Arsenal defeated Manchester United 3-1 at the Emirates on a Sunday afternoon.
An in-form Arsenal faced a Manchester United team that was arguably still finding its feet this season. A 95th-minute strike from Arsenal’s new signing, Declan Rice, separated the teams against a United defense that consisted of Harry Maguire and Johnny Evans. Gabriel Jesus then compounded United’s woes, making it 3-1. The score did not accurately depict the game, but that’s football in a nutshell.
Given the stature of these two clubs, the environment was bound to be energetic. The Gunners brought their artillery against the Devils, and the result was a game to savor for the rest of the season.
Both teams started strong defensively and had few chances to attack. As expected, Arsenal relied on possession play, while United countered, which was no surprise.
United’s new signing, Onana, had the most touches in United’s box, and his calmness under Arsenal’s pressure was impeccable.
A 27th-minute mistake from Kai Havertz set the transition in motion for United. Eriksen delivered a perfectly weighted pass to Rashford, who netted his first goal of the campaign.
Ten Hag’s goal to make United the best transition team in the world seemed to be taking shape.
However, it’s often said that a team is most vulnerable after scoring, and Arsenal proved the point by equalising through Martin Odegaard within 110 seconds.
Ten Hag was unhappy with his players’ attitude, and rightfully so. Arsenal demonstrated why they were the country’s best team for most of last season.
As the game progressed, midfield battles were evenly contested, and Arsenal’s wide men posed a constant threat.
VAR came into play when Havertz fell in the box. The referee initially awarded the penalty, but VAR overturned the decision. Signs of vulnerability in United’s defense were becoming apparent, exacerbated by Lisandro Martinez’s injury. Harry Maguire, whom no one expected to last beyond the season, found himself patrolling United’s defensive line against this Arsenal side.
Making his debut for United off the bench, Rasmus Hojlund put on a remarkably sharp and solid performance, altering the game’s dynamics after his entry. His performance left everyone thoroughly impressed.
United took the lead through Argentine wonderkid Alejandro Garnacho, only for VAR to rule it out for offside. It seemed as if United was at odds with VAR as well that night.
As Arsenal’s wave of attacks continued, a winner seemed inevitable against United’s defense featuring Harry Maguire and Johnny Evans. Arsenal’s new signing, Declan Rice, broke the deadlock in the 95th minute. Up until that point, the game could have gone either way. Gabriel Jesus then sealed the deal, making it 3-1.
The Red Devils now face challenges both on and off the field. Ten Hag has a significant task ahead to reverse United’s poor start to the season, which has seen them lose to both London clubs, Arsenal and Spurs.
What comes next is anyone’s guess, but history suggests that United always finds a way to bounce back.