Match report: Arsenal 0 United 0

Saturday 30 January 2021 19:20

Manchester United claimed a hard-fought point against Arsenal on Saturday evening after both sides had chances to win it at the Emirates.

United, who dominated much of the opening period, went close through Fred midway through the first half when his curled effort was tipped just wide by Bernd Leno, while Alexandre Lacazette went closest for the hosts when he fired a free-kick against the bar.

Edinson Cavani hooked a brilliant effort just wide, on 89 minutes, but, ultimately, the Reds will look back on this game with a little frustration at not claiming all three points.


Ole Gunnar Solskjaer made five changes to the side that lost out against Sheffield United with Luke Shaw and Victor Lindelof returning to the defence, Scott McTominay and Fred back in midfield and Edinson Cavani leading the line in attack. The Gunners made one change after losing Bukayo Saka to injury, meaning Gabriel Martinelli was drafted into the side. New signing Martin Odegaard was named on the bench.

The Reds were looking to get back to winning ways as quickly as possible and United certainly settled well at the Emirates. Bar a break forward when Lacazette shot straight at David De Gea on 15 minutes, it was pretty much all United for the opening 25 minutes.

United’s attacking quartet were lively with Marcus Rashford in a few times down the right and it was a corner from that side which brought us our first big chance of the half in the 20th minute. A corner was cleared but only as far as Fred on the edge of the box and he tried a brilliant chipped effort which was just tipped wide by Leno.

Rashford was unlucky to have the ball just taken off his toe in the area thanks to Martinelli's clearing diving header, while a United header dropped just wide after our two full-backs combined when Aaron Wan-Bissaka rose to meet a cross from Shaw.

Pogba then put Fernandes through on 34 minutes and, after cutting inside David Luiz, the Portuguese playmaker curled his shot inches past the far post.

United, who lost McTominay before the break with stomach cramp, continued to press as half-time approached. Rashford couldn’t get his shot away when he was found by Shaw just yards from goal, while Fernandes saw his clever free-kick deflected over by Luiz in the wall.


Mikel Arteta introduced Willian at the start of the second period and he almost made an instant impact on 49 minutes. A ball from the right eluded Wan-Bissaka initially but the United full-back recovered brilliantly to make a superb point-blank block to deflect the Brazilian’s effort wide. Harry Maguire did exactly the same minutes later as Pepe took aim.

Just shy of the hour-mark United looked certain to go a goal up when a brilliant one-two between Martial and Shaw on the left side of the box led to the latter firing a cross to Cavani whose drive just yards from goal was apparently somehow deflected wide by Leno.

The Reds breathed a sigh of relief on 65 minutes when Lacazette crashed a free-kick off the underside of De Gea’s crossbar, before the United no.1 made an excellent low block from Emile Smith Rowe.

Nine minutes from time, the Reds lost possession down the left and Pepe burst forward and curled the ball just past the far stick. However, it looked like United had won it with two minutes left when Wan-Bissaka whipped a cross in from the right and Cavani acrobatically hooked it goalwards, but it dropped agonisingly wide.

That proved to be the last of the chances as the Reds now get set to host Southampton at Old Trafford in the league on Tuesday night.

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Arsenal: Leno; Bellerin, Holding, Luiz, Cedric; Partey, Xhaka; Pepe, Smith Rowe (Odegaard 83), Martinelli (Willian 46); Lacazette (Nketiah 90+4).

Subs not used: Runarsson, Chambers, Gabriel, Maitland-Niles, Elneny, Willock. 

Booked: Cedric

United: De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw; Fred, McTominay (Martial 37); Pogba, Fernandes, Rashford (Greenwood 80); Cavani.

Subs not used: Henderson, Bailly, Telles, Tuanzebe, James, Matic, van de Beek. 

Booked: Wan-Bissaka, Pogba, Maguire