Theatre of no dreams
Many moons ago (and am talking a while back) the fixture between Manchester United and Arsenal was once considered the flagship game of the premier league. Fergie and Wenger sat in the dugouts delegating instructions with hand gestures whilst captains Vieira and Keane with their sleeves rolled up were ready to go to war. The abundance of talent that followed behind them was just incredible.
The fans and neutrals were always guaranteed a high level game of football full of passion, commitment and great value. The motivation for both teams to win the match was out of the world (I’m not sure I can draw any contrast these days to be fair). Everyone remembers the battles at Old Trafford and Highbury which unfortunately are vastly becoming (quite literally) a thing of the past.
Today, I think it’s safe to say that both teams very much represent the epitome of a fallen giant. The fall from grace of two of the most decorated teams in English Footballing history have fallen short of their former glory. Therefore is it any surprise that the game between the two sides on Monday night produced possibly the worst (and I mean the WORST!!!) 45 minutes of football in the last 10 years. Okay, I might have exaggerated a little but the point is they were terrible.
Man United did come alive just before the end of the first half and were able to break the deadlock after McTominay put them ahead with a brilliant effort from outside the box. Arsenal came out stronger in the 2nd half and produced some really good chances. Pepe could have done better with his finishing and Saka was very impressive for the Gunners. However it was their talismanic striker Aubameyang who equalised on the 58th minute to earn Arsenal a draw. I would be really distressed if I supported either club but it’s down to the respective Managers to find a solution to enable success and the glory days return (personally I can see this happening for a good 50 years!!!).
Liverpool still maintain a 100 percent record but had to overcome a very stubborn Sheffield United side. As we’ve seen in the past, great champions will win games even when playing badly and that’s exactly what Liverpool did in this match. Wijnaldum got the only goal of the game on the 70th minute ensuring the reds leave with 3 valuable away points which keeps them at the top of the summit.
Credit to Sheffield United, they certainly deserved a lot from the game and if they carry on playing like they did against Liverpool, then they should have no fears about staying up this season. Just to add, Mane and Salah missed some sitters and I am pretty sure normal order of service will be resumed in their next outing.
Tottenham were able to secure a home victory against Southampton having played the majority of the game with just 10 men. Aurier was sent off in the 31st minute after his second bookable offence. However, goals from NDombele and Kane were enough to give Spurs a 2-1 win over the Saints. Crystal Palace beat Norwich 2-0, whilst Chelsea also defeated Brighton by the same scoreline. Aston Villa against Burnley ended as a 2-2 draw as did Bournemouth against West Ham. Manchester City cruised to victory 3-1 away to Everton and Wolves won 2-0 at home to Watford.
Alas, the good old days!!!!