What Can You Say? Arsenal and Manchester United Draw

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What Can You Say? Arsenal and Manchester United Draw
Games like that are what football is all about. Sure, neither Arsenal nor Manchester United were able to play their usual brands of beautiful football, but they gave as close an approximation as they could. They were, after all, each playing the other best team in European football today. It was always unlikely that either was going to tear the other apart.

Sir Alex says that Arsenal scored chippy goals, and he's right, but that ignores the gorgeous build-up play that got them in range for those chippy goals. Sir Alex also says that the good chances went to Man Utd. The pretty chances certainly did. But what he omits is that those pretty chances were the only chances. While no team dominated, Arsenal certainly got closer to the goal, more often, than Man Utd did.

But none of that matters for either team or their squads.

What matters is that Manchester United and Arsenal drew in a hard fought, impressive game, where both teams deserved a share of the spoils. Moreover, the stars on both teams performed at the highest level: Rooney and Ronaldo (despite incredible marking by Sagna), and Cesc (despite being double teamed by Hargreaves and Anderson) and Hleb.

What matters for Man Utd is that they came into Emirates, got a point, and stayed even with Arsenal. A tough test and one that proves that they are truly title contenders. What matters for Arsenal is that they proved beyond doubt that they are not just pretty -- they are tough. They are the real deal this year, and their start has not been a fluke.

It also proved one other thing for Arsenal, and it's the one thing I have been quietly worrying about all year: they do have a Captain.

Gallas did the job today. I wasn't convinced when he was chosen, I was even less convinced when he went out injured and Toure did such a great job deputising, but I am now believer. Arsene's decision to make Gallas the captain looks to have been the right one, and he'll be great until Cesc takes over.

p.s. Hey, Fergie! I don't buy into the whole "Webb favoured Arsenal" bullshit, but if he did it is about fucking time you got a dose of your own medicine. And isn't it great to see that in the cavernous Emirates the home fans can be far more intimidating than they ever were in the beautiful Highbury? If you really want to impress the footballing world, Red Face, be man enough to admit the next time Old Trafford and the fans force a ref into making crap calls (which Webb didn't do today, except the one that went against Arsenal ;)). You can't and you won't. Old bastard.
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