Arsenal were off to the races at the Emirates, 2 goals up after 23 minutes. But it was 2-2 at half-time, and a late-minute penalty miss by Mikel Arteta which would have seen Arsenal go off with all 3 points (at 4-3) rubbed salts into the wounds.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, of course, tried to put a good spin on it:
'In the second half we gave absolutely everything and I have to give credit to the players, in the last three games what they have done physically is amazing. Even at 3-2 down we didn’t give up and continued to go forward and we had the chances to win the game', but in truth it was another worrying performance from a team that seems to have lost direction, focus and tenacity. And another example of how the manager appears increasingly at odds to explain what is going wrong.
Meanwhile, Manchester United were 2 down at Villa Park with fortunately most of the second-half to play. And you just knew that they'd come back and take all 3 points (they did, and won 3-2).
The drama at Arsenal is turning into a crisis, however, and a top 4 slot (the 'trophy' Wenger claims to win every year) looks like it will be a bit of a challenge this season.
Manchester United, on the other hand, return to the top of the Premier League, but you have to wonder just how many times they can give goals away and keep coming back (especially against top teams and in Europe). Sir Alex will be pleased with today's result, but could do without the drama. And what he wouldn't give to be able to sign Ashley Cole!
image: © Matt and Kim Rudge