Luke Shaw: "If we want to be in the title race we have to be winning these games"

United dropped points for the third time in four Premier League games after a goalless stalemate with the Gunners
Luke Shaw: "If we want to be in the title race we have to be winning these games"

Arsenal's David Luiz has a free kick which hits the wall during Saturday's Premier League match with Manchester United

Premier League

Arsenal 0

Manchester Utd 0

Nick Callow, Emirates Stadium

MANCHESTER UNITED'S title hopes are fading fast after they lost another chance to rival Manchester City's assent to the top.

They set a new club record of 18 consecutive away league games without defeat, but have dropped points in three of their last four matches. They have gone from top to three points behind Premier League leaders City having played a game more.

Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said afterwards: “We don't think about the title now as we are only in January. This gives us more belief after the disappointment of Sheffield United and we will go again on Tuesday against Southampton.” 

A draw was a fair result after Arsenal had the best of the second half even though Edinson Cavani squandered two second half chances.

But defender Luke Shaw was brutal in his assessment. He stated: “That's two points dropped I feel. I felt we were in control, Arsenal had a spell but we were comfortable and had countless massive chances we haven't taken. It would have been a brilliant result winning here, we have to be winning these games.

"The chances we had, I don't think it's acceptable to come away with a point - I haven't been in the changing room yet but I'm sure the lads will be disappointed.

"At times we were too slow. Second half we were sloppy and gave the ball away. We didn't look like we wanted to play. We created the chances and failed to score again and it cost us two points.

"We dropped points in midweek and again here. If we want to be in the title race we have to be winning these games. I don't know what more to say."

Arsenal did well overall considering they were without captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who was self-isolating and injured duo Bukayo Saka and Kieran Tierney – arguably their three best players. They appeared to suffer a further injury setback when Gabriel Martinelli failed to appear for the second half, but Mikel Arteta claimed it was a tactical decision.

Nicolas Pepe, showing more signs of improvement, had a couple of decent shots and Alex Lacazette thudded a free kick against the crossbar.

Arteta commented: “I thought it was a fair result although both managers probably feel they could have won it. The fact we had three of our best players out had an impact so I am really pleased with the players we had out there.” 

United had the best of the first half but Arsenal responded well and had chances to win it after the break.

Arsenal had won four of their last five league home games, without conceding a goal against United. That said, United are on this remarkable away run which stretches to 378 days.

Cavani nearly stole all three points with a spectacular 89th minute effort when he should have left the ball for substitute Antony Martial.

Cavani had already missed an easier chance only to be denied by a finger-tip save from Bernd Leno.

The German keeper was rock solid in Arsenal's goal whenever he was called upon as Arteta's side moved a point clear of Chelsea in eighth position in the Premier League table.

Bruno Fernandes got the better of David Luiz but shot wide of the target having seemingly done all the hard work and also went close from a free-kick. United had been even closer to scoring when the impressive Fred curled a beautiful half volley which Leno saved superbly at full stretch.

ARSENAL: Leno 8, Bellerin 6, Holding 7, Luiz 6, Cedric 6, Partey 6, Xhaka 6, Martinelli 7 (Willian 45), Smith-Rowe 7 (Odegaard 83), Pepe 7, Lacazette 6 (Nketiah 90). 

Subs: Runarsson Gabriel, Maitland-Niles, Chambers, Elneny, Willock.

MANCHESTER UTD: De Gea 7, Wan-Bissaka 8, Lindelof 6, Maguire 6, Shaw 6, McTominay 6 (Martial 37), Fred 7, Pogba 6, Fernandes 7, Rashford 6 (Greenwood 80), Cavani 5.

Subs: Henderson, Bailly, Martial, James, Telles, Matic, Van de Beek, Tuanzebe.

Ref: Michael Oliver 7

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