'Vidic bullied Giroud' - Arsenal striker slated by pundits

Olivier Giroud

Manchester United's Nemanja Vidic 'bullied' Arsenal's Olivier Giroud during a dominant first half display at Old Trafford on Sunday afternoon, stated Jamie Carragher.

Arsenal's Olivier Giroud has picked up countless plaudits this season and deservedly so. 

His eight goals in all competitions have been vital to the Gunners' success, as have his five assists.

But yesterday's 1-0 loss to Manchester United at Old Trafford was not his finest performance, the second year in a row he has been ineffective at the stadium.

Giroud completed just 54 per cent of his passes in the first half, and did not have a single attempt on goal.

It led to SkySports pundits Jamie Carragher and Jamie Redknapp picking apart his performance at half-time.

Carragher said: "For me he's been the worst player on the pitch.

"Vidic has bullied him. He doesn't look up for it, he doesn't look ready."

Jamie Redknapp chimed in: "Every time the ball has gone up to him, he has given it away."

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger admitted after the game his players were 'nervous' early on, although did not single out Giroud.

Manchester United defender Nemanja Vidic was substituted off at half-time and taken to hospital with an injury after a collision just before the break, but Giroud's fortunes barely improved.

His pass completion percentage marginally improved to 61 per cent, the lowest of any Arsenal player barring substitute Nicklas Bendtner. He would have two efforts on goal, but neither were on target.

Giroud wasn't the only Arsenal played to fail to play to their potential. Mesut Ozil and Santi Cazorla were also stifled by United.

Considering the week Arsenal have had, and Giroud's assist for Aaron Ramsey's winner in Dortmund, this below-par performance can quite easily be forgiven.

image: © Ronnie Macdonald

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