Petr Cech Arsenal Juan Mata Manchester United
Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech looks disappointed as Juan Mata celebrates scoring for Manchester United in their Premier League game, November 19, 2016Reuters

So, that's 14 competitive matches without a win over Jose Mourinho for Arsene Wenger then, and this should have been another one in the victory column for the Portuguese, only for one of the Frenchman's substitutes to grab a point at the death.

After Arsenal put their worst performance of the season, it looked like they were deservedly heading to a 1-0 defeat, thanks to Juan Mata's strike, but then two substitutes, only brought on after United took the lead, combined brilliantly, with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain sticking a nice cross at the back post for Olivier Giroud to put that wonderful head of his to great use to give Arsenal a scarcely-deserved point.

This was another game that Manchester United should have won, and another one that Mourinho will wonder how they did not. While Arsenal were horrible for pretty much the entire 90 minutes, they will leave Old Trafford with a point, a point that they might look at come the end of the season with great delight.

While Mourinho, the man who has been criticised time and again for being too defensive-minded, went with a young, vibrant attack, Arsene Wenger decided to reinforce his midfield by playing two non-ball playing midfielders, while sticking Aaron Ramsey on the left, which meant there was absolutely no chance of any kind of creativity from the middle.

It was obvious that what Wenger was targeting was a draw or a nicked 1-0 win, while Manchester United, to their great credit, went for all three points right from the off.

Sometimes the kind of tactics that Wenger employed on Saturday is merited, but against a side that have struggled for goals and consistency and at a time when it really isn't a "lose and you are out of the title race" game, this was a chance for Arsenal to show why they should be considered contenders for the Premier League crown.

Instead, they went into their shells, and did not trouble David De Gea, who could have had a nice cup of tea, a bit of cake and some scones as well and not been troubled, barring that one moment when the bearded Frenchman brought his skills into play.

Manchester United, despite having Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial, Ander Herrera, Paul Pogba and Juan Mata all in attacking position, struggled a little to carve chance after chance, which has been kind of the way their season has gone – all the more reason for Arsenal to have gone for the kill – but they were easily the more enterprising team.

After Petr Cech was called into action a couple of times to keep Mata and Martial out in the first half – there was also a penalty appeal for Manchester United and a possible sending off for Matteo Darmian – you would have expected the Gunners to come out in the second 45 and do much better. Instead, Manchester United kept at it, kept the pressure on, knowing the dam would break sooner or later.

It broke in the 69th minute, when Herrera found space down the right and found a perfect low cross to Mata, who showed why he is such a wonderful technician, applying a precise finish – low, quick and into the bottom corner.

With Manchester United ahead, Wenger finally was forced to make more proactive changes, one of them being bringing Olivier Giroud on for Mohamed Elneny, who played ahead of Granit Xhaka, alongside Francis Coquelin, but with no rhythm to their play, it was Manchester United who looked the more likely to add a second.

They did not, and Arsenal punished them.

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