In a highly entertaining and action-packed match at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday, Arsenal secured a hard-fought 3-2 victory over in-form Manchester United, sending a clear statement of their Premier League title aspirations to the rest of the league.
The match got off to an exciting start, with both teams creating early chances, but it was United who broke the deadlock in the 17th minute in stunning style. Bruno Fernandes found Marcus Rashford with a precise pass, and the United forward skipped past Thomas Partey with ease before powering a low drive into the corner of the net from 25 yards out, leaving Arsenal goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale with no chance.
But the Gunners refused to let their heads drop and were level just seven minutes later. In-form striker Eddie Nketiah lost Aaron Wan-Bissaka at the back post to nod home Granit Xhaka’s cross, bringing the home crowd to their feet.
With the wind now in their sails, Arsenal poured forward in search of another goal, but United went close to re-taking the lead, with Scott McTominay forcing a diving save from Ramsdale. However, the first half ended all square after few clear-cut chances.
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After the break, Arsenal were again the first to threaten, and they took the lead in the 53rd minute. Christian Eriksen stood off England’s Bukayo Saka, who shifted the ball onto his left foot and fired unerringly past David de Gea in the United net from outside the box, a wonderful strike that left the United goalkeeper with no chance.
But a pulsating game took another twist when United drew level just six minutes later. Ramsdale spilled the ball from a United corner and Lisandro Martinez threw himself at it, looping a header into the net, bringing the visitors back into the game.
Arsenal regrouped and Saka hit the post in a near repeat of his goal as De Gea watched nervously. De Gea made a fine save when Nketiah blasted at him from close range as the clock ticked down, with United unable to control the ball for sustained spells.
United were close to holding out for the draw but Arsenal took all three points when Nketiah scored his second of the afternoon as a lengthy VAR check ruled him onside. The final whistle was met with wild celebrations from the home crowd, and the players, as they secured a crucial victory in their quest for the Premier League title.
The result brings Arsenal within two points of defending champions Manchester City, who had earlier closed the gap with their 3-0 win against Wolves. There is growing sense of belief at the Emirates that the Gunners can at last end their long wait for the Premier League title, which they have not won since 2004. New Arsenal arrival Leandro Trossard, who joined late last week from Brighton, had to settle for a place on the bench as Mikel Arteta named an unchanged team.
The victory was a true team effort, with all players putting in a shift and contributing to the win. It was also a satisfying result for Arsenal coach Mikel Arteta, who had to contend with several injuries and absences in his squad, and it will no doubt give his team a boost heading into their next match.