Gunners lucky to avoid defeat at Old Trafford

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With many Arsenal fans heading up north on Saturday morning confident that Arsene Wenger could finally earn a Premier League win over Jose Mourinho, supporters would have returned to London with mixed emotions. With the Gunners looking to close the gap on the likes of Manchester City, Chelsea and Liverpool at the top of the table, Wenger’s men produced a lacklustre display, with a late Olivier Giroud goal handing the North Londoner’s an undeserved point. Remaining in fourth position in the Premier League standings as a result, the football tips now look less favourable surrounding Arsenal’s chances of claiming a first title since 2004.

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United went ahead through a well taken Juan Mata goal, with Nacho Monreal caught out of position for the umpteenth time at Old Trafford, with Mesut Ozil and Co failing to have any impact on the game, perhaps feeling the effects of a busy international period. Having recovered in time to make the starting eleven following his exploits in South America, Alexis Sanchez started the game brightly, but showed signs of tiredness in the second half. Substitute Giroud found the back of the net with just minutes remaining, and although Arsenal will have ultimately gone home pleased with a point, a faltering United were there for the taking. After yet another big match in which Arsenal failed to impress, the football tips page from bookmakers Coral currently have the Gunners at 12/1 to win the title come May next year.

Wenger himself surprised many by starting Aaron Ramsey at Old Trafford, with Alex Iwobi dropping to the bench, and alongside midfielders Francis Coquelin and Mohamed Elneny, the trio failed to get to grips with United’s high pressing game. With this year’s title race looking likely to be one of the most competitive in recent history, Wenger must put faith in his squad players, although many looked like they were not up to the task this weekend. Arsenal face Bournemouth this weekend, and with Jack Wilshere ineligible to play against his parent club, Coral offer the Gunners as the overwhelming favourites for three points in their football tips.

It remains to be seen just how far this group of players can go this season, however Arsenal’s record against the so called ‘top four’ must improve, with just one win against Chelsea to show for themselves so far.

Ray Hobbs

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