EPL Season 2016/2017
Rooney benched and Carrick starts!
With Zlatan Ibrahimovic out on suspension, Jose had a chance to start the club captain Wayne Rooney but he chose not to. And heeding to public requests, he also chose to put Michael Carrick in the starting XI and start Paul Pogba in an advanced role. Anthony Martial too found favor on the wings.
And it was the home side which started on the front foot with an attacking display that belied its position in the table. The Gunners were listless from the beginning and Wenger’s choice of starting a half-fit Alexis Sanchez didn’t help matters either.
Mata is the man of the moment for Mourinho
Juan Mata was supposed to be shown the door when Mourinho took charge at United. But credit to the Spaniard who stuck to his game and won back his place. Not just that, he has been Mourinho’s savior more than once already this season. And when he scored 20 minutes from time, it looked like another match winner.
Ander Herrera’s excellent cut back provided Mata with the right pass who made no mistake. Even after the goal, Arsenal were lackluster and the home side looked the likelier of the two to score a goal.
Giroud to the rescue
Just when the home fans started counting full points did Giroud strike for the Gunners. Coming off the bench, the Frenchman was provided the perfect pass by Oxlade-Chamberlain. It was a heart-breaking moment for Mourinho who is without a win in three home games in the Premier League.
The point leaves United sixth in the table with 19 points – still eight away from the top-placed Liverpool. Their performance was much better than what it was in the last rounds but there is so much work to do before they can start challenging for top four. For Arsenal…. well, they continue to flatter to deceive!