Arsenal's character, title problem passes one other enormous check with large win vs. Man United


Eddie Nketiah’s ninetieth minute winner sealed a dramatic 3-2 win towards Manchester United as Arsenal took an enormous step in direction of successful the membership’s first Premier League title since 2004.

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In a pulsating sport on the Emirates, each side traded lead earlier than Lisandro Martinez‘s equaliser within the second-half for United appeared to ship the conflict in direction of a draw. However Nketiah, who cancelled out Marcus Rashford‘s opener with a first-half header, claimed victory for Arsenal within the closing minute to maintain the Gunners 5 factors away from Manchester Metropolis on the prime of the desk.

Listed here are some fast ideas about Sunday’s standout Premier League fixture.

JUMP TO: Greatest/worst performers | Highlights and notable moments | Postmatch quotes | Key stats | Upcoming fixtures

Speedy response

1. Arsenal move one other enormous check of their title cost

January was presupposed to be the acid check of Arsenal’s shock problem for the Premier League title, however Mikel Arteta’s group carry on proving the doubters unsuitable with large outcomes and none will likely be extra vital than this 3-2 win towards Manchester United.

The Gunners have been held by Newcastle at the beginning of the month, however received at Tottenham final week earlier than avenging their solely defeat of the season to this point towards United. And in beating United, Arsenal displayed the qualities of champions. They fought again from conceding an early purpose, went on to take the lead after which scored a late winner after the guests had made it 2-2 halfway by way of the second-half.

Arsenal have but to play champions Manchester Metropolis this season, so the conflict towards a resurgent United was the largest check of Arteta’s group. And so they answered all of the questions requested of them to beat Erik ten Hag’s aspect.

Arsenal are actually on the midway stage of the season and have amassed 50 factors from 19 video games. Even when they drop off from that unbelievable tempo within the second half of the season, they are going to nonetheless end the marketing campaign with an enormous factors whole; the strain is on Metropolis to reel them in, however this Arsenal aspect is enjoying with out worry and nerves.

Each could come, after all, however proper now they’re exhibiting the identical sort of carefree kind that propelled Leicester to the title in 2016. And except Metropolis can beat them of their first league assembly subsequent month, it’s going to turn out to be more and more troublesome to see how anybody can cease Arsenal successful the title.

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2. Weghorst makes a distinction, however United nonetheless lack attacking edge

Wout Weghorst isn’t the reply to Manchester United’s goalscoring issues, however he’s definitely giving Erik ten Hag’s group one thing completely different up entrance. The Netherlands worldwide, on mortgage from Burnley till the top of the season, has been introduced in to bolster United’s attacking choices following Cristiano Ronaldo‘s mutually-agreed departure in November.

With Anthony Martial nonetheless sidelined with a hamstring damage, the 6ft 6ins Weghorst began his second successive sport on the Emirates and, simply as on his debut at Crystal Palace, he did not threaten the opposition purpose. However Weghorst has made United extra direct and given them the choice to hit the ball lengthy when wanted. It might be unsuitable to recommend that he’s merely a goal man, although.

Weghorst is sweet along with his toes and he linked performed effectively along with his attacking teammates and likewise drew gamers to mark him every time the ball was within the air, liberating house for the likes of Marcus Rashford and Antony. He additionally has a a lot better work ethic than Martial and is ready to endlessly press the opposition defence. However in the end, he’s restricted in his means to beat his marker and opponents know that they’ll preserve Weghorst at bay pretty simply.

United have the bottom purpose tally within the prime six and proper now, they’re being rescued by Rashford’s objectives time and time once more. That will not proceed eternally, in order that they must be stronger. Weghorst offers them another choice, however he will not rating sufficient objectives to make United severe title contenders.

3. Arsenal have a right-back drawback

Mikel Arteta has labored wonders to show Arsenal into title challengers, however his group nonetheless has flaws and nowhere greater than at right-back.

Ben White was terrible within the first half and utterly did not make life troublesome for Rashford. He was additionally outdone greater than as soon as by Bruno Fernandes as United repeatedly attacked down their left-hand aspect.

The previous Brighton defender is primarily a centre-half, however has operated at right-back all through this season as a result of Gabriel and William Saliba have been so spectacular in the course of the Arsenal defence. White is just not geared up to play at right-back. He thinks like a centre-back and it means he usually makes the unsuitable selections.

Arteta substituted White at half-time — it might have been an damage, however there was no indication of that — and changed him with Takehiro Tomiyasu, however the Japan defender was no higher than his team-mate and arguably even worse.

Clearly, being requested to defend towards Rashford in this sort of kind is hard for any participant, however there are different nice vast gamers within the Premier League and Arsenal will face them through the battle for the title.

To keep away from their clear weak point being focused, Arteta must discover a resolution — and quick.

Greatest and worst performers


Eddie Nketiah, FW, Arsenal: He is proving to be far more than merely a stand-in for the injured Gabriel Jesus. Nice purpose to equalise within the first-half and was in the fitting place on the proper time to attain the winner.

Lisandro Martinez, DF, Man United: Rejected a transfer to Arsenal to signal for United final summer time and Erik ten Hag will likely be delighted with the Argentina defender’s performances. This was considered one of his finest, with a purpose too.

Bukayo Saka, FW, Arsenal: Scored an impressive purpose after which hit the put up when making an attempt to do the identical once more. United had no reply to the Arsenal winger.


Ben White, DF, Arsenal: The Arsenal right-back was turned in and out by Rashford and lacked conviction in too many challenges. An actual weak-link within the Gunners’ group.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka, DF, Man United: Misplaced Nketiah on the far put up for Arsenal’s equaliser and unreliable when he had possession. Like White with Arsenal, Wan Bissaka simply wasn’t as much as the job.

Antony, FW, Man United: One other sport with none sort of constructive impression by United’s £85 million summer time signing. All left foot and never fast sufficient to go previous his defender… what does he truly do?

Highlights and notable moments

Rashford’s glowing kind have to be famous, particularly as he opened the scoring on Sunday with a superb, thundering effort from distance to beat Aaron Ramsdale.

Nevertheless, after a superb back-and-forth sport, up stepped Nketiah with the decisive second within the ninetieth minute.

After the match: What the gamers/managers mentioned

“It was a great game with a lot of tempo and the audience is the big winner. Two top teams, but of course we are disappointed when you lose this game at a late stage. All the goals we conceded today are mistakes: it can’t happen. Even last week, we were so hard to beat in such situations. Today we were not. All three goals, we could have avoided.

“They’re excellent on the ball, however we’re defending group. There weren’t numerous open probabilities. We made errors which we can’t make. This sport was determined by small particulars but additionally the choice making. That’s arduous to just accept and we now have to study from it… I need to win. It isn’t adequate. We need to be the primary however not if we make errors. That’s clear and what I advised them.” — Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag speaking to BBC Sport

– “Emotional, numerous ardour. It does not get significantly better than that. The second half particularly, the efficiency was unbelievable. We have been composed and decided on the identical time. We by no means panicked. We all the time believed that we may win it. We confirmed the fitting composure within the field numerous instances however the ball did not go in. Fortunately on the finish it did.

“It’s great and we deserve where we are because of how we’re playing. But there are a lot of things that we can do much better.” — Arsenal supervisor Mikel Arteta, chatting with Sky Sports activities

Key stats (offered by ESPN Stats & Data analysis)

  • Arsenal: restores 5-point lead over Manchester Metropolis in Premier League standings; 63% likelihood to win Premier League per FiveThirtyEight’s Soccer Energy Index

  • Arsenal: 50 factors by way of 19 PL video games are the fifth most by a membership at this stage of a Premier League season

  • Arsenal: extends PL unbeaten streak to 13 video games (11-0-2 W-L-D), its longest Premier League unbeaten run since 14, from Aug.-Dec. 2018

  • Eddie Nketiah: Seven objectives in final seven appearances in all competitions after scoring two objectives in his first 18 video games this season

  • Marcus Rashford: 9 objectives in 9 video games in all competitions for the reason that post-WC restart; that’s greater than he scored in 19 video games pre-World Cup (8) for Manchester United this season; Rashford’s 9 post-restart objectives in all competitions are essentially the most amongst gamers in Europe’s prime 5 leagues

  • Bukayo Saka: scored in 3 straight Premier League video games vs. Man United, joins Arsenal legends Freddie Ljungberg (1998-2000) & Thierry Henry (2000-01) as the one Arsenal gamers to attain in 3 straight PL apps vs Man United.

Up subsequent

Arsenal: It does not get any simpler for the Gunners after Sunday’s hard-fought win. First they face a visit to Manchester Metropolis on Friday (Jan. 27) for an FA Cup fourth spherical conflict, adopted by struggling Everton away on Feb. 4 within the Premier League.

Manchester United: Because of United’s progress within the Carabao Cup, they face a busy fortnight of video games in a number of competitions. After a Jan. 25 go to to Nottingham Forest (Carabao Cup semifinal, first leg), they host Studying (FA Cup, fourth spherical) on Jan. 28 earlier than the return leg of their semifinal with Forest on Feb. 1. From there, simply a few days’ relaxation earlier than their subsequent league conflict, a house sport vs. Crystal Palace, on Feb. 4. It is exhausting to kind, not to mention play in.

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