Well, when your tactics work 80% of the time, they don’t 20% of the time.
Over the last few years, United have always played the same type of game against the Gunners, which is to play deep in defence, let them have most of the position, then hit with speed on the counter attack. And it worked to devastating effect the last few years.
But not yesterday. The tactic requires United not to go behind and this time they did. Arsenal had a gigantic share of position, but can’t be forgotten, this is part of Fergie’s gameplan. Arsenal took their chance when it came, one of their only ones (United made more actually) and that was it. Most times the tactics work, this time they didn’t.
And the defeat comes tinged with regret, because no one really played badly. Defence was solid, midfield was fine, and the attack made chances, save Hernandez who struggled. I imagine a much different looking team will play Schalke on Wednesday, Gibson, Anderson and Berba likely to get starts.
Chris Foy showed again why he lacks the competence to be a Premier League referee, along with his linesmen. Two bad calls for penalties, Vidic’s hand ball and the stamp on Owen, were not spotted. Also, you might see a Ref get in the way of the ball once during a game. Yesterday, Foy was caught three times. That’s shocking to see.
United’s lead, thanks to even dodgier officiating in the Chelsea/Spurs game, gets cut, but nothing has changed in terms of the Chelsea match. The object is still to win, and getting a hand on the league in the process.