Manchester United v Arsenal: Brilliant

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The big news of the day is that Arsenal have drawn Manchester United at Old Trafford in the 5th round of the FA Cup. Unlike some Arsenal supporters, who seem to be less than pleased with having to play United so early in the competition, I think it’s a brilliant outcome.

Arsenal were likely going to have to beat United at some point to win the FA Cup so to get them at this early stage is not a big deal. The game will be played just a few days before Arsenal face AC Milan at home in the Champions League, so it is likely that Arsene Wenger will put out something of a mix of regular starters and some fringe players. It could be suggested that this will hurt Arsenal’s chances, but it should also be remembered that Manchester United have an equally tough game just after away to French Champions Lyon.

The best thing about football is watching the best teams play against each other and to get another opportunity to watch Arsenal tackle Manchester United is one that I would welcome with open arms. It will be a great contest and if Arsenal do get the better of Ferguson and his cronies who knows how much confidence it could inject into the side with the trip for Milan.

Rosicky should be back soonMany people may look at the two big games in a row as having the potential to take the wind out of Arsenal’s title challenge but as an optimist, I tend to look at them as a big opportunity to really make something memorable out of a so-far successful season. Whichever outcome proves to be right, it will no doubt be a lot more fun than playing Huddersfield or Shakhtar Donetsk (no offence to those clubs).

Newcastle again

There is another important game a little closer on the horizon, as Arsenal host Newcastle United for the second time in a matter of days later tonight. The 3-0 win over the same side in the FA Cup on Saturday was a relative cruise for Arsenal thanks mainly to Emmanuel Adebayor, but football is a funny game and I can’t see Wenger and his side having it as easy today.

In team news the manager revealed that Tomas Rosicky will be missing the match due to a minor muscle injury problem but will thankfully be back sooner than later. Wenger also mentioned that Kolo Toure, who went off injured playing for the Ivory Coast during their second African Cup of Nations game, flew back to London to retrieve an assessment from Arsenal’s medical staff before being declared unavailable for only just over a week.

“[Rosicky] got a kick at Fulham and the inflammation around his tendon provokes some pain but we feel it’s a question of days, not weeks. [Toure] will [be] out for eight to 10 days. But he will stay with the Ivory Coast squad for the rest of the tournament.”

The team should look quite similar to the one that won on Saturday. Manuel Almunia will start in goals behind a back four of Bacary Sagna, Philippe Senderos, William Gallas and the closest thing to a human energizer bunny, Gael Clichy. Mathieu Flamini – who was absolutely outstanding a couple of days ago – should partner Cesc Fabregas in the middle while Abou Diaby and Alexander Hleb will likely feature on the right and left respectively. Goal-machine Emmanuel Adebayor and Eduardo da Silva will surely start up front.

When you consider that Sagna, Hleb and Eduardo did not start in the FA Cup win this side looks even stronger than the one that beat the same Newcastle side on Saturday. As such, I expect the boys to get the three points to keep the pressure on Manchester United, who face a tricky test away to Tottenham. A win and some dropped points from United would be the perfect tonic for what should otherwise be a relatively dull week of work. Sigh.

What do you think?

Have your say on the FA Cup draw or the Newcastle game by leaving a comment.


18 thoughts on “Manchester United v Arsenal: Brilliant

  1. I enjoyed this article a lot and I’m a ManU fan. I respect Arsenal a lot and enjoy the matches. To bad that a lot of people mix hate into this…

  2. I think it will be a brilliant match, still not sure on what way it will go so i cannot predict a score but what I do preedict is that it will not go to a replay menaing it will not be a draw. The only down side for Arsenal is that it is at Old Trafford, I know its good if we beat them on their own turf, but Man U are solid at home and it will be tough. C’mon Van Persie, Hurry!

  3. Glad to be of service. It will be interesting to see who wins. Manchester United should be the favourites going into it but if we beat them it will give Arsenal some pretty amazing momentum.

    As for tomorrow, here’s to three points, however they come.

  4. Correction, “Goal machines Adebayor and Eduardo…”

    “To be the best you have to beat the best.” – Cesc

    Time to put that to the test in both competitions. 🙂

  5. Good twist on Having Man U but isnt more intersting havong the best teams in it till the end? Makes for more suspense to me. I would much rather Arsenal and Man U in a Semi or Final. The seeding format like Tennis would be ideal to me. As far as the match – to Have RVP back would be a delight, there is just something extra special about that young man!

    God Bless!

  6. Paulsito, i thought that aswell until last years final, Manchester United and Chelsea, both in the final, the 2 favourites. So much hype and excitement, but what a boring match it was. SO i think getting Mancs now is better then the final.

  7. 6 goals against newcastle in 4 days – yeowch.

    Keegan must be regretting drinking from the poison chalice that is newcastle. Go ye gunners!

  8. Heh heh. Newcastle just got played off the park. What a goal by Flamini in there too. I thought his assist for Adebayor was sublime but then he just delivered a cannonball from nowhere. What a guy.

  9. It was a wonderful win for us today. What I thought was Newcastle were so organized at the back and were making life hard for attacking players untill we broke a deadlock. Adebayor skied a volley after a good cross from Falmini and had a bad 1st touch in the opening minutes from a clichy’s long ball. But once again our hot man at the moment gave us a goal with yet another header. If Adebayor can stay centrally in the box and use the advantage of his height he will be a nightmare for any defenders but still he has to improve his 1st touch and finishing to be a phenomenon striker. What can I say about Flamini, he was everywhere. One assist, one goal and a wonderful display in defensive midfield, what a performance. He was perfect today and he deserves a new juicy contract to sign. I think he is the second best defensive midfielder in the world at the current form besides Cambiasso from Inter. Hleb and Fab, our creative duo were not so brilliant but both had a good game especially that much needed goal for Fabregas can be so important for his confidence level. Lets hope now he is back in form with bags of goals.

    Almunia: 7 Yet another clean sheet and one good save in the end. He is determined not to lose his position because he knows Jens is knocking in his door if he have a couple of bad games. Deserve to be no. 1 at least for this season.

    Sagna: 8 As respects said who is the most consistent player for us this season, thats Sagna. He has been a new discovery. He is the main reason we have beed solid defensively, good pace , good in the air, good crosses…… Best RB in the leage without any doubt.

    Senderos: 8 Again he was superb. He was a rock solid inside the box and always good in one a one. Ina good run of form. Are we missing Toure? May be not!!!!!!!

    Gallas: 7.5 A good captain, cool and composed in the back. Had one scary moment at the end but was alright.

    Clichy: 8 Good defensively, 2 really good long balls one for Adebayor in the begining and one for Bentdner assist for Fab. Has improved his crossing dramatically, maybe Beck’s effect at Arsenal.

    Falmini: 10 Super performance. You know what 10/10 means? out of this planet. That’s how he was today.

    Fabregas: 7.5 Still not at his best but grabbed a goal and had another glorious chance but his left foot deceived him. We will see Fab at his best soon. may be he is waiting to show masterpiece against Manu and Milan. We know this guy love to play against big teams. Come on cesc.

    Diaby: 7.5 Surprisingly had a good game at left midfield after a long time. Is one of the most criticized player in the Arsenal team but may be he is being used in wrong place.

    Hleb: 7.5 Is brilliant with ball in his feet and some good through balls. Is in the heart of our creativeness. Can be best in the world if he can score goals in regular basis and shoot occasionally. One of Arse player who is afraid to shoot, may be he learned from Flamini today.

    Eduardo: 7 Was not one of his best game looking at his current form but still was good whenever he got the ball. Had one dangerous cross early in the game after a good footwork. He is little bit overshadowed by the presence of big Togolese in front of him. Our midfielders need to pass him more cause we know if he get’s chane then ball will be back of the net.

    Adebayor: 8 In very very hot form. Took advantage of his height to score. Has started focussing to stay inside the box. Still has to work in his first touch. If he continues to be in such kind of form till May, we will not miss RVP.

    3_0 without our two creative and influential players, Rocky and RVP is always awesome. It would be nice to see them back because our squad is looking so thin at the moment. I can’t see Wenger signing anyone in this transfer but he might have a big surprise for all the gooners, nobody knows. I believe in this team and this is the year for these young players to lift the title. We are still very much in every competition and February is gonna be the most important month for all of us. February 16 th is my birthday and it would be the best birthday gift for me if we win against Manu….Good night to ya all…..

  10. It was quite clever the way Fabregas and Flamini swaped roles at times and Flamini was on the attack, well he was everywhere.This game was the Flamini show.Come on Pompey smack the Mancs tonight.

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