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Manchester United suffer late 3-2 dagger against Arsenal (Premier League)



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Credit: IMAGO / Colorsport

Manchester United fell to the sword in the final moments at the Emirates as Arsenal score a last-minute winner to secure all three points.

Manchester United‘s starting XI was a weaker one than Erik ten Hag would have liked, with Wout Weghorst and Scott McTominay in for Anthony Martial and Casemiro in the usual starting line-up, with the former injured and the latter suspended.

Arsenal started with their much expected team, with Mikel Arteta also introducing their new signing Leandro Trossard, who started the fixture on the bench.

The first three minutes of the fixture said a lot about how the fixture would go. Arsenal put Luke Shaw under immediate pressure within seconds of the fixture kicking off, and had two attempts at goal before United even had a sniff of the ball.

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United had an early penalty shout denied after a piercing ball from Lisandro Martinez had Bruno Fernandes running though, although his collision with Aaron Ramsdale was deemed not a foul.

And as if written by the gods with a script, it was Marcus Rashford who broke the deadlock in the 16th minute. After dispossessing Thomas Partey, he laid the ball to Fernandes who allowed Rashford to gain ground before passing it back – Rashford then skipped past the aforementioned Partey like he was no more than a twig in the sand before rocketing the ball low past Ramsdale from 25 yards out.

United had the lead; but not for long.

Seven minutes later, Arsenal had United under the cosh, and Granit Xhaka’s cross was met at the back post by Eddie Nketiah to level the score.

The two fixtures certainly opened the game up, with both sides increasing in confidence on the ball and attempting to build sustained attacks; although Arsenal were certainly the side more on the front foot, being in familiar territory in North London.

United continued to play well, soaking up Arsenal pressure and looking to gain ground when they could without continually rushing or hurrying attacks. There was much more of a calm manner surrounding the team, which had been missing in previous seasons away to significant opposition.

With half-time upon the Emirates, the fixture really did feel like it was on a knife edge.

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At half-time, Arteta made one change, with Takehiro Tomiyasu replacing Ben White, who had been terrorised by Rashford for most of the first half. Ten Hag kept his side as it was.

Arsenal started the second half well on top, and just before the 10 minute mark it was Bukayo Saka who struck lightning, firing the ball around David de Gea rather brilliantly from 25 or so yards to hand Arsenal the lead… for the short while they had it.

United’s equaliser came in the 58th minute, with Ramsdale spilling an Eriksen corner before Martinez capitalised to score a looping scooped header over the crowd and into the net. Game back on.

Ten Hag’s first change of the game came in the form of Fred, who replaced Antony to slot into United’s pivot in order to help clamp down on Martin Odegaard’s creative abilities and Saka’s brilliant performance.

With 15 minutes of normal time remaining, Arsenal were well and truly on top, pushing for a winner – with United sitting back and just attempting to soke up all the pressure. Arteta decided, with under 10 minutes left on the clock, to introduce Trossard to the Emirates for Martinelli.

David de Gea produced a miracle save to deny Nketiah as Arsenal continued to compound the United box with relentless attacks. Just as United looked like they may hold on, it was Nketiah again who scored a lovely improvised finish to give Arsenal lead and the three points in the final minute of the 90.