Manchester United and Arsenal drew 1-1 in a Premier League clash at Old Trafford. Ander Herrera opened the scoring for United in the 30th minute before Arsenal pulled a goal back when Theo Walcott’s cross was deflected in by Tyler Blackett. The result means that if Arsenal win their next game, they will be guaranteed 3rd position and will avoid the Champions League play-offs.
The game got off to a cautious start with both teams feeling each other out and both weary of the importance of the fixture. Ashley Young cut in from the left and fired a shot in the 6th minute. United were looking the more threatening of the two sides and they were testing the Arsenal defence early on. Man United won a free kick in the 14th minute, when Juan Mata was brought down just outside the box. But the Spaniard hit a tame shot that was comfortably saved by Arsenal goalkeeper David Ospina. Olivier Giroud had a run in on goal when Phil Jones stumbled and loss the ball but the Arsenal striker couldn’t control the ball. The Red Devils took the lead in the 30th minute, when Young’s cross found an unmarked Herrera at the back post and he volleyed home from close range. Young was in top form and he again beat the Arsenal defence on the left wing but he couldn’t pick out a team-mate in the box. United were dominating play and were looking to add a 2nd goal. Radamel Falcao nearly doubled the lead in the 39th minute with a header but the referee adjudged him to have fouled Laurent Koscielny. Arsenal looked flat in the first half and hardly created anything to threaten the United goal. Daley Blind almost made it 2-0 before the break but his shot was blocked by his own player.
Arsenal came out of the 2nd half with more intent and Alexis Sanchez was played in by a Giroud header in the 51st minute but his shot was off target. In the 63rd minute, Giroud should’ve drawn level for Arsenal but his shot lacked the power and direction to beat United keeper David De Gea. Arsenal were starting to look more dangerous and Sanchez nearly put Aaron Ramsey through on goal but a last ditch challenge by a United defender prevented him from shooting. Sanchez would again feed in Ramsey with an excellent ball in the 70th minute but after lobbing De Gea, the United cover defence intervened and cleared the ball. Arsene Wenger made two attacking substitutions in the 72nd minute, when he brought on Theo Walcott and Jack Wilshere for Hector Bellerin and Santi Cazorla. Victor Valdes made his Man United debut when De Gea was substituted after picking up an injury. Arsenal’s pressure would pay off in the 82nd minute, when they got the equalising goal. Ramsey picked out Walcott with a superb through ball and the winger attempted to cross the ball but it took a deflection off Blackett, for an own goal. Arsenal kept piling the pressure on the United goal line but Giroud couldn’t convert the two opportunities that were created. Robin Van Persie had a chance to snatch the winner in the 88th minute but he couldn’t hit the target after being set-up by Marouane Fellaini. Arsenal were the better side in the 2nd half and could’ve won the game but 1-1 seemed to be a fair score line, with the result favouring the Gunners.