Giroud Late Header Salvage a Draw for Poor Arsenal at Old Trafford


United were in control for much of the 90 minutes and deservedly led through a Juan Mata effort but in the 89th minute, substitute Giroud levelled for the Gunners as they extended their unbeaten run in the Premier League to 11 games.

United began the match on the front foot with Mata curling a free kick just wide of the far post but in the seventh minute, Arsenal should have taken an early lead through Alexis Sanchez but the Chilean could only head wide from six yards out.

Antonio Valencia was causing Nacho Monrael all sorts of problems down the right flank but his endeavour and work-rate were going unrewarded, but Arsenal were equally ineffective in attack as a make-shift United backline coped with the likes of Sanchez and Mesut Ozil.

Both Francois Coquelin and Ander Herrera sent volleys over the crossbar from distance as the two sides became desperate around the penalty area and it was not until the closing stages of the first half where either side put together a sustained spell of pressure.

 Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech pulled off a solid intervention to prevent a Mata strike finding the bottom corner before Anthony Martial was denied twice in succession by the Czech stopper, although both saves were relatively routine for the experienced custodian.

Martial appeared to be United’s best hope of a goal once the second half got underway with his pace causing numerous problems for the Arsenal defence but on the hour mark, he was withdrawn from the action as Wayne Rooney was given the chance to end a testing week on the pitch.

While Rooney was not directly involved in much of United’s play, his introduction led to his side playing with a greater intensity and they made the breakthrough with 22 minutes remaining.

Paul Pogba played a neat ball through to Herrera and after the Spaniard was able to find Mata by the penalty spot, his compatriot did the rest as he slotted the ball into the bottom corner from 12 yards.

It was a goal that United deserved but they were not put under any kind of pressure by Arsenal throughout the second half as Sanchez, Ozil and Theo Walcott largely remained anonymous.

However, with a minute remaining, Arsenal found an unlikely equaliser through Giroud, who rose above the defence at the back post to meet Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain‘s cross and head powerfully past David de Gea.

The goal rocked United and although they finished strongly in search of a second goal, they were unable to create any more opportunities as Arsenal held on for what will be considered as a bonus point by Arsene Wenger after watching his team under-perform in the North-West.

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