MANCHESTER – Manchester United were held to a 1-1 draw at home to Arsenal on Monday in a Premier League game which was a poor imitation of some of the past classic 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, physical clashes between Roy Keane and Patrick Vieira and the highlights reel of past encounters is also full of skill and flair.
And while there is certainly a retro 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.