Tuesday, July 16

Arteta’s Arsenal trump at Old Trafford

In a battle of Premier League’s bitter rivalries, Arsenal beat rivals Manchester United 1-0 at Old Trafford with Pierre- Emerick Aubameyang scoring the only goal of the contest.

After 29 unsuccessful attempts in the English top-flight, Arsenal’s Gabonese striker Aubameyang’s penalty secured the Gunners first away victory over ‘big six’ opposition. The match also marked Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s 100th game in charge.

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta opted for a back 4 for the second time this season as Rob Holding was back from injury. Arsenal started brightly against Man Utd side who were flying high after their 5-0 thrashing of RB Leipzig. Aubameyang nearly brought Gunners ahead as he was within a whisker of getting contact on Bellerin’s low cross, but he couldn’t capitalize it. Suddenly, Man Utd produced a chance out of nothing, Rashford was fed by Aaron Wan-Bissaka and his curving pass defeated the defense of Arsenal. The Greenwood shot saw Bernd Leno make a first save, the keeper using his legs.

Arsenal nearly took the lead after 39 minutes when Willian’s curling shot hit the post. There was also another perfect opportunity for an unmarked Bukayo Saka to bring the visitors ahead on the half-time stroke, but his header went over the bar. Arsenal’s both CBs were on a yellow within 30 mins of the game but they finished better in the first half, and Man Utd were lucky not to concede.

Six minutes into the second half, Arsenal trapped United in the possession and Aubameyang curved a shot past the post. Minutes later, a free-kick to the far post was floating by Luke Shaw and Maguire’s header threatened to go in or find the lurking Greenwood, but the scoreline didn’t change.

Meanwhile, Arsenal’s new summer signing Thomas Partey had a match to remember. His long-range shot was saved by David De Gea before the moment arrived when Pogba clipped Bellerin’s ankle and Arsenal were awarded a penalty. Aubameyang calmly found the right corner and provided lead for the visitors.

Manchester United pushed higher up in the last 20 minutes of the game. With 15 minutes remaining, Solskjaer introduced summer signing Van De Beek and Edinson Cavani. Arteta on the other hand sent in 2 defensive options bringing out Willian and Aubameyang for Mustafi and Maitland Niles. In the final moments, Cavani fouled Gabriel and the game ended with an important away win for the gunners.

In the post-match conference, Solskjaer complained about his team being sloppy and without intensity and tempo while Gunner’s boss said he was glad to see his star striker and captain end his goal drought. The result left Man United three defeats and one draw from their first four home Premier League games.

United now sit 15th 7 points from 6 games while Arsenal moved up to 9th having 12 points from 7 games. Arsenal have already played Man City, Liverpool, and Man United in their 7 games and are defensively the best side in the league having conceded only 7 goals. Manchester United will now go to the blue half of Merseyside while Arsenal host Aston Villa in Gameweek 8 of the Premier League.

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