Arsenal: Ramsdale, White, Saliba, Gabriel, Zinchenko, Partey, Xhaka, Odegaard, Martinelli, Saka, Nketiah
Subs: Turner, Tierney, Tomiyasu, Holding, Lokonga, Vieira, Smith Rowe, Marquinhos, Trossard
Arsenal extended their lead at the top of the table after a scintillating 3-2 win over Man United at the Emirates this afternoon.
Mikel Arteta’s starting XI was as expected, and the Gunners started brightly, forcing a couple of corners, before Partey put a Xhaka cross wide at the near post.
United tried to cheat a penalty when Fernandes jumped into Ramsdale, but the referee told him to get up, before Martinelli curled a shot over from the edge of the box. The Brazilian also saw a shot blocked after good work from Odegaard, and Fernandes got away with kicking Gabriel in the arm, the big prick.
The game was even, but it turned United’s way in the 17th minute. Partey’s pass was cut out. Rashford then nutmegged the midfielder, cut inside, and drilled a shot into the bottom corner. 0-1.
Ben White picked up a yellow card shortly after for a foul on Rashford, Nketiah had a shot deflected over the bar after good Saka build-up, and from the resulting corner Martinelli curled a shot outside the post. The pressure was on and the equaliser came in the 24th minute.
Arsenal worked it between Zinchenko and Odegaard, Xhaka overlapped and put in a cross which Nketiah met first to head home and make it 1-1.
Ramsdale had to make a smart save from McTominay, the game was fast paced and frenetic. Mikel Arteta picked up a yellow card for reacting to a foul on Saka, causing Richard Keys to splooge in his dirty old man cacks, and towards the end of the first half Saka had a flurry of shots, all of which were blocked.
Mikel Arteta made a half-time change, bringing on Takehiro Tomiyasu for the yellow-carded Ben White. Antony picked up a booking for a foul on Zinchenko, and the Gunners were on top in the second period. That paid when a second goal arrived via Saka. The winger cut in on his left foot, stepped inside the defender, and blasted it into the bottom corner from 25 yards to make it 2-1.
It was almost level a minute later when Rashford cut inside to shoot, but despite a couple of deflections Ramsdale got down to make a superb stop. The equaliser came not long after though after United won a corner. The set-piece came in, Ramsdale came to try and claim, but collided with Tomiyasu. The ball fell and Martinez looped a header in just under the bar. 2-2.
Saka created a chance for Eddie which was well blocked by Varane, Odegaard had a shot from inside the box blocked just over the bar, and at 2-2 there was an air of tension around the stadium. Saka was causing United all kinds of problems, another left footed shot deflected off Eriksen and bounced off the bottom of the post.
United brought on Fred for Antony to double up on him, Martinelli’s shot deflected off Martinez for a corner, and as the game went into the final 10 minutes Arsenal were well on top – dominating possession and territory.
Arteta made a sub on 83 minutes, handing a debut to new signing Leandro Trossard with Martinelli coming off. De Gea made a brilliant save from Nketiah whose shot on the turn was going in after a scramble in the box fell for him.
But the striker had his moment when we entered the last minute of normal time, when Trossard and Zinchenko combined, the Ukraine international pulled back a cross and Odegaard’s attempted shot came to Eddie who flicked it beyond de Gea. There was a VAR check for offside but the goal stood. 3-2.
That was that, the Gunners were deserved winners despite leaving it late, and what a response to City’s win earlier on.