Manchester United

Arsenal vs Manchester United Fan Review: Counter Attacking Tactics Paid Off

Arsenal vs Manchester United Fan Review

Arsenal vs Manchester United ended with a scoreline of 1-3. The FA Cup third round tie was supposed to be a tough one for the Reds especially when Arsenal were on such a high post their performance against Chelsea. But it turns out that United’s revival story still continues with 8 victories in 8 games under Solskjaer

Manchester United Starting Lineup

United went in with quite a few changes keeping in mind that although it was a cup game, it was still against an arch rival in Arsenal and FA Cup is still Manchester United’s best hope of silverware this season.

Romero who is one of the best, if not the best reserve goalkeeper in the league replaced DeGea while Luke Shaw returned from his illness and Dalot sat out. Eric Bailly also returned after spending his suspension while Lukaku and Alexis were brought in place of Rashford and Martial.

Tactics & Performance

Arsenal started on a high but soon Manchester United came through and the game was quite steady for initial few minutes with both teams going forward. Manchester United opted to play Lukaku on the right with Lingard playing as a false number 9 through the center.

Also Read: Tottenham vs Manchester United Fan Review

The midfield was same as it has been in the past few games, with Matic dropping back between the two center backs, while Herera and Pogba dealt with the forward push. From the get-go, Manchester United looked as if they were ready to sit back and allow Arsenal to hold the ball and move forward.

Alexis Scored against his old club

They took the chance of keeping their front three in their position allowing easy runs for the Arsenal’s full back. But the tactics paid off as the space which was left wide open every time Kolasinac moved forward, gave ample space for the United attackers to go on the counter attack.

The home crowd was continuously booing Alexis every time he got the ball, and it was him who had the last laugh when he opened the scoring for Manchester United after a brilliant ball from Lukaku. Within minutes United scored again and this time it was a pure counter-attacking goal where Shaw initially won the ball, found Lukaku, who slowly passed it to Lingard, who made no mistake.

Lingard Scored in Arsenal vs Manchester United

You ask any Arsenal fan, and for sure they would say, they fear Lingard most from this current Manchester United squad as that lad really loves playing against them, and most often then not he scores as well and today was no different.

The scoreline at the half was 1-2 and it was United who conceded against the run of play when Auba tapped it in. Earlier Arsenal was forced to make a change early in game, after Sokratis twisted his ankle but there were no more changes post the break.

Also Read: What Solskjaer has changed at Manchester United

Arsenal looked much more intense and controlled early in the second half but never really troubled United, who were again happy to sit back. Then around the 70th-minute mark, Solskjaer opted to bring in Rashford and Martial. And as a Manchester United fan, I would like to say it was such a refreshing sight as we were not looking to hold on to the one-goal lead, but were trying to kill the game.

The ploy worked and United got one more after Pogba’s shot was deflected by Cech straight to Martial, who just directed it inside the net. Due to the second half injury to Koscielny, 10 extra minutes were added but it was not enough as Unai Emery’s first Cup run ended early and the joy for Manchester United continued.

Individual Performances

Sergio Romero never looked like he was playing after ages and saved a brilliant header from Ramsey just after the half time. ==> 7

Ashley Young was again good moving forward, but defensively was weak and it was on the right side where Arsenal looked the most threating ==> 5

Victor Lindelof continued his good run and won every tackle and aerial duel he went for. Progressing to be a world class defender ==> 7

Eric Bailly looked relaxed as always and he too was good apart for the instance when Arsenal got their first goal. Should be the first choice CB along with Lindelof in the league as well ==> 6

Luke Shaw too looked good both defensively and when going forward. Few of his runs reminded of him from his time at Southampton when he was considered as best LB in England ==> 7

Also Read: 5 Players Manchester United should sell

Matic and Herrera controlled the midfield and apart form one or two missed passes, were up to their job today == 6 each

Paul Pogba looked lazy and tired in the first half but turned back to his fluent best in the second. Created several chances and it was his shot which lead to Martial‘s third and the most important goal of the game ==> 6

Lingard’s movement in and around the box this season has been exceptional. He is one of the main reasons behind the number of goals United have been scoring. Scored against Arsenal again ==> 7

Alexis Sanchez is considered as one of the worst Manchester United buys of all time. Yet he looked much more improved and eager to showcase himself today against his old club. Scored a great goal from a very difficult angle ==> 6

Romelu Lukaku was not playing at his preferred position. Assisted the first two goals, with the first one being a beautiful timed through ball. Looked a promising counter-attacking threat from the right ==> 8

Martial Scored the 3rd for Manchester United

Phil Jones, Rashford and Martial did not have much time but it was Martial’s goal which sealed the victory for Manchester United.


Arsenal vs Manchester United ended up being a very professional and satisfying game for a neutral fan. Both teams had a decent number of attempts on goals but it was Manchester United who sticked to their plan which eventually worked out perfectly for them.

Although some of the defensive flaws of Manchester were again highlighted today, but it is known to everyone that United will be looking to strengthen at the back very soon. And when it does this team certainly can go the distance with a manager like Solskjaer in charge.

Solskjaer Legend

One to the next one against at home against Burnley on Wednesday.

Glory Glory Man United !!!!


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