Welcome to a new feature on Arsenal.com - Talking Heads.
Before and after every first-team fixture our MatchDay Show team - and an Arsenal blogger - will have their say on the match.
Arsenal tookl on Manchester United in the Premier League on Sunday and our Talking Heads for this game were Dan Roebuck, Martin Hayes and YW of A Cultured Left Foot.
Read on for their post-match thoughts and recap what they said before the game.
DAN ROEBUCK, COMMENTATOR
Arsenal were second best in the first half but you have to admire the way they responded to Arsène Wenger's half-time team talk. I fancied them to go on and win after Van Persie's excellently-crafted equaliser but a defensive lapse cost them for the third consecutive Premier League game. Arshavin has been criticised for his part in Manchester United's winner but we know that defending is not his strong point. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was the obvious plus from the defeat - he looked assured in possession and caused United problems throughout. Nico Yennaris deserves credit too after giving Arsenal's defence more balance when he came on at the break.
Arsenal must forget about the disappointments of Craven Cottage and the Liberty Stadium if they are to get something out of this game. As frustrating as they were, this is no fixture to dwell on past errors. The potential return of Thomas Vermaelen could be huge. Nani and Antonio Valencia may well enjoy themselves on the wing against the inexperience of Ignasi Miquel and Johan Djourou in the full-back berths if the Belgian is not back in the side. Manchester United have proved they can lose this season, Arsenal have proved they have what it takes to mix with the best and there is no reason why they cannot get three points this time around. But defend as they did against Swansea and it's curtains for Arsène Wenger's side.
MARTIN HAYES, STUDIO GUEST
It was a disappointing day. Arsenal had a poor first half and probably deserved to be behind at half time but they were much, much better in the second half and took the game to Man United. We missed some chances and then Robin van Persie scored from a much more difficult chance than the one he spurned earlier in the half. At that point I thought Arsenal would go on and win the game but disappointingly we let it slip. It's frustrating because we deserved at least a point from the game but now we've got to go away, lick our wounds and regroup for the FA Cup.
Manchester United have flitted between looking like title contenders to then slipping up, and Arsenal, Chelsea and United are conceding far more goals than they used to. Nemanja Vidic is a big miss for them. Rio Ferdinand's game doesn’t seem to be as good as it was, and when you keep putting different combinations in defence there will be misunderstandings and problems. You can get at them at the back and Arsenal will get opportunities. Our biggest problem is that we don’t have lots of goalscorers, but they do - they score goals from different areas, in midfield, out wide as well as up front. That’s their big strength. We have always seemed to lack the big players in the big matches over the past few years, so having the likes of Thomas Veramelen back would be a big bonus. Everyone is playing catch-up to Manchester City at the moment, so I can see two sides that will want to win the game. That could make for an interesting end if we are locked at a draw going into the final moments. The fans may be in for a good day.
YW, A CULTURED LEFT FOOT
An utterly disappointing outcome, especially when the second half promised more. Arsène was criticised for substituting Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain but it was not the only issue, especially as there were a collection of errors which culminated in the winning goal. We also missed other chances to score before RVP's equaliser as well. It is a shattering result, especially as it is the second week running that we have failed to capitalise on the failings of Chelsea and Tottenham. An impetus could have been gained but that moment has passed. All the players can do is pick themselves up, carry on and get back to winning ways as soon as possible.
It's always one of the biggest home games and a tough match following last weekend's defeat at Swansea City but the players should not need any motivation for this game. They have the chance to make a small dent in the points gap to Manchester United but also to stay in touch with third and fourth especially with Tottenham at Manchester City on Sunday. If Thomas Vermaelen returns, there will more confidence and experience in defence; let's hope that reports of injuries to Mikel Arteta and Thierry Henry are exaggerated. It will be a tough game, especially with the indifferent form of recent weeks, but there is enough talent in the squad to overcome the obstacles and win this one again.
* The views expressed in Talking Heads do not necessarily reflect those of Arsenal Football Club or Arsenal Broadband Ltd.Copyright 2013 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 23 Jan 2012