The stage was set for a grand Arsenal and Manchester United fixture, and it goes without saying that the match lived up to the expectations.
Arsenal lineup (3-4-3): Petr Cech; Rob Holding, Laurent Koscielny, Nacho Monreal; Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Hector Bellerin, 84′), Granit Xhaka (Francis Coquelin, 76′), Aaron Ramsey, Kieran Gibbs; Mesut Ozil, Danny Welbeck (Olivier Giroud, 84′), Alexis Sanchez.
Manchester United lineup (4-2-3-1): David de Gea; Axel Tuanzebe, Chris Smalling, Phil Jones, Matteo Darmian; Michael Carrick, Ander Herrera (Marcus Rashford, 63′); Henrikh Mkhitaryan (Jesse Lingard, 60′), Juan Mata (Scott McTominay, 84′), Anthony Martial; Wayne Rooney.
Goals: Xhaka (54′), Welbeck (57′).
Yellow cards: Koscielny (67′),
Jose Mourinho made eight changes from his last starting eleven, and handed a Premier League debut to youngster Tuanzebe. Arsene Wenger, on the other hand, brought a couple of changes to his eleven that started in the north London derby.
Early in the first half, it was the hosts who played better and created opportunities. In the 8th minute, Ramsey drew a save from De Gea. The Spaniard had to make a few more saves within the first half hour only. At this time, Arsenal were all over the place and some great runs from Ramsey and Sanchez made life difficult for the visitors. The only good chance United got came from a misspass from Holding. However, Rooney failed to convert it from a one-on-one situation against Cech and the home custodian parried the effort out for a corner. Eventually, no one could find the breakthrough in the first half and it was 0-0 at the break.
The second half started in a similar fashion, and then, ten minutes into it, the hosts got their lucky break! It was a long-ranger from Xhaka that would have been a routine save for De Gea. But, the shot, unfortunately for the away side, hit the neck of Herrera and flew towards the United goal. De Gea was not in position to save this and Arsenal were leading 1-0. And then, within two minutes, it was Welbeck who doubled the lead with a perfect header from an Oxlade-Chamberlain cross.
The last half an hour was mostly about Arsenal holding on to their lead, and they did it successfully. Even with the introduction of Rashford, Lingard or youngster McTominay; United failed to find a goal and the blockbuster of Arsenal vs Manchester United finished in a welcome victory for the home team.
Arsenal and Manchester United Highlights:
Arsenal and Manchester United Match Statistics:
|Shots (on target)||9 (4)||10 (4)|
|Passes played (accuracy)||455 (87%)||451 (85%)|
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