Arsenal: Cech, Maitland-Niles, Sokratis, Koscielny, Kolasinac, Xhaka, Torreira, Iwobi, Ramsey, Aubameyang, Lacazette
Subs: Leno, Mustafi, Monreal, Lichtsteiner, Elneny, Guendouzi, Ozil
Arsenal followed up a great and somewhat surprising win against Chelsea with a not so great and somewhat predictable 3-1 defeat against United as the away team set up to counter attack against an Arsenal side with a worrying streak of back luck when it comes to defensive injuries.
Emery made two changes from the two nil victory over Chelsea with Iwobi and Cech replacing Guendouzi as they kept their 4-4-2 shape that worked so well in their last game.
The home side started the brighter in the opening 10 minutes, with Ramsey buzzing around in midfield and a low cross almost being controlled by Lacazette in their six yard box, and some loose touches by Aubamayang cutting short our attack in dangerous areas.
Some slack defending by Maitland-Niles almost led to a chance for Man U but the final through ball was well smothered by Cech. The home fans were roundly booing Sanchez every time he got the ball, which was great to hear to be honest.
Then on the 30th minute, Lukaku played a cutting through ball to Sanchez and who beat the offside trap, rounded Cech and curled in from an impossible angle. Replays show that Maitland-Niles was slow to step up on the offside trap but it just had to be fucking him didn’t it, 1 nil.
There was no time to dwell on that though because almost instantly United broke quickly down our right and Lukaku picked out Lindgard who had all the time in the world to pass it into the near post. 2-0, and embarrassing defensively.
Then our relentless attack down their left hand side finally paid off when Ramsey’s cross trickled into the path of Auba at the back post who was completely free to tuck it in. 2-1, game on.
Arsenal finished the half really strong with a couple of crosses that really should have tested their defence more but it went in at the break 2-1 to United.
We almost started the 2nd half with a goal in the 45th minute when an AMN cross was headed at pace near post by Ramsey but their keeper was up to it.
We definitely had our second half heads on in the first ten minutes and were all over them in their final third but there was just no end product.
The game then slowed right down when captain Koscielny took a painful looking boot to the face from Lukaku while he was on the floor. As bad as it looked for Kos it seemed pretty accidental.
In reaction to Kos limping off, Emery for some reason brought on Guendouzi, with Ozil replacing Iwobi at the same time, and although we kept pressuring them in their final third, we didn’t do anything of note except a Lacazette shot that stung the hands of Romero.
For large spells of the second half the only thing we really had was patient build up and Lacazette being a pain in the arse for their defence, but he really was being a pain in the arse, knicking balls off them left right and centre and putting himself about really well.
But when they brought on both Martial and Rashford against our makeshift defence with us chasing a goal there was only one outcome, and after Pogba’s shot bounced in front of Cech and Martial was there to tap in the rebound. 3-1, the fatal blow.
The third goal really took the wind out of our sails, and the game basically petered out into mindless passing around, even with 10 minutes of extra time.
In the end it was the same old story playing United of late: it feels like we outplay them for large parts of the game but they set up to counter us and finish their chances extremely effectively. In the grand scheme of our season it’s probably not the worst result in the world but that’s now two back to back cup knock out defeats at home for Emery, and both against traditional rivals too.