I would be lying if I wasn’t a little surprised, but Arsenal have put Manchester United to the sword, cutting them down off of a whopping unbeaten run of 12 league games.
Ole Gunnar Solksjaer has finally endured defeat as Man United boss. Of course PSG was the first team to beat them in 90 minutes since he joined as head coach, but after they overturned that deficit in midweek, this has to be considered as his first actual loss.
Arsenal started the game on the backfoot, with our opponents looking like they should have opened the scoring inside the opening 10 minutes, but thanks to some last ditch saves and defending, we managed to steer ourselves clear of trouble.
In all fairness the opening half was very even and very open, with both sides ploughing forward at every opportunity, but it was only us who managed to managed to bag that all important goal. Some neat work on the right wing by Alexandre Lacazette had the defenders on the retreat, and he manages to find Granit Xhaka in space. The Swiss midfielder strikes the ball so sweetly that the ball looks to be heading to De Gea’s left, before curling to his right, with the shotstopper having already moved onto his wrong foot.
Amazingly that was the only goal, although the game could easily have been 2-2 come the interval, with the post being hit more than once also but we would obviously have to be happy with the midway result.
I thought that both teams would try and tighten things up after the break, with both sides looking much better going forward then at the back, but the managers both seemed to simply ask for more of the same, or at least the football appeared that way.
We both come out fighting, and it must have been as good a watch for the neutrals as it was for us (after being on the winning side), and it was also refreshing that the penalty decision which ended up giving us the daylight to see the game out was a fair decision also.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang brought his Premier League tally up to 20 goals for the campaign with plenty of the season remaining with the neat penalty, which he put confidently down the middle. Lacazette was brought down to an immediate whistle by the referee, and this all but sealed the fate of the visitors.
The best team won in the end, and you have to give credit to the manager as well as the players for a very disciplined and upbeat performance, especially coming back from a disastrous and morale-draining match-up on Thursday in France.
Has Emery finally shown his true colours? Is his team finally getting the new philosophy? And will this derail the Red Devils push for a top four finish?
With the words ‘Tottenham Hotspur, we’re coming for you’ ringing around the stadium, you would have to say that there is plenty to look forward to on that performance.