Old Trafford has always been a difficult place for Arsenal to travel to in the league, as we’ve seen for the last 11 years. Our last win there was in September 2006, when Arsenal won 1-0 thanks to Adebayor. So naturally, we as Arsenal fans have feared travelling up North because history tells us that we’ll struggle.
But this time around it felt different. You see, Man United have started their season horribly, and with Arsenal hot in form after a sumptuous victory against Sp*rs, now was as good a time as any to go to Manchester and grab all 3 points. I wasn’t feeling too good about the game, but the faith drilled into me by Emery gave me the sense that we could win this, so I was a little more confident than what I normally was for this fixture. A part of me was hoping that we would beat them senselessly, so that Mourinho could be sacked as a result of Arsenal…oh how great that would be! But another part of me wanted us to do okay, just so that he can keep his job a bit longer and drive United’s bus a bit further into the mud. Well, it turns out we went the latter route and did okay, only for us to bring 1 point back home.
Mourinho made a shitload of changes to the squad that drew 2-2 to Southampton, whereas Arsenal only made 2. Granit Xhaka was serving a 1 match suspension, which gave Guendouzi the chance to start alongside Torreira, and after an impressive display off the bench against Tottenham, Ramsey made it into the starting 11, only for Mhkitaryan to make way after a spell of poor performances recently. I was wondering how we would get on without Xhaka in the squad, and whether Guendouzi was ready for a fight against United scum. Turns out he did just fine, but I do get the feeling that the team missed Xhaka a bit. I say this, because for most of the first half we didn’t really have control in the midfield. Our players really looked nervous on the field, which made me nervous. But all of those nerves seemed to die down after we took the lead. I’d said it before, and I’ll say it again: Mustafi thrives in big fixtures like these! The man is always a threat in the oppositions box when set pieces are being taken. Granted, De Gea gave us that goal by basically throwing the ball into his own net, but it was Mustafi who found the space and headed the ball towards goal, only for De Gea to do the rest for us.