Manchester United drop points at Old Trafford again..
Coming off the back of the demolishing of Champions League semi-finalists RB Leipzig, one would have thought that Manchester United had turned a corner. After the weekend’s results, it seems like they have been backed into another corner. Apart from the result, the performance – individually and collectively- was weak and left more to be desired and if Arsenal had their shooting boots on, they may not have needed a penalty to eventually snatch all three points. There is still an ongoing debate regarding who to blame for the tepid performance but if Solskjaer takes the plaudits when his team wins, why should he not be called into question when his team loses? After 100 games in charge, one cannot categorically say what Solskjaer’s immediate and long term plan is for this team. Based on the weekend’s performance, he would need more time. The question is, would he get it? Tick tock.
For Arteta and Arsenal, this was much needed especially after a poor display over Leicester last time out in the Premier League and Mikel Arteta’s team probably played their best football of the season at a ground that Arsenal had not won in since 2006. The medium term plan for Arsenal would be to have a significant improvement in attack to go in tandem with their significant improvement in defence. Thomas Partey is already looking like an absolutely astute signing and the decision to leave out Xhaka and start Elneny was initially shocking, that is why Mikel Arteta is the coach and we write think pieces. Now, all that is left is for Arsenal to kick on from this win and get more wins under their belt.
Zlatan just doing Zlatan things..
As a footballer, in practically every case, by the time you are 39 years old, you should be regarded as an ex-footballer. You probably would be in punditry or concluding your coaching badges or something close.
Enter Zlatan. He is not only playing in one of the top 5 leagues in the world, he is playing for one of the top teams. He is completing 90-minute (Serie A) games especially in these current times that there is practically no breather during games. He is the highest scorer in the Serie A and his team is top of the league. All thanks to Zlatan. Oh, and he assist and scored just this weekend, the goal being an overhead kick. It is Zlatan’s world, we are all just living in it.
Ronaldo is back!
That also means that Juventus are back. It is not a coincidence that Juventus have looked very pedestrian since he tested positive to coronavirus and he came off the bench to effectively prove how dependent Juventus are on him by scoring twice. Andrea Pirlo would be so glad to have him back and back amongst the goals in no time. Ronaldo could also teach Morata a thing or two about beating offside traps.
Barcelona cannot get going..
After losing the El Clasico last time out, one would have felt that Barcelona would be out to draw ‘blood’. This was not entirely a bad performance from Barcelona but gifting the opposition a goal in such comedic fashion and still not having enough in the tank to still go home with all three (sorry Alaves) is not a very encouraging sight from Ronald Koeman’s team. Barcelona is already 8 points behind Real Madrid although Barcelona has a game in hand. How many more slip ups can Ronald Koeman’s Barcelona make? Not many I presume.