Alan Shearer reckons that Arsenal fell into Manchester United’s trap as they were dumped out of the FA Cup in the fourth round last night.
Arsenal dominated possession throughout the game, with the full backs Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Sead Kolasinac pushing high up the pitch down either flank.
However, in a similar fashion to Manchester United‘s recent 1-0 win over Spurs, the Red Devils were excellent on the counter, with Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez playing in wide forward roles – exploiting the massive space left behind the Gunners full-backs to devastating effect.
Lukaku – playing wide on the right – set up two goals in the space of three minutes, playing well-weighted balls to Sanchez and Jesse Lingard who duly put the visitors 2-0 up.
While Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang pulled one back before the break, United broke with pace and power time and time again, with their third goal also coming on the counter as Paul Pogba broke through the Arsenal lines. His effort from outside the box was parried by Petr Cech straight into the path of Anthony Martial, who followed in to secure United’s place in the fifth round.
Speaking after the game, former Newcastle striker and Premier League legend Alan Shearer said that Arsenal played exactly how Manchester United wanted them to.
“Man United picked Arsenal off with ease in the second half, they were much the better team,” Shearer told the BBC.
“Arsenal fell into the trap and they offered very little. Arsenal lacked someone to pick the ball up and drive forward. They were trying to be nice and pretty but they didn’t have anyone like Paul Pogba who could drive forward with the ball.
“United had so many more options going forward than Arsenal. Arsenal had a lot of the ball but didn’t cause them any problems. United went forward at pace and they deserve to go through.”