Arsenal silence Manchester United, now Premier League title favourites

Mikel Arteta, Arsenal (Photo by James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images)
Mikel Arteta, Arsenal (Photo by James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images) /

Arsenal definitely become heavy favourites for Premier League title after comeback against Manchester United at Emirates Stadium

Arsenal and Manchester United played the most important match of the Premier League 2022/23 so far at the Emirates Stadium, with the duel between the two big favourites for the title.

With no surprise, manager Mikel Arteta fielded the same team that dominated Tottenham last weekend.  Nketiah, Saka and Martinelli lead the line, with Parey, Odegaard and Xhaka anchoring the midfield. Finally, Gabriel and Zinchenko operated in the four-man backline in front of Ramsdale.

At the other end, manager Erik ten Hag was forced to leave Casemiro out, a big loss through suspension. The Brazilian was replaced by McTominay, who partners Eriksen. Finally, Weghorst retains his spot in the final third.

Excellent first-half performance between Arsenal and Man United

Fulfilling pre-match expectations, Arsenal controlled more of the possession and occupied more of the Red Devils’ attacking territory with several goal-scoring opportunities including attempts concentrated on Gabriel Martinelli.

However, it was Manchester United who opened the scoring with a brilliant shot from distance by Rashford to find the bottom-left corner following a tackle on Partey in midfield.

It should be noted that Manchester United have avoided defeat in their last 26 matches when scoring the opening goal in the Premier League dating back to October 2021 against Leicester City.

However, Arsenal were able to respond quickly by keeping busy in the attacking half and equalised after their first shot on target in five shots. Xhaka received with space on the left flank and crossed in the middle where Nketiah dribbled past the marking.

Manchester United tried to respond by applying more pressure on the Gunners’ forwards and building moves through Antony and Bruno Fernandes, but lacked the flair in the final third of the attack.

Nevertheless, the first-half performance certainly left both managers satisfied with their teams as both Arsenal and Manchester United delivered well.

Arsenal made strong start to second half, but Red Devils stayed alive

After a great technical and tactical display in the first half, Arsenal managed to raise the bar further in the second half with more intensity and pressure on Manchester United.

With just eight minutes gone, the Gunners were able to turn the match around as Saka cut inside with menace from the right flank, beating goalkeeper De Gea into the left corner with absurd accuracy.

Just when the moment looked like Arsenal’s total domination, Manchester United once again reacted and Martinez with a dive towards the ball to take advantage of Ramsdale’s miss, who stoops and guides his header from six yards over Saliba on the line.

Late drama with De Gea saves and a spectacular comeback

The Arsenal striker’s first-half header from the edge of the box gave the home side a slender advantage as the Arsenal goalkeeper made a vital save to keep the score level.

Manchester United, on the other hand, relied completely on defensive composition to rely on the speed of Rashford, who had a golden chance and space only once, when Ramsdale cleared the danger.

In the 84th minute, goalkeeper David De Gea pulled off a spectacular save to deny Nketiah as he blasts a left-footed strike towards the bottom-right corner.

However, Arsenal’s championship aura came to the fore in the 90th minute. Zinchenko bursts down the left flank and sends a cutback to Odegaard. The Arsenal skipper missed the target, but Nketiah was alert at the back post and secured the Gunners’ spectacular victory.

Even with an 11-point deficit, Manchester United will remain a title contender should they maintain their form and especially their recent great performances. However, it is undeniable that Arsenal have definitely become the big favourites for the title.