Loony’s Sunday Review and Ratings
Given the gorgeous sun shining on our islands, my friend Loony and I decided to have a stroll down to Sliema front and watch the big match at one of the pubs in the area. As soon as we got there it soon became clear that finding seating in these bars would not be an easy task.
And while I was stretching my neck looking in every corner for a spot to sit in, Loony’s attention was elsewhere. Absolutely no help at all. His one eye was flickering more than a strobe light, observing the girls passing nearby. Poor Loony he has not been out much lately J
Finally we found a spot in front of a TV and ordered a couple of cold beers just in time for kick-off.
PREMIER LEAGUE: ARSENAL vs MANCHESTER UNITED
Arsenal moved above Man Utd in the race for Champions League qualification. This was Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s his first Premier League defeat as Man Utd caretaker manager.
Arsenal’s Granit Xhaka opened the scoring with a swerving shot from long range which wrong-footed United goalkeeper David de Gea. Admittedly the keeper was not the only one at fault here. Manchester United’s defence in this occasion seemed almost as if daring the Swiss midfielder to take a pop, opening up like a gate and leaving acres of space.
Striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored Arsenal’s second from the penalty spot in the second half. In this case the referee got it wrong by penalising Fred for his clumsy but legal challenge on Lacazette. To be fair to the referee his angle did not help him in making the right call.
What we saw in this game is that Arsenal started off the better side and were probably the better side throughout the entirety of the first half. However, in the second half Man Utd grew in confidence and had more of the ball. They also created more chances and at the time of the penalty awarded to Arsenal, the Red Devils were looking more likely the team to score next.
From the possibility of equalising the game to a very soft penalty call awarded to Arsenal with the Gunners going 2-0 in the 69th minute. Undoubtedly the Man Utd players felt this blow and never really recovered from it.
GRANIT XHAKA – 8.5/10 THE SWERVE
Loony’s man of the match goes to Granit Xhaka. An excellent display capped with a goal which Loony described as a ‘Holly e Benji’ goal. Say what you want but that swerve on the shot was quite bizarre!
ALEXANDRE LACAZETTE – 8/10 CRAFTY
One of Alexandre Lacazette’s best performances this season. We are not deducting any points for his fall in the penalty area. If anything, he earns crafty points as every top striker in the world would have gone down as soon as they felt the minimum contact by the defender. Yes it was not a penalty and he did get the referee fooled but that’s also part of the game.
DAVID DE GEA – 4/10 FLAPPY
He is getting battered in the media with many giving him full blame for the first goal conceded. There are some who are still defending him in saying he is not completely at fault on this one but they are the minority. Loony is siding with the minority here as he is of the opinion that the entire defence should share the blame here. Yes he was definitely not at his best but the critic is just too harsh. Also, Xhaka’s strike was no normal strike!
However, he still gets a low Loony rating as he also looked sloppy with his kicking. We are all now well accustomed to De Gea’s top performances and this was simply not one of them. Let Down.
As expected fans reactions on social media concerning De Gea’s error were also quite funny and abundant.
United fans to David De Gea pic.twitter.com/pmtbHiyAMC
— MCFCArmy1894 (@MCFCArmy1894) March 10, 2019
— Match of the Day (@BBCMOTD) March 10, 2019