Man United vs Arsenal preview

by Mystical Mike

Wednesday, April 29th, 2009

Gunners looking for away goals

The battle to lift the European cup continues tonight as Manchester United face Arsenal in the first leg of the semi- final.

In the fourth all English semi- final in five years, the clubs will fight it out to earn a place in Rome in the most important date in the football calendar against Barcelona or Chelsea.

Man Utd will be looking to maintain their title as champions of Europe and will be eager to reach their third final in 10 years and Arsenal will be desperate for another chance to lift the cup after falling at the final hurdle against Barcelona in 2006.

Both teams were knocked out of the semi-finals of the FA Cup so they will be even more determined to make it to this final and the Gunners head to Old Trafford in an attempt to get some precious away goals to get an early advantage.

United are on good form in the competition as they are unbeaten in their last 23 Champions League matches and they have never been knocked out of the competition by an English team.

But Arsenal remains hopeful as they have never been knocked out of the competition at this stage and will be determined not to change the history books now. A win tonight will notch up their 100th match win in European competitions and their 50th in the Champions League. But, they have suffered from weaknesses in their defence which no doubt Ferguson will have noted and take advantage on tonight.

Both teams are on good from in the league as The Gunners are unbeaten in their last 20 league matches and Utd still stand at the top of the Premier League despite Liverpool’s best efforts to move them.

On paper, it looks like Man Utd will progress to the next stage, but we all know that European magic that can happen in ties like this. I don’t think the finalists will be decided tonight but in an electric showdown at the Emirates next week. I predict a 2-2 draw tonight.

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  • Darren

    tough one to call this, my heart obviously says Arsenal, but with Silvestre in defence anything is possible. Wenger has to play Djourou, he’s quicker, better in the air and his positioning is better.

    All our big Guns need to perform and if we take the lead we must hold on to it

  • Tef1on


  • Darren

    Almunia was class tonight, as was Gibbs and Toure. Song has a decent game too.

    It’s all to play for, they should of put us to the sword after the first hour!

  • Tef1on


    Diaby: Shocking
    Adebayor: No Service
    Theo: No Service

    So why… OH WHY… take Walcott off for Bendtner? I am sorry to tonight I lost all faith in Wenger. His choices today were simply not good enough. Bendtner wouldn’t get into a championship side but still gets chance after chance.

    Eduardo Should have been brought on for Diaby, Nasri moved to left wing and Eduardo to join Ade up top. Instead he brought on a below average player in front of Vela & Eduardo in a position which he is not any good at. Why not bring Fabianski on on the right wing? He would have been more effective.

    Bendtner is not a game changing player, where as Theo can be during the whole 90 minutes.

    Apart from that Darren you are right. Almunia is England’s #1 for the world cup! Gibbs will grow into a quality player, its just a shame for him Gael Clichy is the best left back in the country. Song was quality again, shame he was let down by Diaby’s non existent left foot.

  • Darren

    totally agree on Diaby, how many times does he lose possession. He’s a liability, is he in the team just because he looks like Viera? But saying that, I can see why he played him, a midfield of Nasri, Song, Cesc & Walcott is to way lightweight.

    You slate Bendtner yet he had our best chance, personally I would have took Adebayor off as he was shocking, his first touch was woeful.

    Listen, if Ferdinand doesn’t make it we have a great chance, look how many goals they conceded when Evans plays.

  • Tef1on

    Ferdinand will be fit… he got pissed off when he was subbed cause he was only wasting time. He was on the floor for 3 minutes and then walked off the pitch. Ref should have booked him for wasting time! He could have been taken off to the side lines 6 YARDS AWAY and the game could have resumed. Cheating git!

  • Darren

    ps i think you;re being a little harsh. We were without our 2 of our best defenders in Gallas & Clichy. Our best attacking midfielder in Ashavin, & our best forward in RVP. They were at full strength, so to come away with a 1-0 defeat is a decent result

  • Tef1on

    It is a good result, But my argument is we could have changed the game by using game changing players. At the end of the first half and in periods in the second we had a lot of possession which every time Diaby lost. So why was Theo brought off? Diaby should have been sacrificed for Eduardo. Instead he took of the one player who actually looked a threat or could have changed something, all it would take is one ball to Theo. And it wasn’t as if he was bringing on someone who was a prolific striker, he brought on a reserve player who is in terrible form in a position that he cant play! Eduardo plays well with Adebayor and has proven even this season he can score from nothing. If Wenger was going to go for it, why bring Bendtner on when Eduardo is the better option?

    Also a quick shout for Nasri, quality tonight. That holding midfield role suits him!

  • Darren

    you’re a hard man to please!

    Theo was non existent 2nd half, I think we played to deep

    Nasri is to good for a holding roll

  • dexylongshot

    SORRY TEF!!!

    “Ferdinand will be fit… he got pissed off when he was subbed cause he was only wasting time. He was on the floor for 3 minutes and then walked off the pitch. Ref should have booked him for wasting time! He could have been taken off to the side lines 6 YARDS AWAY and the game could have resumed. Cheating git!”


  • Tef1on

    So a Moody rib stopped him from moving 6 yards so play could continue? I’m not saying Arsenal players haven’t done it in the past, I’m saying it should be wiped out! It is cheating!

    As for his “Moody Rib” We’ll see… He seemed very keen to get back on! Good news for Arsenal if he is out though.

  • Darren

    i’ve said it before, you are a very harsh man Teflon!

  • dexylongshot

    Hash man, that is harsh!

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