Arsenal proved they are still title challengers after beating Man United

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!

Darren N

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13 Comments

  1. With the exception of Saka and Havertz the rest of the team played well yesterday. The game could have been over had Saka and Hervertz buried their chances. They played at a bit slower pace compared to last season but way better than the 1st three games. Also you can see the pace and the fluidity of the team when Kai is not on the pitch. He is a squire peg that doesn’t fit the system and at the moment I don’t know what he brings to the team. Also Arteta need to sub Saka especially on days like this when he is completely off.

    1. I don’t care whether United is ailing or about to die, beating and humiliating them is the best feeling on Earth

  2. Perspective.
    Man Utd were outplayed by Wolves in their own patch and well beaten by Tottenham and lucky to win their last game.

    Title challengers is something we can only be called if we are in touch with Man City and Liverpool in March. Until then it is premature talk.

    1. So how do you sustain a title challenge if you don’t win games? How do you accumulate the points till March, April to be considered title challenges if you loose games at home?

    2. The amount of investment makes us title changers. Not falling away in March, April or May is the acid test. Artetas abilty to get points is pretty dam good. But i have always questioned the way we play. Very rado we win games with total control. Very rarely do we go through a game without looking wide open at various points. Yesterday’s result flattered us against a very poor utd. BUT we won. While we win, we can be happy. BUT while we win unconvincingly, it can go two ways. The squeaky bum time at the end of the season finds that out. We have struggled in cup comps and that is a concern. We haven’t proved we are title contenders yet but we should be. I just think at the moment Arteta looks like a poor mans Wenger or Pep. A lot of things have to happen for that to change. We have to beat City for one and there are many other things to prove.

    3. I’ve never been convinced by utd under ten hag – they’ve not changed much at all been ferguson left: fairly average in general but often devastatingly good on the counter attack. They don’t usually play well, but more often than not get at least a point because they’ve got some potency up front.

  3. Overall a good game, nervy, bit of drama and in the end a comfortable win. Harvetz has lots to learn in his new role, good first touch and movement and that’s just about it!. Look at how the game changed with viera’s introduction, dribbling and 1,2 touches- just a beauty to watch. Saka looked tired in my view . Forget the experiments, Saliba and Gabo are is our best center back pairing.

  4. Fantastic performance by Odegaard, leading from the front as usual. Great work by Rice for the goal, big players perform in big moments and superb solo goal by Jesus. Big shout out to our ever reliable defender Gabriel, he was responsible for the United goal given offside, great intelligence. The defensive pairing of Saliba and Gabriel should be our first choice defence with White and Zinchenko as full backs. I just dont understand why Arteta is persisting with Havertz with better players on the bench.

  5. Trossard should be starting on the 8, he is direct, with much more effort and endeavor, he is faster, very skillfull, uses both feet well, can thread through passes both short and long, can cross, can shoot with both feet and can press and defend being that he played left back severally at BHA. He would even improve Martinelli and Zinchencko operating thesame way Odegaard does with Saka and White. If only Arteta would try him there, it would immensely improve our general play, improved fluidity and chances creation wise.

    Viera or Smithrowe seeing they are a little lacking strength wise can always substitute Trossard or Odegaard late on when the opposition is weaker.

    Harverts should only be subbed in as an additional striker, when a team is parking the bus late on and we need a a target man or an extra height in the box.

    Martinelli Nketiah/Jesus Saka
    Trossard/Rowe Rice Odegaard/Vieira
    Zinchenko/Kiwior Gabriel Saliba White/Tomiyasu

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