Arsenal extended their Premier League unbeaten run to seven matches in a keenly fought contest with Manchester United on Saturday that finished 0-0.
With the news emerging an hour before kick-off that Bukayo Saka was left out as a precaution with a sore thigh, any lasting hopes of doing the double over United this season were somewhat extinguished.
There were chances for both sides in either half. Fred had an effort brilliantly stopped by Bernd Leno for the visitors’ best opportunity, with Nicolas Pepe coming closest for Arsenal with an effort that went just wide of the post.
The second half brought an improvement from Arsenal with Emile Smith Rowe growing into the match, although their best opportunity came when Alexandre Lacazette crashed a free-kick off the underside of the bar.
4 talking points as Arsenal draw 0-0 with Manchester United in the Premier League
United will feel the game was theirs for the taking with Edinson Cavani coming within inches of snatching victory on two occasions, misses that were some of the few clear-cut efforts allowed on goal by a strong partnership of Rob Holding and David Luiz.
Missing three of their best players in Saka, Kieran Tierney and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Mikel Arteta will be pleased not to leave the Emirates Stadium empty handed, a draw that stretches the club’s unbeaten run in the division to seven matches. Here are the key talking points.
Football is a game of fine margins. If there was ever a better game to visualise that, then it was this one. Two glorious chances for Cavani went begging, albeit the second one being of his own creation.
Discussions after the match will centre around United not being ruthless enough against an Arsenal side missing key players, but if either one of those two goes in it’s a completely different story.
The same goes for Arsenal. If Lacazette’s effort was but an inch lower, this would be heralded as a magnificent win and performance. In a nutshell, perhaps a fair result.
While it was a far cry from the fluidity seen at Southampton, this still goes down as a dogged display and files neatly into the ‘solid’ category. United had chances but no player was unspeakably poor, with all on the pitch putting in a shift that symbolised the belief in the squad.
Even Willian, whose touches were off and had a desperately weak effort at goal when well placed, covered well and ran better than seen in recent weeks/months.
Fine margins, and a point that is significantly more positive than negative.