EPL: Manchester United held by Arsenal as both struggle to shine

EPL: Manchester United held by Arsenal as both struggle to shine
Written by Maritime First

…As Torgah’s third round sub-70 score keeps him ahead, in the 1st October Championship***

Manchester United were held to a 1-1 draw at home by Arsenal on Monday in a Premier League game which was a poor imitation of some of the past clashes between the clubs.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s 58th minute goal, given after VAR review, cancelled out Scott McTominay’s well-struck opener on the stroke of halftime, but it was a game which highlighted the weaknesses of the two teams.

The result leaves United in 10th place with just nine points, their worst start after seven games for 30 years and they have won just one of their last six league games.

Arsenal are in fourth spot on 12 points but their nine-point gap with leaders Liverpool illustrates just how far away they are from being real contenders.

This fixture is part of the folklore of the Premier League era, producing some epic battles between Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger’s title-winning sides.

And while there is certainly a retrospective feel to Old Trafford under the lights and in the rain, the only throwback on the field was some of the heavy and late challenges.

There are multiple weaknesses in both teams but what stood out when they faced each other was the utter lack of class and quality in midfield.

Arsenal look lightweight and lacking any real spine while United, despite having Paul Pogba back from injury, were short of attacking options and creativity.

United keeper David De Gea pulled off a fine double-save in the 44th minute, pushing out a low shot from Bukayo Saka and then doing well to keep out Matteo Guendouzi’s follow-up.

Moments later, United had the lead when Marcus Rashford found McTominay on the edge of the box and his slightly deflected shot towards the top corner beat the motionless Arsenal keeper Bernd Leno.

Arsenal got back on level terms in controversial circumstances in the 58th minute with a goal from Aubameyang.

United left-back Axel Tuanzebe gave the ball away to Saka who threaded through to Aubameyang but the linesman raised his flag well before the Gunners striker put the ball past De Gea.

VAR review correctly showed that Harry Maguire had played Aubameyang onside and the goal was then given.

However, United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer appeared furious that the linesman had flagged when recent practice has been for the flag not to be shown until the end of a move.

McTominay then missed a glorious chance to secure the three points and his growing reputation when, from an Ashley Young corner, he headed over the bar from close range.

Leno then made two good saves to keep Unai Emery’s side on level terms.

First he dived to deny Maguire’s effort from the edge of the box and then reacted well to keep out Rashford’s stoppage time free kick.

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In the meantime, Ghana’s Vincent Torgah carded a superb bogey-free third round of 63 to claim a 10-shot lead at the 1st October Championship at the Port Hacourt Golf Club on Monday.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Torgah made seven birdies and 11 pars to maintain a 54-hole lead with 19-under par heading into the final round.

The Ghanaian professional golfer made a “splash” on the African Tour in  May when he claimed his fourth win of the season at the “Port Hacourt Classis”.

Edwin Osuhor, Tournament Director of the African Tour, noted that it would be Torgah’s 14th professional win on the African Tour should he emerge as the winner of this year’s championship.

“With 19 under par, he now holds the lowest 54 holes score in the Tour’s history, with rounds of 63 65 and 63 respectively.

“He also set  a new Course record to beat at the Port Hacourt Golf Club having scored a bogey-free 7-under in a single round, the first player to do so,” he said.

NAN also reports that during a day of low scoring, Zimbabwe’s Visitor Mapwanya now sits solo at second place on the leader board.

He is with a 3-under par in the third round to move to 9-under.

Mapwanya however could not catch up on the leader who had a blitz of birdies in the third round and is now 10 strokes ahead of him.

Also, Port Hacourt-based professional golfer Gift Willy could not beat the course in the third round.

He carded a one-over par 71 on day three and is now solo third on the leaderboard at 5-under par.

Sunday Olapade also carded a bogey-free round of (67) 3-under to move up the leaderboard by a spot at 2-under par after 54 holes.

He is now fourth on the leader board heading into the final round.

Kabiru Haruna of Kano Golf Club also maintained a brilliant performance on day three, scoring a level-par 70 to sit fifth on the leaderboard at 1-over par.

He beat Chukwudi Okoro, alongside Francis Epe, by a stroke, who are now tied for sixth place at 2-over.

Three others in the 60s’ rank are Python Golf Club professional Udom Saater (66), four-under par, Solomon Ideriah (68), two-under par, and Chidi Tobias of Ikeja Golf Club at one-under (69).




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Maritime First