Arsenal 0-0 Manchester United: Neither side create enough to earn three points
LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 30: Bernd Leno of Arsenal looks on after he makes a save during the Premier League match between Arsenal and Manchester United at Emirates Stadium on January 30, 2021 in London, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Andy Rain - Pool/Getty Images)

Arsenal and Manchester United played out a tense goalless draw at the Emirates.

The game's biggest chances both fell to Edinson Cavani, who failed to hit the target from both his close range efforts.

Story of the game

The Arsenal lineup shocked a few, with key players Kieran Tierney and Bukayo Saka missing from the squad due to respective fitness issues. United offered less of a surprise, sticking with the tried and tested pairing of Fred and Scott McTominay to try and deal with the threat of the ever-impressive Emile Smith-Rowe

After an uneventful opening 10 minutes, the first action of the game came through a scuffle between Cedric and Bruno Fernandes after the latter reacted to a swinging arm from the Arsenal full back which caught him flush on the head. 

It was clear Fernandes hadn’t forgotten the incident as he proceeded to commit a few cynical, unnecessary fouls following the incident as his head seemingly ran hot. 

United had the first real chance 20 minutes into the game as a corner fell to Fred unmarked on the edge of the box. He attempted a delicately placed effort into the top corner which was well saved by Bernd Leno, who tipped it wide for another corner. 

Arsenal upped the pressure in the following minutes, with a range of efforts from long range which struggled to test David De Gea, barring a Granit Xhaka header from 12 yards out. 

At the other end, United looked like finally carving Arsenal apart as a ball from Paul Pogba looked destined to find Marcus Rashford at close range, were it not for a diving header from Gabriel Martinelli to poke the ball wide. 

Arsenal the launched a counter through Smith-Rowe before feeding Nicholas Pepe down the right. He produced nearly a dozen step overs before curling an effort just wide of the far post, with De Gea well beaten. 

United produced the next big chance, with a looping cross from Luke Shaw finding the leap of fellow full back Aaron Wan-Bissaka, however, his header flashed narrowly wide of the post. 

Moments later, United were in again as Fernandes ran at David Luiz into the box before checking back onto his right foot before curling an effort past the stationary Leno, but unfortunately past the post as well. 

The half rather petered out from that point, with McTominay falling victim to injury and being replaced by Anthony Martial before the half was up. Marcus Rashford had the best chance of the game just before the whistle as the ball fell to him on the six yard line, however, he took one too many touches and the chance was smothered by a combination of Thomas Partey and Leno before the winger could sort his feet out. 

The second half began with a change for the hosts, as veteran Willian replaced his compatriot Martinelli.  

Willian’s impact was almost instant as a cross found him unmarked at the back post. However, his first touch was poor, and his weak effort was easily blocked behind for a corner. 

The biggest chance of the half up to that point fell United’s way as Shaw flashed across the goal which almost fell to Cavani with the goal gaping. But the Uruguayan inexplicable fired wide as his feet got tangled underneath him. 

Next, it was Arsenal’s chance to attack as Lacazette’s free kick struck the bar before Smith-Rowe's effort stung the hands of David De Gea from 12 yards out. 

The game flew open from there, with United breaking before Shaw's low cross was cleared in the nick of time by David Luiz with Cavani lurking in the shadows. 

After a painfully slow 20 minutes, Marcus Rashford’s last action of the game, before being replaced, was to fizz a vicious effort which crashed into the wrong side of the near post. 

Arsenal proceeded to break down the right, finding Pepe on the corner of the box. He attempted a curled low effort to the far post which was always just a few yards wide of the post. 

United again found success out wide, this time through Wan-Bissaka who whipped in a delicious ball which Cavani met with a scissor kick- style volley, however, he couldn’t squeeze it inside the post. 

That would be the last notable action of the half, as United’s late pressure failed to culminate in anything of substance. 

The draw sees Arsenal’s good run of form continue as resume their journey up the table. 

United on the other hand, left the field in a much more sombre fashion as they extended their away unbeaten run to a club record 18 games, however, fall further behind local rivals atop of the league table. 

Man of the Match - Luke Shaw

At times, United's only outlet in terms of chance creation. Luke Shaw offered a constant threat down the left, despite Martial's best effort's to offer little to no help. He also dealt well with Pepe's threat at the other end to continue his run of good form. Very much the best of a bad bunch today.

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