Who Is To Blame For Arsenal’s Defeat To Manchester United?

Olivier Giroud is having a fine season this time round. Despite being written off before he had even kicked a ball this season, the Frenchman has struck eight goals in 17 games and has looked thoroughly impressive throughout.

However, stick him in front of near-80,000 spectators at Old Trafford and he falls flat on his face. Giroud won just two of his eight headers in today’s clash against United, while getting tackled on all three occasions he tried to take someone on.

He had two shots, neither on target, and completed just 41% of his passes. But is the forward to blame? After all, can you only judge a striker on the service he receives?

Mesut Ozil, Aaron Ramsey and Santi Cazorla all had quiet games by their standards and were out-muscled and out-played by the Manchester United defence. Ozil attempted four crosses, none of which met an Arsenal player, Ramsey’s three all missed its intended target and Cazorla completed just 1/6 of his crosses.

Gunners will be quick to point fingers at the fact Per Mertesacker and Tomas Rosicky missed the game, but the fact that Laurent Koscielny and Thomas Vermaelen had strong games could argue otherwise.

The leadership qualities were certainly missed, but the centre-back pairing were sturdy throughout.

Where does the blame sit for the north London side’s loss? Or was it simply a fact of being beaten by a better team?