Arsenal snatch a late point at Old Trafford with an Olivier Giroud headed goal
Arsenal snatched a late point against Manchester United when substitute Olivier Giroud headed in an 89th minute equaliser in a 1-1 draw between the teams at Old Trafford this afternoon.
Manchester United opened the scoring in the 68th minute. Paul Pogba played in Ander Herrera on the right and he pulled the ball back for Juan Mata. His powerful shot from 15 yards out beat Petr Cech.
Arsenal’s equaliser came when substitute Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain beat Marcus Rashford wide on the right.
His cross to the far post was met by Giroud who outjumped three United defenders to head past De Gea.
The most contentious issue in the match was whether Manchester United should have been awarded a penalty in the 35th minute. Referee Andre Marriner waved appeals from United players, and Jose Mourinho, for a penalty after Antonio Valencia went down from a challenge by Nacho Monreal.
The decision not to award a penalty is sure to feature prominently in Mourinho’s post match comments.
The result leaves Arsene Wenger still waiting for a first Premier League win against his nemesis Mourinho.
And Arsenal still haven’t tasted victory at Old Trafford in the Premier League since a win in September 2006 with an Emmanuel Adebayor winner.
The Gunners will count themselves fortunate to leave Old Trafford with a point.
Despite enjoying 55% of possession in the match, Giroud’s header was Arsenal’s first effort on target in the match.
Matt Lucas had just joked on twitter that the last Arsenal player to score at Old Trafford in the league was Oliver Cromwell in 1656!
Giroud has now scored more Premier League goals as a substitute for Arsenal than any other player (10). It was the first goal Arsenal had scored against a Mourinho team in the Premier League since May 2007 (Gilberto Silva).
Speaking to Sky Sports after the match Arsene Wenger said.
“The result in the end is positive for us because we were 1-0 down with two minutes to go. For the rest it was a bit of a scrappy game with two teams well organised who defended well. Our passing was not quick enough, our penetration was not there and in the end we looked like we had good possession of the ball but not many chances. In the second half we suffered for the first 20 minutes and they deserved to be in front.
The players who came on made a massive difference today. When you are 1-0 down and come back to 1-1 of course you have to feel happy.”
On whether Arsenal have a mental block playing at Old Trafford, Wenger added. “We lacked a bit of sharpness today, what is it down to I don’t know but at least we came back.”
“I wondered during the game about that. Honestly you never know. Last year we would have maybe lost this game and today we didn’t so we have improved on that front. Hopefully now we can kick on with some wins.”