By Randy Osae
Arsenal managed to match the Premier League champions today through a compelling 0-0 draw which was nothing but a mutual conclusion for either side at Old Trafford.
Manchester United had yet again scaled new heights while Arsene Wenger’s men retained their dignity which may promise a more competitive tilt next season for the crown their opponents have seized for three years now.
For a side which had allowed seven goals in two home encounters at the expense of the fiercest of rivals, Arsenal did defy the odds today for many who went for nothing but another vintage 90 minutes for United.
Surely, those vintage times will balance back to north London soon.
Arsenal were up for it today. And playing out the last “big game” of the season, Arshavin went on one mazy dribble from the left flank that would have opened United up had Jonny Evans not raced across to clear.
The former Zenit St Petersburg star was also the provider of a cross lone striker Robin van Persie might easily have steered into the net, rather than just over.
The hosts certainly started as if they meant business with Darren Fletcher almost sending Cristiano Ronaldo through inside the opening minute.
Yet, as time wore on, it seemed Ferguson’s side were adopting a pragmatic approach to the situation, ensuring their goal was tight and secure, pushing forward in numbers only when really necessary.
The energy of Carlos Tevez helped in that regard. Sometimes it seems the South American is doing the work of two men.
There has, of course, never been any discussion over Wayne Rooney.
Had voting for the various player of the year awards been based on the last two or three months’ form alone, Rooney would have been top of the pile.
The England striker has added an extra level of consistency to his game that truly deserves him now to be ranked if not at the very top of the game, then only just underneath.
Rooney stole in behind Bacary Sagna to head a teasing Michael Carrick cross wide after earlier having an effort deflected away by Kolo Toure.
On the brink of his 11th championship, Ryan Giggs curled a free-kick over and was then off target with a volley.
Ronaldo had an even better opportunity at the start of the second period after Tevez had failed to manage a shot after Carrick had supplied the cross, but did enough to nudge it into the Portugal superstar’s path. However, he leant back and skied a shot into the Stretford End.
Ronaldo then sent one his trademark free-kicks whipping wide. It marked the end of United’s attacking intent.
Fabregas and Van Persie had one last shot at spoiling the party. But with the trophy ready and the tickets sorted, it seemed a shame to stop it.