Olivier Giroud’s 89th-minute equaliser earned Arsenal a point and denied Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United a victory they deserved at Old Trafford. Juan Mata looked to have put United on course for three points with a sweeping left-foot finish from Ander Herrera’s cut-back after 68 minutes. Arsenal had not had an effort on goal but secured the draw that leaves them six points ahead of United when substitute Giroud rose at the far post to head home Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s cross. United had controlled a game that was ordinary for long periods, with Arsenal keeper Petr Cech making important interventions and Mourinho left furious that they were denied a first-half penalty by referee Andre Marriner when Nacho Monreal hauled down Antonio Valencia.
Mourinho cut a dejected figure at the final whistle as this result means he has now faced Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal in the league this season and not recorded a win. This is the latest chapter in what is turning into a season of frustration for both Mourinho and Manchester United as they struggle to pick up the momentum required to challenge their rivals at the top of the Premier League. So much of this display will have left Mourinho feeling satisfied. Manchester United looked in control, restricted Arsenal to a single opportunity and were full value for their lead until Giroud struck with a minute of normal time left. Mourinho has still to taste defeat against Wenger in 12 Premier League games – but this will carry the pain of a loss as Arsenal earned an Old Trafford draw their performance did not merit. Wenger has not won at Old Trafford in the Premier League since September 2006 and has experienced a lot of pain here since – but he will happily grasp this point with both hands after a desperately disappointing Arsenal display.
The Gunners barely raised a gallop and one early Alexis Sanchez header apart, Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea was unemployed until Giroud’s header flew past him. Arsenal were grateful for the reassuring presence of goalkeeper Cech, who was faultless, and also to referee Marriner for waving away those first-half penalty appeals. If Wenger is looking for positives, he will point to the fact that Arsenal stuck at it to open the door for that late equaliser – allowing them to take a point from a place that has brought them much misery in recent years. Wenger will know, however, that Arsenal will need to be bolder and perform better against their rivals than this – but on this occasion he will take this draw and move on.