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FA Cup, 5th round and as usual, Manchester United are pitted against Premier League opposition. It was Arsenal's task to travel to Old Trafford and attempt to knock United out of the FA Cup. Being ahead of United by 5 points in the league and United with Wayne Rooney back from suspension, it had all the ingredients for a mouth-watering tie. Although, before the game, the majority anticipated a tight affair with very few chances, some saying a on - nil scoreline and others saying a replay. So as 17:15 approached, 75,550 fans were gearing up for a game which could go either way.....

Kick-off and both teams rested notable players due to the Champions League knock-out round beginning next week. For Man Utd, Ronaldo, Giggs, Scholes (came on), Hargreaves, O'Shea, Tevez and Saha (Came on), were among the absentees. Arsenal began with a reasonably strong team but left Adebayore, Sendoros and Flamini on the bench bringing all three on later as the match progressed.

A bright start from United as they hurried around, and put pressure on Arsenal at all times. There were early chances for United who took a deserved lead only fifteen minutes in as Wayne Rooney nodded the ball over Jens Lehman. And before Arsenal could gather themselves, Nani made a great run and delicately chipped the ball into the box and the Scot, Darren Fletcher nodded in the second goal for the English Champions, although replays show that it may have taken a slight deflection off Arsenal captain, William Gallas. It was amazing! 2-0 to Manchester United with not even twenty minutes gone at the theatre of dreams....
The challenge from Arsenal was minimal, and United took full advantage and Wayne Rooney could have easily have earned himself a ha-trick. Darren Fletcher and Michael Carrick were impassable in the middle of the park and the pair snuffed out any sort of Arsenal attack. So it wasn't much of a surprise, when .......yes, a third was hammered home and it was Nani who delivered the massive blow to Arsenal's hopes of leaving with a place in the next round. And so it ended at half-time, 3-0 to United and Arsenal didn't look like they were capable of surviving the second half.

The second saw no changes from the first half, in terms of personal, and the rhythm of the game. It was just United, United, United. Attack after attack and Wayne Rooney came incredibly close to finding his second but he just failed to beat Lehman on three occasions. Then tempers began to see as if they could boil over, Eboue was sent off for a high foot whilst challenging Evra in the air. You may have noticed that I've not mentioned Van Der Sar, Ferdinand, Vidic and Brown, reason? They didn't have anything to do. Arsenal made three changes and surprise, surprise, no change to their style of play. Sir Alex saw fit to take off Rooney and Anderson and replace with Saha and Scholes. The pair had run their socks off and really proved what quality players they are. The attacks kept coming and Darren Fletcher managed to net himself another as Arsenal collapsed in front the Old Trafford crowd. 4-0 and who would have thought that before the game? The game petered out with chances most notably Luis Saha who really should have buried a chance but the Frenchman struck straight at Lehman.

And so that was it, Arsenal out of the FA Cup after an embarrassing performance when they were expected to be stiff opponents to the runners up of last season. But there was simply no ambition from them and they can have no complaints about the final result. Fletcher played one of his best games, I've ever seen. With a trip to Old Trafford coming up in the league for Arsenal, two very tough games against AC Milan in the Champions League, and out of both domestic competitions, is the season spiraling to a torrid end for Wenger's men? Is this the demise of Arsenals season? Is the FA Cup now a certainty for United? Time will tell, but I feel that this not only has knocked Arsenal out of the FA Cup, but mentally, this could well be a turning point in the season.



Arsene's season could well be in turmoil after Manchester United destroy them at Olld Trafford
 

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dont read too much into this guys arsenal were more than happy to take this defeat, thank god no1 got injured in this pointless competition!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I thought SAF, was tactically spot on and he outwitted Arsene completly. We can play 4-5-1, as long as the correct players are sent out!
 

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RyanGiggs said:
Very true, at least SAF was smart enough to rest most of his good players for lyon.
is that really you ryan ? if so thank you for the last 16 wonderful years you are an absolute giant . shave your back though please .
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I believe that todays results:

Birmingham City 2 - 2 Arsenal
Newcastle United 1 - 5 Manchester United


I believe that this could be the week that Arsenal's challenge comes grinding to a
halt. Arsenal have been dropping points lately and we simply have to take
advantage of it.
 
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