ROUNDUP OF ARSENAL VS MANCHESTER UNITED IN THE FA CUP
January 26, 20190
Arsenal needed the FA Cup more than Manchester United because they have more to prove at this moment in time. Solskjaer and his team would not have been severely accountable for a loss because United was waiting for the season to end when he was appointed. The expectation was not high. But it was apparent from the match that Manchester United wanted the win more than Arsenal.
Desire was the big difference. Arsenal was toothless and all over the place without a clear attacking purpose. On the contrary, Manchester United was purposeful. They knew they had to score or outscore their opponents. Arsenal did not appear to know that going by their lack of focus on attacking penetration. To be fair you can say that they had injury issues at the back and you will be correct with Sokratis and Koscielny broken and needing to be patched up, but the problem with Arsenal was not with individuals or individual mistakes. It was with their collective defensive organization, collective attacking penetration and the hunger to win.
These are 3 key factors that have more to do with the bench than with the players. These are purely tactical and motivational issues. Arsenal lacked decent penetration upfront and at the same time were in shambles defensively leaving too much space along the channels while also playing high line that they can’t defend. Yet their collective pressing upfront was in shambles. Their transition from defence to attack was good to watch either when they string up intricate passes in the middle or each time Iwobi took off like a flash of lightening but they often end with a lack of penetration of the opponent’s goal.
It was fair that Manchester United won. The better side won convincingly