Manchester United 1-0 Arsenal: Not too Disheartened

Everything I am about to say will not have the proper context until I say this: If aliens invaded and a Premier League team had to play 11 of theirs for control of the Earth, I would support most of our lot in full voice. Liverpool, Manchester City, even Chelsea...I'm with them all the way. Tottenham? I'll hold my nose, I won't be vocal, but I'd want them to win.

Manchester United? Well, I for one welcome our new alien overlords.

Still, I am not as down about this as I would be in most other cases. At the end of the day, I look at this game, look at our opponents, and ask myself: "THAT was the great and terrible Manchester United at Old Trafford? THAT is all you got?". They got one set piece goal and contributed almost nothing else.

You bring that shit into our house, United, and we're going to massacre you.

The Arsenal are left to wonder though what could have been had they not played the first half gripped in an inexplicable panic. Arsene will trot out the old handbrake chestnut again I'm sure, but this was well beyond handbrakes...this was plain old fear, and it was obvious in the terrible first touches and panicked decisions on display.

Some culprits were worse than others, though. It took Kieran Gibbs the best part of 70 minutes to work out that the guys in red shirts weren't his mates. Santi Cazorla and to a lesser extent Mesut Ozil both played like the playing surface was lined with kryptonite. Aaron Ramsey was peripheral at best, spraying horrible passes to no one in particular.

Oh, and Judas was the one to score...because of course he did. It was one moment, one spot of terrible marking and miscommunication on a corner kick. Credit to them, though, they executed it perfectly and Judas made no mistake.

Arsene must have given them a hell of a kick up the hole at halftime though, as our boys were a much different team after the interval. Whatever we may think of the result, we should take heart in the fact that the big bad Manchester United retreated immediately into their shell and never came out the first time we strung three passes together. Rooney did have a few pops at goal that he may have done better with, but they barely had the ball otherwise.

In the end though, Arsenal's execution was just that tad bit off all day, which was the only thing that kept United from dropping points. There will be bitching about squad depth, but if we had options like Tomas Rosicky or Theo Walcott or Lukas Podolski or Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain available, I imagine this may have been a different story. As it was, Serge Gnabry tried, but didn't make much of an impact. The less said about Nicklas Bendtner, the better. Bacary Sagna's crossing deserved better all day, but one in particular late on should have been turned in - unfortunately, the Danish Samurai was on the other end of it.

There is an argument that we should have done better with Nemanja Vidic being out for the whole second half (thanks to a horror collision with his own goalkeeper), one that I would mostly agree with. That said, we had a stonewall penalty in the last 10 minutes turned down, a scythe on Olivier Giroud in the penalty area uncalled by the referee. I will simply note my lack of surprise that a 28-year old kid bottled a big decision against United at Old Trafford. Quelle surprise.

Anyway, there will be better days, Gooners. This is tough to take, I get it. The performance was not the best, believe me, I understand that. But everything that could go wrong did so today, and even still if they played this game 10 times United MIGHT win two of them. We'll still be there or thereabouts when it gets to the sharp end of the season - I promise you that. Keep the faith.

Szczesny 7, Gibbs 4, Vermaelen 7, Koscielny 8, Sagna 8, Arteta 7 (Bendtner 5), Flamini 7 (Wilshere 7), Cazorla 5 (Gnabry 7), Ramsey 5, Ozil 6, Giroud 6

Man of the Match: I hate to say it, but it has to be Wayne Rooney. Sure, Judas got the goal - but Rooney put himself about on both sides of the ball, covering every proverbial blade of grass.