Arsenal 2-0 Manchester United

Prior to the league match between Arsenal and in-form Manchester United, a host of Red Devils supporters believed that the game would be a cakewalk. This believe was  heightened by bookmakers who gave huge odds to Arsenal to win and even smaller odd for a United victory, betting men can know more on for subsequent games..

Also, United have not lost a domestic match since last December following their lost to Liverpool in the league at Anfield, which consequently led to the exit of Jose Mourinho and the introduction of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

As the qualification for who gets to play in the Champions League next season heats up, Arsenal who have stuttered were largely expected to collapse in the face of the impressive United army after not picking up the whole points against Tottenham Hotspur the week before.

This inevitable defeat expected by pundits and fans cannot be criticised because the Gunners were defeated by the Red Devils in an FA Cup outing at Emirates stadium in January. It was a sore taste still fresh in the mouth but not to be repeated. It was a case of “once beaten twice shy” and the Emirates side delivered in style.

What stood out in the game was Arsenal willingness to attack from the off by not allowing a moment respite for the United midfield that was swimming in confidence after their magical showing in Paris against PSG a couple of days before.

So, the team selection was spot on but a little narrow by hitherto conservative Unai Emery who switched Ozil to the wing and played Ramsey as a 10 and Xhaka as foil for Pogba’s dashing runs.

This alteration paid dividends given that the first goal came from the combination of Lacazette and Xhaka. The latter slotting the ball beyond the reach of stranded De Gea from outside the box eighteen.

Arsenal were one zero up and it was deserved because prior to the goal, Aubemayang missed a tap in from an exquisite cross by Kolasinic from the left side.

Anyways, United almost equalized immediately but the improved Arsenal defensive alertness rescued them. A touch of luck was also evidenced by the ball galloping and hitting the bar and off for a goal kick.

Bernd Leno was also to thank from blocking another ball from the feet of Lukaku. The big Belgian second volley when the ball bounced off the keeper went straight to over.

Aside those two decisive threats, Arsenal were on the swing in the first half and continued into the second half.

The second half was a little tempered as the Gunners determined the pace of the game.

The second goal was a penalty given away by Fred for trying to stop Lacazette from running into the box but his tackle was mistimed and thereby making contact with the attacker’s legs.

It was an easy call for the referee and Aubemayang converted it. There was uncertainty when he stepped up to play the penalty following his tamed effort in the miss in the draw with Tottenham and the relief felt by the crowd when he converted said it all.

Arsenal have grown in stature and the top four spot can be consolidated if they build on their recent league showing.



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