Granit Xhaka and Danny Welbeck were on target as Arsenal defeated Manchester United 2-0 at the Emirates.
Even though Mourinho fielded a weakened United side, keeping the Celta Vigo clash in mind, the first half was equally fought, even though the hosts enjoyed more possession. United missed a couple of great chances through Rooney and Martial, both of them shooting straight at Cech. Arsenal, on the other hand, came closest when Sanchez sent Ramsey through on goal but his strike forced a brilliant save from De Gea. Oxlade-Chamberlain also had a decent effort saved in the entertaining, but goalless, first half.
The second half started a bit slow, but then Arsenal scored two goals in quick succession. The first one came out of nowhere, as Xhaka decided to have a pop from 30 yards out, and his shot took a major deflection off Herrera’s back and went past the outstretched De Gea. The second came just three minutes later as Welbeck scored against his former club. Oxlade-Chamberlain provided a magnificent cross for Welbeck, whose header was equally well struck, finding its way into the net after hitting the inside of the crossbar. Then onwards, it was a monotonous game- United desperate to get a goal back and Arsenal giving them no chance. Rooney had a couple of shots agonisingly high, as Arsenal held on for an emphatic win.
With this win, United’s top four chances are almost gone, while there’s still a battle to be fought for the fifth place.
Here are the Talking Points from the match-
Welbeck Comes Back to Haunt United
Danny Welbeck sealed the win with a bullet header past De Gea. The Mancunian now has three goals in as many appearances against his former employers, and many Arsenal fans believe him to be the one who’s equalled the Van Persie saga. Welbeck has cost United points on more than one occasion, and even though his spell at Arsenal hasn’t been memorable due to injuries, there’s still a section of United fans who believe that Van Gaal was wrong to sell him to their bitter rivals.
Wenger Finally Beats Mourinho
Even though Mourinho sarcastically remarked after their draw at Old Trafford earlier this season that he had finally lost to Wenger, this is actually the first time for him to lose to the Frenchman in 13 attempts. He did actually lose in the Community Shield once, but that’s more of a pre-season showpiece event. Mourinho said in his post-match conference that he’s still not angry at his players, but in reality, he must be furious for tasting defeat against his arch-rival.
Tuanzebe is a Special Talent
Playing against a top notch club like Arsenal in your league debut makes you nervous enough, and battling a player of the stature of Sanchez is an even more difficult task. But boy, did he manage it well. He had an amazing game as he kept Sanchez quiet for most of the match, making a couple of brilliant tackles as well. He was decent enough going forwards, but it was his defensive work that caught the eye, particularly because right-back isn’t his natural position. If he builds upon this display and keeps his focus, he has a great career ahead of him.
Oxlade-Chamberlain is Finally Back
This was another sumptuous game for the English International at right wing back, who assisted both goals in the game. His second assist, in particular, was simply outstanding. This took his season tally to seven assists, which is the same number that he’s managed in his previous five seasons combined. His return to form has seen Bellerin drop to the bench, and if he keeps up his scintillating form there wouldn’t remain any uncertainty over his Arsenal future.
Liverpool and Manchester City The Winners?
United winning today could’ve been devastating for both Liverpool and Manchester City, but they can both breathe a sigh of relief now as this loss has finally halted United’s charge for a top four finish. They are now four points off top four, with just three games remaining. Arsenal are already out of the top four race, but they’ve taken United down with themselves as well.