Four Manchester United titans let standards slip, here's the reality
Manchester United suffered a 2-0 defeat to Arsenal on a disappointing Sunday afternoon at The Emirates.
Whether it was a hangover from the team’s Champions League heroics against PSG, or simply bad luck with the goals, United did not perform.
There will be days like this. Arsenal, to their credit, played well.
It did not help that four of United’s best players in recent months let their high standards dip.
Goalkeeper David de Gea was wrong footed by Granit Xhaka’s long range strike and dived the wrong way for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s soft penalty.
The usually outstanding Victor Lindelöf also looked unusually shaky in defence, and not his ice-cool self.
Paul Pogba also struggled to influence the game, and could not find space to shoot at goal.
Up front Marcus Rashford was wasteful, and lacked composure. He could have done with being substituted earlier.
All four have been absolute giants over the past three months. This is one to just chalk up to a rare off day.
Here’s the reality
Despite De Gea, Lindelöf, Pogba and Rashford all performing badly, it took two lucky goals for United to be beaten. The penalty should never have been given.
On another day Romelu Lukaku scores his early effort which hit the bar and United go on to control the game.
United are still in a strong position in the Premier League with eight games to go.
We are two points off Arsenal in fourth, with third placed Tottenham just one ahead of them.
It’s wide open, and we are into the FA Cup and Champions League quarter-finals.
Key players Jesse Lingard and Ander Herrera are coming back from injury, while Anthony Martial came off the bench against the Gunners.
Everything is still in our hands, and if we had been offered this position in December, everybody would have taken it.
It’s fine to be disappointed about the Arsenal result, but the reality is, United still have their destiny in their hands, and it’s unlikely so many key players have an off day again.