Gary Neville: Manchester United were not right physically vs Arsenal

Gary Neville: Manchester United were not right physically vs Arsenal

Manchester United legend Gary Neville believes Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s first loss as caretaker manager wasn’t embarrassing and that Arsenal were just deserved winners.

The Norwegian watched on hopelessly as his players were defeated 2-0 at the Emirates just days after their historic 3-1 over PSG.

Things just didn’t seem to go United’s way as their slow start ended up costing them with the Gunners gaining an early 1-0 lead.

Neville believes Solskjaer’s men were suffering from fatigue, whether mental or physical, after their exerts against the French champions.

The Red Devils had created endless chances against Arsenal but failed to capitalise on any at a time they couldn’t afford to lose.

According to Sky Sports, Gary said: “Solskjaer has connected the club, the results have been incredible and there was always going to be a defeat.

“But it’s not been a defeat that’s embarrassing, Manchester United could easily have drawn or won that match today, it’s just gone against them in the big moments.

“I think Arsenal deserved to win overall because of how they approached the game in the first half an hour or so, but on the other hand, I don’t think they would have had any complaints if Romelu Lukaku took the two or three chances he had and the ref doesn’t give that penalty.

“I think Ole will look towards how they lost but I think I’ve said it before, that is an acceptable way to lose 2-0. You can never say at Manchester United that it is acceptable to lose 2-0, but today was.

“There were four strikers on the pitch at the end of the game, they had as many chances as Arsenal, more possession but Arsenal, on the day, had more of an edge.

“There was something wrong with United – cobwebs, out of their legs, mentality – something wasn’t right and in the end, I think that’s what cost United.

“Sometimes when you’re not right physically, you don’t get that little bit of luck to go with it.”

Ole’s obviously high tempo, high pressure tactic has clearly taken its toll on his Manchester United stars.

Though it was also a little unlucky, it’s no coincidence the club is only just beginning to recover from an injury crisis.

The United players also seem to be not used to the workload and have occasionally appeared leggy every now and then.

Pre-season would be the time to truly work on their fitness but until then, Solskjaer will have to rotate more to ensure fatigue stays at an arms length.

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Freelance football writer and Football Manager enthusiast. Unhealthy obsession with tactics, debates and chasing after a ball with 21 other people.