Manchester Utd claim title with goalless draw.
With the pressure somewhat off, Arsenal gave Manchester Utd the competitive challenge they had previously failed to muster in the Champions League semi-final but were unable to find the winning goal that would have prolonged the title race.
Here’s how Arsenal lined up :
Sagna, Toure, Song, Gibbs,
Nasri, Denilson, Diaby, Fabregas,
Arshavin, Van Persie
Adebayor was apparently absent with a groin injury, read into that what you will.
Arsenal gave a good account of themselves in the first half, while not threatening the Manchester Utd goal greatly, they made up for a slightly shaky first 5 minutes by taking control of the game.
Arsenal kept the ball well and were making Manchester Utd chase them. Manchester Utd showed plenty of signs of frustration and gave away multiple free kicks. Rooney was finding himself spending a lot of time tracking back deep into his own half to help defend against a commanding Arsenal midfield, while Ronaldo did he usual routine of falling over and rolling about on the floor as soon as someone so much as breathed on him.
Arshavin showed maturity again when he didn’t complain when given a yellow card by the referee. Arshavin made no contact whatsoever before the dive of Carrick but let’s face it there is no point in arguing with a ref once he’s made his mind up.
Arsenal came out battling in the second half, Van Persie and Fabregas and Nasri all putting hard challenges in on Evra, Fabregas and Nasri both picking up yellow cards for their challenges.
Shortly after Ferguson replaced Tevez with Park, a moment which saw the fire-engine faced Scot booed by his own fans whilst on the verge of winning the Premiership title and the Argentinian blowing kisses and what seemed like farewell waves to the home fans, Walcott and Bendtner replaced Arshavin and Nasri in the 69th minute. 8 minutes later Eboue replaced Gibbs.
Arsenal had a few efforts at goal but couldn’t convert. Overall Manchester Utd seemed happy to settle for the draw that meant they would claim the title.
It was a better team performance from the Gunners in a game that didn’t really mean anything to them but pride. The defence looked more solid than recent performances, but were not put under any sustained pressure by Manchester.
Fabianski had a decent game in goal though, coming out quickly to sponge up balls behind the defence and making a couple of confident claims from crosses.
Alexandre Song continued in his improvement and had a pretty solid game in the centre of defence. Van Persie had a couple of decent headed efforts but couldn’t find the back of the net.
With only next Sunday’s game at home to Stoke left of Arsenal’s season, the speculation has already started. More on that soon.