Arsenal: In London, this game was on the edge of losing to Erik ten Hag’s side, and four of them are absolutely correct. Manchester United had shown more capability in the face of a 3-1 defeat against Arsenal, with late moments delivered through Declan Rice and Gabriel Jesus. However, a controversial call, a cocky tail decision that the manager got wrong, eventually turned the tide against the visitors at the Emirates Stadium.
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Arsenal had been spared and then rescued by Anthony Taylor, who ruled out a penalty and then got it back, suggesting that there was insufficient contact for a spot-kick, which frustrated Ten Hag. The tale took a dramatic turn moment later as Rice was going inside a corner, where Ten Hag believed Gabriel Jesus was obstructing the ball. Before that, Arsenal’s defenders were dealing with alternative Rasmus Hojlund in the area, and United’s appeals were waved off by Taylor. Moments later, it seemed like Alexandre Garnacho had won it, racing ahead of Gabriel to slot past the goalkeeper in what appeared to be an offside position.
Arsenal’s Power Surge Behind Their Path to Glory
Ten Hag said that the performance was good but the result was not in their favor. “Certainly, many decisions went against us.”
“The penalty was pointed out, but it was denied. Everyone sees it’s a dive, but it’s not given to Hearts. Then, a penalty area foul on Rasmus in the area, I don’t think, even from VAR. Then, Garnacho’s disallowed goal, in my opinion, it’s the wrong angle.
“[Second] goal, how can they allow that goal? It’s a clear and obvious foul on Johnny Evans, which Declan Rice should have stopped. There’s a lot.
In most instances, it’s easy to see why Ten Hag might be frustrated with the referee’s decisions, even though he didn’t specify which angle he suggested for the review that Garnacho was not clearly offside. Similarly, no decision from Taylor proved critically wrong, and Arteta stormed into the Emirates Stadium media room with a face like thunder after Hearts’ punishment ended.
Set these examples aside, and Ten Hag had more than 100 minutes to look at it positively, perhaps the best game of the season so far. “Our performance was very good. There’s room for improvement, but if we look at compactness, pressing, movement with the ball, countering, turnovers: very convincing. When we were under pressure, we didn’t give Arsenal a chance.
“In the next phase, we could have done better. To get the next pass in the right moments, you have to move more accurately.
It’s easy to agree with Ten Hag’s belief that there’s room for improvement, but most of the game they were much better. Martial, in particular, was heading to his favored positions on the left when Ait Nouri moved forward. Last season’s system revolved around transforming Maitland-Niles into midfield, bringing much zip to Arsenal’s midfield, although it’s surprising how, with his shift to the right, left-flank overlap wasn’t exploited more by Rice.
While they had 45 percent possession — and more possession of the ball in the first half, it was largely in areas where they were in danger, as Arteta’s back three with Lokonga took care of the threat from Hart’s front line. Just when an isolated Gabriel Martinelli’s attempt to round your keeper in the final third looked like it would lead to Arsenal’s opening goal, Rice saved it before William Saliba blocked the rebound.
Still, there was certainly a presence in the team of valuable few ideas about how to push into the opposition’s territory. It may be that the guests had 45 percent control – and certainly more in terms of territory – but most of it was in places where they were a danger, as Rice’s impressive arrival took care of the threat from Hart’s front line. Just where a dangerous Gabriel Martinelli, who was in the third part of your patch only to the left, Martinelli’s personal touch in the next four matches.
One moment when United looked completely like a new team, thanks to the touch of the ball, Anthony Martial saved Rashford before William Saliba stopped the rebound. However, this was a team with failures too, but despite that, they remained successful in dictating the terms of the game. It is possible that important moments have not changed the path of Ten Hag, but neither has the overall balance of power. In such circumstances, it may not be a big blow that the result ultimately favored Arsenal