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Sunday, April 13, 2008

Arsenal’s Title Hope Gets Faded following 1-2 Defeat to Manchester United

Manchester United projected a vital win over Arsenal in premier league on the weekend. No doubt, Manchester United is now very close to retain their league title this season with six points lead at the top over second placed Chelsea, who has a game in hand. On the other hand, with this defeat Arsenal is left with nine point difference from Manchester United.

However, the 2-1 score line does not give the clear picture of the match and can not show how much exciting the match was. To be honest, performance wise both Arsenal and Manchester United played very well in the match. In fact, Arsenal had a little bit more domination in the match than the hose side. Particularly, the Gunners started off well in the match and clearly dominated in the first half except a few attacks from Manchester United.

Arsenal opened scoring thanks to Emmanuel Adebayor who scored his 20th goal of the league three minutes into the second half. However, Manchester United fans had to worry for the goal only for three minutes as Cristiano Ronaldo scored the equalizer for Manchester United taking his scoring tally to 28 in the league. His target of scoring 30 goals in premier league now seems to be a matter of time with four matches yet to go in the season. Then in the 72nd minute, Owen Hargreaves scored the winner for United from a free kick leaving Jens Lehmann no chance at the far post. No doubt, that was an impressive goal and can be regard as one of the defying goal for Manchester United in the season. Upon conceding two back to back goals, Arsenal players started playing all out to level the score. In the end, Arsenal kept the ball in Manchester United half most of the time as Arsenal tried their best to score an equalizer and created a number of chances which quality finishing. Actually, Arsenal was a bit unlucky, otherwise, they could have at least picked up from the match.

Well, I know, many would say Arsenal’s title hope has come to an end following the defeat at Old Trafford. However, I think, still Arsenal has chance in the league; though they would need some support from luck what they have hardly got this season. Manchester Untied has trip to Chelsea on 26th April. Chelsea always holds an excellent record. So, if Chelsea can win the match it then Arsenal would have a six points’ deficit from Manchester United and Chelsea.

With yesterday’s defeat Arsenal title hope has been faded vastly, but not everything has been finished for them yet. If Manchester United and Chelsea think it a two horse race then it might have been a big mistake for both the teams.

At last, I think, even if Arsenal can not win the league title, Arsenal has shown some tremendous performance so far this season. There were many who wrote off Arsenal having no hope this season following the departure of their former captain Thierry Henry before the start of this season last year. In fact, there were enough reasons as well. Most of the players were young and there were no big star in the small squad. However, to everyone’s surprise Arsene Wenger boys projected some spirited performance throughout the season. They were in incredible form in the first half of the season and perhaps their excellent might have convinced Arsene Wenger not to bid for any new player during the January transfer window. In fact, no body wants to break the winning combination. So did Wenger and his side got off to a good start in the second half as well. However, Arsenal players and fans started to see the other side of the coin since injury became a constant threat for the Gunners. Arsenal missed a number of key players like Robin van Persie and Tomáš Rosický almost all the season. Some other key players suffered short time injury and thus the pressure went on the fit players as they could not get enough rest in the busy schedule of the second half of the season. So, considering these things I think Arsenal has done a lot better than what they were expected to. This team is still very young and Wenger is perhaps one of the best coaches currently available in the world. So, if Arsenal keeps this bunch of players at the Emirates Stadium under the guidance of Wenger, then after one or two seasons Arsenal may get one of the best squad the club has ever got in its history.

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