EPL: Arsenal 2 – Manchester United 2

Posted by Pierre Igot in: Football
April 17th, 2003 • 1:02 am

Chessball at Highbury! All kinds of twists and turns, all kinds of action, all kinds of mind play, all kinds of drama.

It is, of course, a fair result on the whole — but the red card against Sol Campbell was indeed a bit harsh and probably would only have been a yellow card if Solskjaer hadn’t gone down so easily.

On the other hand, Henry was clearly offside on the second goal, even though he did take it beautifully.

It was utterly silly of them to let the second Man U goal in so carelessly immediately after taking the lead. Highly infuriating, and Arsène Wenger clearly wasn’t pleased at all.

The key point is that the race is still very much on. If Arsenal win their game in hand, they’ll be level on points with Manchester — and if Manchester slip up at any point, Arsenal could run away with the title, even though they clearly have a difficult task with Viera injured and Sol Campbell probably banned for three games. (I doubt that any kind of appeal will be accepted by the FA, unless Solskjaer admits that he made a meal of it, which clearly he will never do.)

It’s a shame that so much rests on the shoulders of referees and in particular linesmen, who clearly do not always have enough perspective on things. If the main referee has doubts, then video replay should kick in rather than the opinion of a linesman. But then… we can’t interrupt the flow of the game.

I find comfort in the fact that we did quite well even without Viera. (In fact we did better than while he was on!) Edu did a good job. I still wish Wenger had brought Wiltord on earlier on. He didn’t get a single chance in the short time he was allocated to have an impact, and neither did Kanu, of course.

Thierry was so close to scoring a hat-trick and Man U have Barthez to thank for a reflex save in the last minute of the game.

Anyway, that’s it for should-haves and would-haves. Let’s see what happens next.

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