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Olivier Giroud’s 89th-minute equaliser earned Arsenal a point

Olivier Giroud’s 89th-minute equaliser earned Arsenal a point
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Olivier Giroud’s 89th-minute equaliser earned Arsenal a point and denied Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United a victory they deserved at Old Trafford.

Juan Mata looked to have put United on course for three points with a sweeping left-foot finish from Ander Herrera’s cut-back after 68 minutes.

Arsenal had not had an effort on goal but secured the draw that leaves them six points ahead of United when substitute Giroud rose at the far post to head home Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s cross.

United had controlled a game that was ordinary for long periods, with Arsenal keeper Petr Cech making important interventions and Mourinho left furious that they were denied a first-half penalty by referee Andre Marriner when Nacho Monreal hauled down Antonio Valencia.

Mourinho left cursing

Mata celebrates scoring against Arsenal
Juan Mata’s 68th-minute opener was his third Premier League goal of the season

Mourinho cut a dejected figure at the final whistle as this result means he has now faced Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal in the league this season and not recorded a win.

This is the latest chapter in what is turning into a season of frustration for both Mourinho and Manchester United as they struggle to pick up the momentum required to challenge their rivals at the top of the Premier League.

So much of this display will have left Mourinho feeling satisfied.

Manchester United looked in control, restricted Arsenal to a single opportunity and were full value for their lead until Giroud struck with a minute of normal time left.

Mourinho has still to taste defeat against Wenger in 12 Premier League games – but this will carry the pain of a loss as Arsenal earned an Old Trafford draw their performance did not merit.

Nacho Monreal bringing down Antonio Valencia
Nacho Monreal appeared to bring down Antonio Valencia with his right arm in the penalty area, but nothing was given

Lucky Arsenal – but Wenger will take it

Wenger has not won at Old Trafford in the Premier League since September 2006 and has experienced a lot of pain here since – but he will happily grasp this point with both hands after a desperately disappointing Arsenal display.

The Gunners barely raised a gallop and one early Alexis Sanchez header apart, Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea was unemployed until Giroud’s header flew past him.

Arsenal were grateful for the reassuring presence of goalkeeper Cech, who was faultless, and also to referee Marriner for waving away those first-half penalty appeals.

If Wenger is looking for positives, he will point to the fact that Arsenal stuck at it to open the door for that late equaliser – allowing them to take a point from a place that has brought them much misery in recent years.

Wenger will know, however, that Arsenal will need to be bolder and perform better against their rivals than this – but on this occasion he will take this draw and move on.

Rooney’s warm reception

Wayne Rooney’s week in the headlines after he was pictured in a late-night drinking session while on England duty at least had a happier conclusion back at Manchester United.

The England and United captain received a very warm reception from the home fans as he warmed up and then when he came on as substitute for Anthony Martial after 63 minutes.

United’s fans continued to chant their support – and scorn for England – and while Rooney’s contribution was fleeting he will have been relieved to be back on the pitch and in action again.

Man of the match: Ander Herrera (Manchester United)

Ander Herrera
Ander Herrera set up Mata’s goal and helped to break up lots of Arsenal’s attacking moves

The stats you need to know

  • Giroud’s goal was the first Arsenal had scored against a Mourinho team in the Premier League since May 2007, when Gilberto Silva scored in 1-1 draw against Chelsea at the Emirates. It was the only effort on target Arsenal had in the match.
  • Only in 2004-05 (18) have Manchester United had fewer points from their opening 12 Premier League games than the 19 points they have so far this season.
  • Only Wayne Rooney (29) has scored more Premier League goals since Juan Mata’s debut for the club in January 2014 than Mata himself (24).
  • Manchester United have drawn three league games in a row at Old Trafford for the first time since April 1992.
  • Arsenal failed to have a shot on target in the first half of a Premier League match for the first time since April this year, when they played Norwich City.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, speaking to Sky Sports: “The result in the end is positive for us because we were 1-0 down with two minutes to go.

“The players who came on made a massive difference today. When you are 1-0 down and come back to 1-1 of course you have to feel happy.

“We lacked a bit of sharpness today. What is it down to I don’t know but at least we came back.”

Man Utd boss Jose Mourinho, speaking to Sky Sports: “Of course it is two points dropped. We were the best team by far. They had no chances to win.

“They could not be Arsenal the way they normally play football. We were phenomenal defensively. The way we pressed and the way we controlled their counter attacks.

“The team played very well. This team at the moment is the unluckiest team in the Premier League. That is the reality.”

On the penalty that was never given: “I don’t want to speak about it. He [Andre Marriner] is the kind of referee who if he make mistakes against my team there is no intention. He doesn’t want to be the star of the game, he is a good referee. I don’t want to say if it is a mistake or not. I know because I saw the video, but I don’t want to say because he is a good referee.”

BBC

Aaron Kintoh

Aaron Kintoh

General Manager at Sports News-GH
A hard working and committed person who is also very passionate about sports. Love simple stuff and getting the work done!
Aaron Kintoh

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