Arsene Wenger’s inability to beat Jose Mourinho in a competitive game continued at Old Trafford on Saturday, though his Arsenal side secured a 1-1 draw against Manchester United thanks to a late equaliser from Olivier Giroud.
Wenger had failed to record a single victory over Mourinho in 13 previous competitive matches and while that run was extended to 14, the Frenchman will have been the happier of the two managers after seeing Giroud cancel out Juan Mata’s opener with an 89th-minute header.
United started the game the livelier and came close to opening the scoring after five minutes as Mata bent a free kick from the edge of the area just wide of the target.
Arsenal, who have not won in the Premier League at Old Trafford since September 2006, created a good chance just a few minutes later as Theo Walcott flicked Nacho Monreal’s cross into the path of Alexis Sanchez, but the forward could only head wide from six yards out.
A cagey period then saw both teams struggle to create anything clear cut, with Francis Coquelin and Ander Herrera coming the closest for their respective sides with volleys that sailed well over.
United, however, stepped it up a gear in the final stages of the first half and could well have won a penalty, only for Andre Marriner to wave away protests after Monreal had brought down Antonio Valencia inside the box.
Petr Cech was called into action moments later, doing well to tip Mata’s low strike that was destined for the bottom corner around the post.
And the Gunners keeper then thwarted Anthony Martial shortly before the break, helping the France international’s bending strike over the bar after he had cut inside on the edge of the box to fashion the opportunity.
The opening stages of the second half were a low-key affair with little goalmouth action — United looking the more threatening when in possession but Arsenal’s defence doing well to frustrate them.
That was until Mata broke the deadlock in the 68th minute, however, as the Spain international finished excellently into the far corner after Herrera had done well to tee him up inside the box.
United looked the more likely to find another as time wore on and Marcos Rojo had the chance to wrap things up 10 minutes from time, but he could only head Daley Blind’s delivery wide of the target.
Arsenal had offered little in response as time ticked away from them, but that all changed in the final minutes as substitutes Giroud and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain combined, with the former heading home the latter’s delivery to rescue a point for his side.
Article source: http://www.espnfc.com/report?gameId=450888