Arsenal retake fourth spot with impressive win over Manchester United

Arsenal have stolen a march on their rivals in the race to finish fourth by beating Manchester United by the 3-1 scoreline this afternoon.

We went into the match on the back of an impressive 4-2 victory over Chelsea in midweek, and we didn’t disappoint on our return to the Emirates either.

Before we could barely get comfortable in our seats, we had put ourselves ahead.

Some neat work in the build-up allowed us to get ourselves deep upfield, and Bukayo Saka took on the shot from just inside the box, and while the goalkeeper managed to parry the effort away from goal, it fell to Nuno Tavares to direct it in off the rebound under three minutes from kick-off.

We continued to be the better side in the early exchanges before the game became much more even as both sides appeared to cancel each other out.

Eddie Nketiah was denied a third goal in a matter of days when he was deemed to have been offside by VAR, but the same incident also checked for a penalty kick for a foul on Bukayo Saka which was awarded, and our 20 year-old star stepped up as he did against the Blues to double our lead.

That comfort was short-lived however when a cross from the left saw Cristiano Ronaldo sneak in front of the defender to guide the ball into the net.

We went into the break with the lead, but Man United really took the game to us in the second half.

Aaron Ramsdale denied efforts from both Cristiano Ronaldo and Bruno Fernandes in impressive fashion, but things looked likely to be turning on us when Tavares gifted away the penalty as he headed the ball into his outstretched arm. Fernandes’s trademark run up may well have gone against him however as he steered his tame effort off the outside of the post after sending Aaron the wrong way.

The result was assured when Granit Xhaka landed a trademark strike from outside the box however with 20 minutes left on the clock to make it 3-1, and we never looked like giving up our lead from that point onwards, while United’s frustrations showed as they picked up some late cautions.

A top-four finish now looks back within our sights after a tough run of fixtures, with key matches with West Ham and later Tottenham the biggest challenges ahead in our bid to claim a return to the Champions League.

Patrick

Tags Arsenal v Man United Man United

145 Comments

      1. This what I call progression. Putting systems in place to outsmart “world class” Managers and top teams. No more fear, no more lying down awaiting to run over, this is the new Arsenal by our Mikel. The Pheonix has risen from the ashes? Where are the prophets of doom gone? Of has the Matador tamed them?

        1. No, Loose Cannon, it takes time to get home from a match, after having a drink and a bite to eat.

          Great result, the second in a row and those two players you have maligned for soooo long, vying for MOTM.

          For me, Elneny just edged it, but the second game in a row that these two players are proving their critics wrong.

          LC, the “prophets of doom” as you call me, are loving the results just as much as you, but the key word is not regression or progression, it’s consistency.

          That’s where the frustration of losing three games to mid table teams, are then followed by wins against two top six clubs. are so unexplainable…. so don’t get blowing your trumpet just yet.

            1. Cheers pal, Mikel must be working overtime to change those players and it’s working. Mikel is a, work horse and i give him full credit for the improved Elneny and Xhaka. But, if we are to be title contenders, then we need upgrades, till then let’s enjoy Mikel’s magic and may his wand be over our players for the next 5 games and no more blips.

      2. Excellent point; however when did Arsenal last lose to Crystal Palace, Brighton & Hove Albion and Southampton in a row?
        Hopefully the upward positive trend continues until the end of the season and those three straight loses aren’t terminal.

    1. I thinkche deserves more chances…he’s a different player since coming back from the Afcon

    2. We wouldn’t have lost those 3games with Elneny, Lokonga isn’t on his level yet and I personally think he deserves a renewal, he is a good squad player, never complain on not getting enough playing time.
      I’ll keep Nketia too, he seems to be more mature this season

      1. I feel Elneny is great I games where we have to soak up pressure from time to time, but in games where we are having most of the possession, and have to pile pressure on the opposition, that lack of ball progression on his part gets evident. But he definitely is good at keeping it simple, and I also feel he should be retained along with Nketiah as squad players.

        1. The biggest mistake and was the catylist for 3 defeats was not just putting Elnenny in next to xhaka, when Partey got injured. Playing Xhaka at left back and putting in an inexperienced midfield was a school boy error. If it doesn’t cost us top 4 we can move on. If not big big questions need answering.

            1. Elneny has provided good balance in midfield in the last two games. However, there is a reason he does not play more regularly. His progressive play has generally not been good enough. This makes it very difficult to build effective attacks against teams who are happy to sit in and defend.

    3. 👍👍 argreed totally. I like Eleny. Hope that he will be able to appear in more matches, especially when we get top 4 at the end of this season and rejoin Champions League.

  1. A good home win against an awful big team, but our GK and defenders have got to be more composed next time

    1. Our back 5 seems to have lost their composure since Partey injury. It’s a huge worry, hope Tomi brings back the old form and help them settle

        1. Yes Gai, Elneny a good balance for GXhake. We hope Saka not badly injured as we don’t have much options on the bench Pepe could be match rusty now. We need all players fit for Westham game. If we manage to win that game their is big hope of a top4 for us.

            1. Yes GAI.
              Spurs will also play Liverpool.
              We must beat Spurs, Newcastle and Westham. 3 tough games

          1. Congratulations Arteta, Well done boys. We thank God players like Elnely are playing and we are seeing the difference. One more thing: our coach should know when to make replacement no matter the time. Taveres nearly make my blood pressure go up. I was expecting arteta to remove Taveres and revert to 3 5 2 1.
            We thank God man u lost that penalty. All the same, it was a good outing.

            1. HENSON, I was screaming at MA to remove TAVARES from LB.
              He is clearly talented but is no more a defender than I am. He needs to either play in aquick ball progressing position, OR not at all.

              Wing back with a back three I could accept but never at FB.
              As a defender he is as useless as BELLERIN was. It is just not his game but he sure can attack.

    2. Gai, I don’t know wether to call it tired legs non of our defenders today were in top form. Tomiyasu back at the right time could be a big help to our backline. Tavares can’t defend. Not sure Lacazette can be in first 11 again Nkethia has so much energy and pace for goal threat.

      1. Tavares is sloppy, which is similar to Lokonga. Those young players need to gain more experience in EPL, before becoming starters for Arsenal

        Nketiah’s pace in high press is invaluable. Odegaard and him force our oppositions to pass long from the back

  2. Winning big matches. How I wish we took at least 4 points from that 3 matches losing streak. It would have been Top 4 in the bag 😚

  3. Great result and weird weird game. I think it all hinged on the penalty miss from utd, i think it turned the tide and the strike from Xhaka was a god send. Both teams looked so so wide open and incapable of stopping the other but great 3 points. It has to be said the MOM by a mile was Elnenny, super performance and calm in possession. Hope Saka isnt a bad injury?

    1. You hit the nail on the head. We we so in control and then the back and sideways passing started. Ramsdale looked less than accomplished at times and playing out from the back was dicey at times. Tavares had a difficult spell too. As did Cedric.
      So so right about the penalty
      It was down our end and it was feeble really AND when ManU were looking so much better
      Xhaka’s goal killed ManU but what a bullet it was
      Elneny and Odegaard were my two picks today

      1. I thought Saka was the driving force Sue and Elnenny was the calming force but 3 great points.

    1. @Kedar
      I think Nuno’s problem is, he’s not match fit and he tries too hard. He is very RAW…IJS

      1. His biggest problem is his confidence, the kid has the raw ability, he needs coaching but he suffers more when all around him are showing nervousness as well. We should be playing three at the back and Tavares at wing back would be better suited. When we went three at back with holding Tavares looked better straight away. People slagging Cedric but he did no worse than Gabriel or White, talk about cherry picking to get a scape goat.

          1. his problem is that he is low quality player. terible technique and first tuch, terible desicion making, trible crosses, trible passes, tribble 1v1, terible positioning. he is just a poor player to compensates for it all by his athleticism. low confidence does not help but low quality is low quality no matter the confidence level.

        1. Can I just say that during the match Arteta appeared to be helping both him and Ramsdale
          When I watch on the box those things aren’t always visible

    2. He is a time bomb (self destruct).
      He scored a good goal, and then became empty headed again. If he’s not sending the ball to the outer space, he’s losing the ball unnecessarily at a dangerous time and place

  4. Tavares owes Xhaka big time for taking so much pressure off of him. Arteta will need to find another solution because its a huge concern to have him start the rest of the season. Great performance tho, lots of players stepping up. Elneny and Xhaka again were very good, Odegaard is just mr. consistent. Onward, every game will need to be won at this point!

    1. Thought xhaka was awful first half but far better second and great strike to boot. Elnenny MOM by a mile for Arsenal.

  5. Elneny once again proved to d gaffer that he is a good deputy for partey.

    Well done guys coyg

  6. Wooooooooow. That is a really good game. Man Utd were awful and the God of football were behind Arsenal. This team just…

  7. Top4 back on.
    We can do it, spur still got Liverpool , Leicester and us.
    Oh, what an error to lose those 3 matches, I thought that was game over but now , it seems we still got chance

    1. They will loose against Liverpool…
      I am not hopeful over Leicester because Leicester is in pretty bad form…
      But if spurs loose against us and Liverpool then we can make top 4

      1. They are playing today away to Brentford who haven’t lost since Eriksen has started for them. Lets hope Brentford gives them hell!

      2. That’s if we are able to win at least three of the last five games, and that should include the spurs game

      1. stil three more points than we have. if arteta put elneny in the linup for even one of those games i think the table would look different. he tried to make lokonga happen and it did a lot of damage to us.

  8. It was noticeable how well Elneny dovetailed with both Xhaka and Odegaard, with his through balls to Ode being a particular highlight. The midfield and attack are currently not our weakness. It’s having two really poor fullbacks and a disintegrating keeper who is clearly sucking the confidence out of our centre backs that are our problems. Credit to the other 8 players though that prevented a train wreck in this match.

    1. Elneny was so tidy, as usual. He does nothing fancy and always plays safe, but our tactics need central midfielders like him

      Lokonga still needs to gain more experience and is kinda sloppy sometimes

    2. not sure what ramsdale did wrong today besides one bad pass. he’s essnetial to us playing out the back, which we create tons of opportunities through. and he had some good saves today, nothing he couldve done about ronaldo.

  9. Nervy really nervy match,and needed win.
    Kudos to the manager and all the players for this very crucial win.
    Elneny the ever humble player goes about doing his business professionally.
    Odegaard knitting and patching the game as usual.
    Xhaka top class play, but usually collecting those stupid and unnecessary cards (about the only reason he is hated so much by a bunch of the fans).
    COYG we move up! One game at a time.
    If only we didn’t lose those previous 3 matches…

    1. Odegaard was “knitting and patching” then eh? Blimey, my missus does boith of those. Do you reckon she could also play midfield then!lol

      Odegaard was immense, to be serious, and is proving to be a natural captain. I much believe he will be made club captain for next season and hope so too.

      1. 😆
        It’s a rare gift to be both ambidextrous and ambipedalous.

        If you’re sure your missus can do that, then please lend us when/if Odegaard gets injured.

      2. 👍👍Odegaard proving the doubters wrong with consistent performances.
        Elneny has always been underrated by some supporters and during his career at Arsenal has been worth every penny of his transfer fee and wages.

  10. Mo once again impressed. Fbs were a worry and color me surprised but is it the same Tavares who scored from a much tighter angle with a screamer earlier in the season? Badly needs shooting practice as well as general defensive practice but I think he will be alright if he has bit more game time. The attacking players were all good except ESR who I believe was a little quiet but will also get there. A proper turnaround seems to be on the cards after the three horror games. Interesting end to the season with five games left… COYG!
    P.s.- did anyone notice the cheeky wink by the ref when MA came to shake hands? That meeting with the PGMOL, hmmm? 😂😂😂

    1. Was ESR in that match?
      Wow! He was completely swallowed, the same as Martinelli after him (though the later didn’t have time to announce his presence).

  11. Elneny for the rest of the season.
    Great game for everyone Ødegaard solid MOTM performance again.
    My God! Cedric and Tavares are woeful defenders. The few minutes Tomiyasu was on, you could see the difference and confidence with which he operated.
    Oh and not to forget Xhaka’s massive second half performance.
    Let’s try to win the rest of our games.
    Can’t back down from here

    1. Btw, Tomiyasu is quite handy with his left foot too. Maybe he could deputize on the left side..?

      1. Yes he’s more balanced with his left foot, but no. Keep him as the RB and hopefully Tavares grows some sense and sees that he has to stop giving Arteta reasons to treat him the way he was treating him

  12. Elneny MOTM for me again ,saka and Xhaka also played well .
    Good win and solid 3 points .
    But that defending ,absolutely laughable at times .
    Onwards and onwards

    1. Yup dire at the back Dan K. I’m not sure whether the poor fullbacks are unnerving the defence, whether Ramsdale’s obvious loss of confidence/distribution/control of his area is a cause or result, or whether White & Gabriel are responsible or just more isolated now. Playing Holding is the only way we seem even reasonably secure at the back.
      Elneny (MOM here too) was even better today than v Chelsea. Some beautiful through balls to Odegaard. For me not even Partey could have played a more important role than Mo.

      1. Sky sports called the defending pathetic at times from both teams (abit harsh 😂)but not far off.

        1. DAN, I thought both defences looked like conceding whenever the opponents attacked . “PATHETIC” was a bit strong but it made for a thrilling game.

          Apart from De Gea and Ronaldo, I would not want a single player from todays United in our team.
          Btw, I hope we can be more civil from now on I will tone down my comments if you will do same. Deal?

  13. Really good in attack, but very poor defending at times. Gave the ball away so many times. I think we got a bit lucky today, although Bruno somehow didn’t get sent off.

    Overall, great character to come back from those 3 surprise defeats, then beating Chel and Utd, and scoring 7 goals to boot!

  14. Super win and would love to see Xhaka as MOTM for that strike.

    Still that flat 15 minute period in second half is becoming all too common. ManU were all over us and we were lucky not to concede. I guess that will happen with a young team but hopefully they grow out of it as its putting more grey hairs on my head

    Cmon Brentford!.

    1. We beat the current European champion and one of the biggest EPL teams with our U-23 players

      1. But Cedric is like 29 ramsdale white and Gabriel 24, Xhaka 29, Elneny 29 😳 the average age of the squad today was 24.9

        1. Kev, this kids analogy is getting tyresome. Yes we have a lot of young players but thst is by design and they are NOT wet behind the ears.

          1. I agree Reggie 23 or 24 is hardly kids they are fully grown adults and many are full internationals and as you say the club decided to go down this road with younger players.

      2. And that’s wonderful and I’m as happy as everyone else. But it doesn’t mean that we aren’t a work in progress and cutting out those 15 minute periods of the game where we look like headless chickens must be one of the things that keeps Arteta up at night.

        1. Reply to GAI not you Kev and you make a good point about a number of senior players in the line up today. So maybe I’m over simplifying with “they’ll grow out of it”

          1. Had laca and Partey been playing today we would have had a lot of experience out there Voyageur 😳

  15. A pleasure if at times nervous watch … those who say odegaard doesn’t show up
    In big matches need to reassess .. the guy is quality .. mom for me by a country mile and when he and saka click it’s a joy to watch .. need the same on left side now

  16. Glad for Xhaka boom for getting on the score sheet. I remember he scored a goal similar to today’s against Man U during the 2017/18, if I’m right. Similar to this, he struck the ball with the outside of his boot through the laces, which swerved the ball away from the goalie leaving De Gea wrong-footed and caught in two minds.

    If only he shoots more, he would have a decent goal record. I am happy we are linked with Gapko. That boy has terrific and fearsome shooting ability. We need players like that for some games where the opposition sits deep. Martinelli still needs to work on this aspect of his game – shooting with power from long-range.

    Elneny is arguably our most in-form midfielder based on the last 2 games. Glad the gaffer quickly fixed the issues we were having to arrest the slide by bringing him back into the fold. I never had a doubt about his effeciency, work rate and teamwork, given he is a squad player. He is clearly a quality squad player who should be given a new contract if his wages and playing time demand is reasonable.

    Regarding Xhaka, given how he divides opinion among certain fans on this site, I won’t want to talk about his future. However, mark my words that if a new midfielder comes in, he might need some couple of games to displace him from the starting line up if not an entire season. That is how much important he is to the way we play. One factor that underpins his utility is his injury record. He is rarely injured which is commendable for many midfielder, further pointing to the fact that he looks after himself and is a consummate professional. We currently have Partey out, but no one is talking about how Xhaka is always available to be called upon and is willing to sacrifice for the team playing as a LB.

  17. What’s happened to Ramsdale?
    He has been a bag of nerves for a month or so now.

    Even our defenders are so nervous. The goal keep and our aback Four are all rubbing their nerves on each other, hence the current comical defending we are being treated to.

    Need to sort out our nerves.

      1. The advantage of Rams over Lens is that Rams uses his feet better, and inspires better confidence to his teammates.

        1. I’m afraid that next season its going to get worse as he will have even less competition.. I’m definitely not impressed by Turner from what I’ve seen him

  18. 8 Starting players were magnificent. Ramsdale, Cedric and esp TAVARES were anything but. . Odd how VERY much we miss both our best full backs and PARTEY too.
    Even though I thought Elneny had his best game in our shirt and he was everywhere, we still badly missed the extra flair of PARTEY.
    Any Gooner who still fails to see or refuses to recognise the huge progress made this season has a weird personal agenda against our fine manager, for reasons only they personally can possibly understand.

    YES WE RODE OUR LUCK, ESP IN THAT THIRD QUARTER OF THE GAME BUT THE EVIDENT PROGRESS IS SO BLATENTLY OBVIOUS NOW.
    At least to those who WISH to see it, rather than wishing NOT to see it.

    1. “Even though I thought Elneny” I can mention like 5 matches that elneny played so well than today

      1. So that is YOUR opinion then. What I wrote is MINE!

        OK with fans having different opinions then?

        1. What like having a different of opinion about the manager .
          Practice what you preach and all that

    2. Agree, but Partey does give the ball away more than Elneny.
      Elneny, so professional . Tidy , reliable, hardworking , dependable. Seems a real team man. A good player to have around the squad as a role model for the younger players.
      Admirable character.

  19. I’m really happy that elneny is getting the recognition he deserves. Odegard has to be a steal at 35 million

  20. We beat machester utd those purporting Manchester was awful ,we made them look awful.You are saddist.Man utd looked good on paper infact I was worried looking at their line-up.Fans know little about game management.Thank you Arteta and the boys for the historic win.

    1. I actually don’t think Man Utd played that bad or maybe we made them look it by constantly giving the ball away.

      Still think we need pace and power in MF

      1. No body imagined that Arsenal will win against both Chelsea and Manu but they did. However they also 3 games in row which they were expected to win at least 2. So difficult predict what will happen in the remaining games.If they can beat spurs then 4th place will be back in their hand to lose.I would be happy even with the 5th place as clearly team is improving but i feel they deserve 4th

      2. United’s defending is pathetic. They did have a good 15ish minute spell where we were really on edge. Our fullbacks are obvious weaknesses and put a huge amount of pressure on us. Nice to have Tomi back for the final push for sure. It mostly felt like Ronaldo vs Arsenal tho…

  21. I never thought I’d say this but the man we must use for these late season games is Mo Elneny. In tight games he stays solidly in the midfield and is strong and tight. Let’s dream that Brentford do the same to the Spuds as they did to us. Utd was a big hurdle but we passed the test.

  22. It was a good win. The team is moving the ball quicker in the last two matches against Chelsea and now Man U than before. The team takes ten or less passes these last two games to move the ball upfield which is a huge plus if you want to dominate your opponent. The left channel is been used less so the opponent also have something different to think about with Ode and Saka inter changing regularly with Cedric also. We play the game simple and fast and that is great for the team and put the opposition in stress in setting up proper to defend. Play like this continually and the Arteta naysayer, myself included will get behind the manager.COYG

  23. Elneny was superb, so so neat. So criminally underrated. A motm performance.

    Xhaka was superb, his pacey passes across the fields switching the side of attack were a joy to watch, and that screamer. He should be attacking goal more often than he does now.

    Odegaard was absolute class. He was toying with united’s midfield and defense. Pure joy.

    Saka as usual, huge threat going forward. Our go to channel of attack, and with Tomi back, I can only expect more threat from Saka and Ode.

    And lastly, so glad Tomi is back. his few touches on the ball on that small time frame showed what we have missed. I screamed so hard to see him on the touchline, I have some angry neighbors now.

    All in all a great win.

    1. You naughty boy!

      You night at least buy your non Gooner neighbours – cos IF they were Gooners they would be shouting too – some ear muffs! lol.

      You should hear the obscenities I shout at the TV in every game we ever play! Or rather , you shouldn’t!

  24. A week to recover while West ham our next opponents have 2 to play including the biggest match in their history.

    Give Saka some much needed rest this week, he didn’t look right today from the off. Hopefully he will be alright for Sunday week.

    If only we hadn’t lost those 9 points recently 😡😡😡

  25. Three big points. I can smell Champions league football. It’s been a long time coming. As someone reminded me, West ham will be stretched, so there are points there for the taking.

  26. Thanks Xhaka for that performance and goal. Him and Elneny stabilized things for us. They were our outlets and leaders.
    I remember Xhaka also scored one screamer against Manure in a 2-0 win(can remember the season).
    Elneny, I like. Would love him to stay and help in situations like this and for rotation purposes.
    We need one more powerful central midfielder against next season to help solidify our centre. Saliba to return to help in defence.

    If Spuds manage to drop points at any time, we will come fourth. Our luck shows that and our form bleep has come and gone.

    1. A CM that has eye for goal, either with long range shots or occasional pop-ups in the box would be perfect

  27. Great last two results just shows how badly wrong arteta got the previous 3 but well done getting us back on track. Let’s take it one game at a time and not get to ahead of ourselves. Hopefully spurs drop points today and I actually hope Man Utd beat Chelsea in there next game

  28. Yes, fantastic result but, against a good team in good form and we would have been mauled! Our defense looked shakey today. I know confidence is low but MA doesn’t help when he makes very strange team selections and setups. We need stabiltily but this team is now too thin to provide any strength in depth. Hopefully the summer will se some “quality” arrive?!

    1. Which good team again, u mean chelsea man u arent a good team with all their world class players. Common just give credit its due…

    2. Not many teams better than Chelsea, and we have the youngest squad in the league. We are fighting top four, it’s time to give them credit man 👏👏👏

  29. Great game today, loved the energy in the stadium. Most were good but Cedric and tavaras completely shit their pants.

    G.jesus having a ridiculous game today 4 goal 1 assist. way to ace your interview lol

  30. Which good team again, u mean chelsea man u arent a good team with all their world class players. Common just give credit its due

  31. Conte has put a killer lineup. Brentford has no speed to cope with Son. 4-1 and Spuds increase their Goal Differential. Crap! Will have to beat Spurs!!

  32. Wow
    The atmosphere was fantastic today and so many stayed behind to acknowledge the win and the players acknowledged us too.
    Elneny was absolutely everywhere and is my motm. What an engine.
    Both Tavares and Cedric were iffy and I’m sorry to say that Ramsdale’s confidence has deserted him. Get it back soon!
    There were spells when Utd could have got back into the game. The penalty was woefully bad and the woodwork got hit
    Once Xhaka scored the life was sucked out of them

    I’m so pleased to have seen Ronaldo play – at last – but still end up on the losing side

  33. We need a new manager, winning against Chelsea and ManUnited without key players 🤔 Must be something wrong with the EPL 🫣😂🔴⚪️

  34. Proud of the boys today. But I do want Leno back in goal. Ramsdale is so shaky.
    Despite a good start at Arsenal I think time has shown, the weaknesses of Ramsdale. Too much “Jumbing Jack” performances by Ramsdale IMO. Leno is more calm and is generaly a very, very good goal keeper.
    Elneny was outstanding today. Top performances by Ødegaard, Saka and Xhaka as well.
    Top 4 is now realistic, but it will be difficult though.

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