Who's Better: Manchester United or Arsenal?

Martin MaleAnalyst IFebruary 23, 2008

Arsenal were held to a tie today and lead the Premiership by three points, but are they the best team? Not even close.

The Gunners are a good team so don't misunderstand me, but Manchester United are the better side and proved it again today with a 5-1 drubbing of Newcastle at St. James Park.

Arsenal played 87 minutes against a 10-man Birmingham team today, but gave up a penalty in extra time to hand Birmingham the tie.

Yes, the penalty might have been controversial, but it should never have been to the point where the penalty was going to cause a tie. After their 0-0 tie with AC Milan in Champions League on Wednesday and the 4-0 beating in the FA Cup at the hands of Manchester United last weekend, The Gunners look like a slightly better than average team. Injuries are playing a part in that, but all teams go through it and the pressure is now on at the Emirates.

The Red Devils, on the other hand, completely dominated Newcastle today in a game that they seemed to never even get out of third gear. They cruised along and pretty much did what they wanted to. While they were forced to scramble for a 1-1 tie with Lyon on Wednesday in Champions League play, they are in control as they come home to play the second leg. Arsenal have to take their tie to the San Siro.

The Red Devils also took Arsenal completely apart last weekend in the FA Cup. It wasn't even a close game. The thing that Manchester United have going for them over most of the other teams is that they can make 4 or 5 changes every game, as they did today compared to the team that started on Wednesday, and still be dominant. The depth they have is fantastic and has allowed them to only have surrendered 15 goals in the EPL this season so far. The best goals against at this point of the season of any team in the history of the EPL. Even their great teams were never this tight defensively. The team is also scoring goals at a pace that leaves them +40 in goal differential.

I guess time will tell which team is the better team, but with another injury to a starter today, Arsenal's depth will be tested and I just don't think it is there. I think with the games that the teams have remaining that United will finish first in the EPL with Chelsea second and Arsenal falling to third. Team depth is key at this time of year and the Gunners only have blanks left in the barrel.