few. what i didnt like abt yesterdays game was the fact that we were only playing for pride and didnt have much to lose, wenger couldve taken off someone else like diaby or denilson to bring on walcott n bendtner. and when bendtner did come on he started playing on the right wing? why the *&^%? does he have pace? no! can he cross brilliantly? no! can he dribble the ball well? NO!.. the only thing he can do is head the ball, so WHY cant you go in the box?

  26. @hamza pires header 2004 champs league 1st leg v chelsea,a cracking header it was as well! The 13mil story is al paper talk,but i do feel it wont be a lot more than that. They are trying to say that ade will have to go for us to have serious cash. A few weeks ago all the papers were saying it was going to be 40,50,60 million.

  27. Well, I guess we’ll have to rely on Wenger’s transfer nous then. I wasn’t expecting a 30-50 million warchest, but still, it would be nice to know that Wenger CAN buy big if he wants to. I always thought that the board was quite generous with funds and that Wenger just didn’t like to buy big because of the expectation and pressure on the player with that kind of price tag.

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