Going into the Manchester United clash, Mikel Arteta had a lot of questions he needed to answer, and that’s just what he did.
Though it was only Premier League matchday 4, he and his boys had to show if they were firmly in the title race. Losing to Manchester United would have seen them extend the gap between them and Manchester City, who lead the league after winning 4 in 4, to 5 points.
Beating Manchester United 3-1 was a clear indication Arsenal can turn up on huge occasions and are keen to fight for the league title. A draw versus Fulham was a setback, but the weekend win saw Arsenal brush that off and get back on their feet.
There was a worry about how convincing Arsenal’s win had been. Before the Man United win, they had only won by a single goal in their two wins (against Nottingham Forest and Crystal Palace) this season. Looking at the scoreboard and seeing Arsenal pick up 3-1, isn’t that a convincing win? It is.
The scoreboard aside, Arsenal were the better team. United didn’t know a way of breaking Arsenal down for long periods, they kept playing in their half and trying long balls that didn’t count for anything. They wanted to play counter-attacking football but failed.
The Thomas Partey factor was also to be answered. Previously, Thomas Partey missing from Arsenal’s lineup for a game would spell trouble for Arsenal. However, against Manchester United, no Party, no problem. Arsenal still flourished without their midfield enforcer, thanks to Declan Rice proving his worth.
The £105 million summer acquisition is slowly making the Arsenal No. 6 position his own. Game after game, he is improving; his goal crowned his bright start to life as a Gunner.
Even though there were many questions being asked, the Gunners answered them in their win against United.
But Arteta didn’t answer the Kai Havertz questions: How does he get the best out of him? and when will he give up on starting him with better options on the bench?
The German has failed to sparkle as a Gunner, and Fabio Vieira, his sub, once again was impactful after being introduced; the Portuguese midfielder assisted Gabriel Jesus’ goal, and he left the Gooners asking why didn’t Mikel Arteta just start him instead of Havertz.
But a win is a win is a win.
Onwards and Upwards!
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