Manchester United 0-1 Arsenal
A second half penalty converted by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang gave Arsenal a victory over Manchester United, and a rare one away to one of the top flight’s big guns.
Premier League: Manchester United vs Arsenal was a clash between two teams aiming for a top four place in this campaign, and more in seasons to come. And while the Gunners have struggled on the road for years, they fully deserved this win. In Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s 100th match in charge the Red Devils crashed down to earth after their Champions League heroics and they are stranded in the bottom half of the table.
In the end the Manchester United vs Arsenal highlights told a tale of the Gunners’ dominance in the first half, a more even contest in the second, and one decisive moment which takes Mikel Arteta’s team up to eighth.
Highlights of the game
Arsenal controlled the opening exchanges with a high press and quick passing, and they came close to opening the scoring when Hector Bellerin crossed a superb ball into the danger area and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was inches away from the crucial contact.
Manchester United were playing on the break and they put an attack together on 21 minutes which almost produced a goal. Marcus Rashford raided down the right wing and delivered a precise ball to the feet of Mason Greenwood at the far post, but he fired straight at Bernd Leno. Rashford delivered a five star performance against Red Bull Leipzig in midweek, scoring a hat-trick in the Red Devils’ 5-0 victory over the Bundesliga leaders and in the absence of the suspended Anthony Martial, Reds fans were looking forward to seeing his partnership with Greenwood.
But Arsenal were in control and almost scored when Aubameyang fed Alexandre Lacazette, but just as the France striker was about to pull the trigger Victor Lindelof got a crucial touch. Then, after an interchange of passes with Aubameyang, Willian let fly from the edge of the penalty area but his shot hit the cross bar. And just before the break Bukayo Saka should have put the Gunners ahead but he directed his free header over.
United began the second half in more positive style and Bruno Fernandes tried his luck from a long way out and won a corner as Gabriel headed clear. But, as Arsenal turned the play over again, Lacazette broke before passing to Aubameyang and he curled an effort just wide.
The Red Devils were struggling to create much in open play but they almost found a goal from a set piece after Bellerin had fouled Paul Pogba. Harry Maguire met the dead ball kick but his header drifted narrowly wide. Then, at the other end Thomas Partey fired one at David de Gea which the Spanish keeper held.
Then, with a quarter of the game remaining, Arsenal’s big chance came. Willian put Bellerin in and Pogba clipped the wing back’s heels to give the Gunners a stonewall penalty. Up stepped Aubameyang and he slammed the ball into the right corner of the net sending De Gea the wrong way.
Solskjaer responded by bringing on Donny van de Beek and Edinson Cavani, and as United pressed for an equaliser Rashford blazed over when he had a half chance. And then De Beek came within a whisker of levelling when his cross shot was deflected onto the post by Leno.
The pre-match Manchester United vs Arsenal betting odds placed the Gunners as outsiders, and while the stats tell an even tale of possession shared and two shots on target each, Arteta’s side played the better football and deserved the victory.
This was Arsenal’s first win at Old Trafford since 2006, and the first time they have won away to one of the league’s ‘Big Six’ in 28 outings; a streak which has lasted for six years!
On Wednesday the Red Devils head to Turkey to take on Istanbul Buyuksehir in their third Champions League Group H clash. Manchester United have taken control of the group after victories over Paris Saint-Germain and Red Bull. Their opponents lost 2-0 to PSG last time out and by the same score line to Leipzig in their opener, leaving them bottom of the group.
Then, back in the Premier League, the Red Devils are away to Everton, another big clash against European hopefuls, and here at SBOTOP we’ll be previewing the game with the stats, facts, latest news and betting picks.
Meanwhile the Gunners are at home to Molde FK in a battle for the top of Group B of the Europa League. The Norwegian side has matched Arsenal’s two opening wins and they sit side by side on six points. Then Mikel Arteta’s team had a home Premier League clash against Aston Villa. After making a great start to this campaign the Villains have lost back-to-back games, conceding seven goals; so Aubameyang and co will be licking their lips.
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