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20 Nov 2016

Arsene Wenger is his own worst enemy, but Olivier Giroud is his savior

Last season, when Arsenal went to Old Trafford, the decisive goal that put the game beyond doubt was scored by a Spanish midfielder, running onto a cutback, with Francis Coquelin failing to track the midfield run, leaving him the entire penalty box. This season, the goal that looked to be decisive was scored by a Spanish midfielder, running onto a cutback, with Francis Coquelin failing to track the midfield run, leaving him the entire penalty box. There were only two differences: this season it was Juan Mata, and Mohamed Elneny was also culpable.

In fairness, the goal had been on the cards, for more than half an hour. That was when Antonio Valencia burst through, and went down under the rugby style tackle of Nacho Monreal. There was no penalty, causing Jose Mourinho to have an aneurysm. Aaron Ramsey laughed, the only thing he could smile about, as he, stuck out on the left hand side in a position that does not suit him at all, had an abysmal game. And to be fair he wasn’t the only one. Carl Jenkinson was a black hole in possession, and a bundle of nerves off it. The midfield two—Francis Coquelin and Mohamed Elneny—were atrocious. They offered very little in possession, and weren’t secure out of it, giving Manchester United’s midfield too much space, as evident by the goal. A midfield pair that struggled against Middlesbrough at home struggled at Manchester United away. Who could’ve guessed? Well, everyone, aside from the Arsenal manager, who left Granit Xhaka on the bench after he played his best game for the club.

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