Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s unbeaten streak in the Premier league finally came to an end following their defeat to Arsenal at the Emirates. Strikes from Granit Xhaka in the 12th minute and Pierre Emerick Aubameyang’s spot kick in the 69th ensured the Gunners victory over the Red Devils while at the same time reducing the gap between London rivals, Tottenham Hotspur. The match between Arsenal and Manchester United was the 54th time both teams locked horns and the win tonight pegs Arsenal’s win at 14 on Head to Head. Manchester United have won the tie 24 times while both teams have settled down for a draw, 16 times.
Arsenal fielded Leno, Sokratis, Koscienlny who picked up his 250th premier league cap, Monreal, Ramsey, Xhaka, Maitland-Niles, Ozil, Lacazette and Pierre Emerick Aubameyang. Manchester United on the other hand lined up with De Gea, Young, Diego Dalot, Shaw, Lindelof, Smalling, Matic, Pogba, Fred, Lukaku and Rashford.
Manchester United were in pole position to win the game following their epic come back against Paris St.Germain midweek in the Champions League, conversely with Arsenal losing their Europa League match to Rennes, a day after. However it was the Gunners that had the last laugh in tonight’s showdown, winning 2 goals to nothing.
The first half started swiftly as both sides tried to take the lead. Manchester United almost went in front but Lukaku’s right footed shot hit the crossbar in the early minutes of the first half. The match went ahead and eventually the first goal of the game came in the 12th minute thanks to a strike from Granit Xhaka whose goal was aided by the wind, leaving De Gea helpless in goal.
While both sides played extensively well, it was Arsenal that dominated the game in terms of possession during the first half. Manchester United were denied an equaliser owing to Leo’s heroics. Romelu Lukaku who was in search for his 16th goal of the season was denied countless of times by Leno while also missing some glorious chances. He’s yet to score for Manchester United against Arsenal. Arsenal on the other hand also troubled the Manchester United back line just as Lacazette, Ramsey and Aubameyang pushed to add to their tally for the night. Shots went wide, some saved and whistle went off for offside during the course of the match. The first half ended with Arsenal a goal ahead while also winning the game of possession and also creating 7 clear chances ahead of Manchester United’s 5. The whistle went off 3 times against Arsenal for Arsenal while none was recorded for Manchester United.
The Second half started much more better for Manchester United as they pushed to find an equaliser. Rashford was quick to test Leno’s resilience after the break but was denied. It was a half filled with lots of scoring chances thwarted by the goalkeepers. Manchester United played much better than Arsenal in the second half as they won the game of possession. Lacazette and Aubameyang were somewhat silent in the second half for some minutes until the 69th minute when Arsenal were awarded a penalty after Lacazette was brought down in the box. Aubameyang stood up to the task and calmly converted for his 17th goal of the season and Arsenal’s second of the night.
With victory all but secured, Arsenal’s Manager, Unai Emery decided to bring in fresh legs to control the tempo of the game. Ozil was subbed off in the 77th minute for Alex Iwobi. Denis Suarez was brought in in the 80th minute for Aubameyang while Nketiah replaced Lacazette in the 86th minute. Manchester United on the other hand also made some changes in a bid to get an equaliser. Martial was brought in for Diogo Dalot in the 71st minute while youngster Mason Greenwood who made his Champions league debut midweek against PSG replaced Nemanja Matic in the 81st minute.
Manchester United chased an equaliser but couldn’t find the back of the net as Leno brought on his A-game tonight. Consequently, Arsenal put an end to Manchester United’s unbeaten streak under the Ole Gunnar Solskjaer era in the premier league and got their revenge against them as it was Manchester United that knocked them out of the EFL cup. The win tonight sees Arsenal go back to 4th place on the log, one point behind London rivals, Tottenham Hotspurs while Manchester United go back to fifth position.