Manchester United were gradually starting to build momentum. Sitting pretty at the top of the Barclays Premier League, coupled with cup wins over Ipswich and Wolfsburg meant that they were in an extremely strong and commanding position. The team looked like they meant business. The acquisition of Anthony Martial had given United a new-look forward line that boasted both pace and power, and along with a settled defence for the majority of this season, Louis Van Gaal's side had started to make their presence felt. However, on Sunday it all went horribly wrong when they made the long trip to North London to face Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium.
On the front foot from kick-off, the Gunners looked in devastating form. They were in the mood, and it was clear from the very beginning that United were going to struggle to contain them. Positionally Louis Van Gaal's players were all over the place, failing to mark their men and follow runners, and it wasn't long before they got exactly what they deserved. Six minutes into the game and it was 1-0, Sanchez finishing expertly at the near post after beating David De Gea to a low cross. It got worse for United when seconds later a blistering attack from the home side ended in Theo Walcott playing the ball back for an unmarked Mesut Ozil to firmly plant the ball past De Gea and into the corner of the net. The game was effectively over after seven first half minutes. It was a case of 'how many more?' This rampant Arsenal side looked like scoring every single time they raced into their opposition's half. It was a storm that United simply could not weather.
|Mesut Ozil had arguably his best game in an Arsenal shirt|
|Sanchez (pictured left) scored two superb goals |
to seal victory for his side
What this defeat will do is bring United back down to earth. There is still an awful lot of work to do in order to mount a serious title challenge. They have the quality and the potential in their ranks, along with an excellent manager and an assistant who knows the club like the back of his hand. It is a sudden setback that is hard to take considering the good vein of form United were in, but I still believe that they can fight on all fronts this season. They are still only two points behind neighbours City and level on sixteen points apiece with Arsenal after yesterday's defeat, so it is far from the end of the world. All eyes will be on United now to see how they respond. Will they bounce back and show that they are title-material? Or will they falter and become a distant memory? Only time will tell. We'll just have to wait and see.