After being on the receiving end of a 5-1 beatdown at the hands of Liverpool at Anfield on Saturday, Arsenal needed to come out and give a much better performance against Manchester United at home on Wednesday night. As if the midweek Premier League game was not already of great importance, Arsenal were handed a chance to regain the league lead after Chelsea only managed to draw against West Bromwich Albion 1-1 on Tuesday night.
Instead of coming out and looking lively and playing with aggressiveness, Arsenal came out timid and lacking that necessary edge in a 0-0 to Manchester United that kept them a point behind Chelsea.
Arsenal were almost made to pay within the first couple of minutes of the game as Robin van Persie failed to properly control a through pass which would have likely seen him score to give Manchester United a 1-0 lead. After the early scare, Arsenal were able to prevent Manchester United from troubling them in defense for the rest of the first half.
Aside from the lack of urgency from the Arsenal defense, the Arsenal attack lacked much, if any urgency for the first half and for the vast majority of the game. This lack of crispness and edge to their play was encapsulated by Mesut Ozil, whose recent dip in form will certainly continue the speculation about what happened.
Even though Arsenal looked better and at times had some attacking zeal in the final 10 minutes, the fact is that the mindset and effort in their draw against Manchester United was poor. Independent of what happened against Liverpool, the display on this night was not befitting of a team who aspires to win the league, and the boos at the final whistle serve testament to that fact.