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Eddie Nketiah strikes as Arsenal beat United to restore five

Eddie Nketiah strikes as Arsenal beat United to restore five-point lead over City

Eddie Nketiah scored a 90th-minute goal to secure all three points for Arsenal

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By Jason Burt at the Emirates Stadium

There is such a refreshing and phenomenal relentlessness to Arsenal that it might just propel them to their first Premier League title in two decades.

This was just like the old days and, with it, Arsenal and Manchester United showed that finally they are both back. Arsenal claimed the win and probably deservedly so but even though they lost United played their part in what was the game of the season so far.

It was utterly compelling and it was in keeping how intense and close it was that Eddie Nketiahs late winner came in the 90thminute and only stood after a tight offside call went in Arsenals favour following the Var check.

Maybe it was tough on United but the scenes at the end showed a team and a support that believes they can hold off Manchester City as they extended their lead at the top back to five points with a game in hand.

In front of Gareth Southgate there were four goals from England players, two predatory strikes from Nketiah and a wonderful one apiece for Marcus Rashford and Bukayo Saka.

It was hammer and tongs; back and forth; end to end and United struck first. The moment Rashford collected the ball there was danger for Arsenal. Neon lit; panic-inducing danger. Rashford blocked Thomas Parteys pass and when he quickly received the ball from Bruno Fernandes he nutmegged the midfielder. The danger levels rose as he ran on and beat Aaron Ramsdale low down to his right with a shot of such violence that the moment he hit it, it was going in.

It was a goal from a player brimming with confidence and belief. And one who is fully fit. Rashford was 22 yards out and it was his ninth goal in nine games since returning from the World Cup and his 17th of the campaign for United.

In recognition of the threat he posed Rashfords next involvement was to be dumped to the turf by Ben White with the Arsenal defender cautioned.

Arsenal responded and it was their man in form who claimed it. They pushed United back with Martin Odegaard sending the ball wide left to Granit Xhaka. Aaron Wan-Bissaka switched off; Nketiah switched on and he beat David De Gea with a simple close-range header. It was an impressive reaction from Arsenal and poor defending from United.

Now it was the visitors turn to show their mettle and Scott McTominay forced Ramsdale to push away his first-time shot from the edge of the penalty area as they countered. Back came Arsenal. They finished the half as they started it on the front-foot.

It was the same when the game re-started and, as fine as Rashfords strike was, Saka matched it. There did not seem to be much on when he took the ball from substitute Takehiro Tomiyasu but Christian Eriksen backed off, Wout Weghorst failed to react and Saka had time and space to weigh up his shot. Even so it was something special as he arrowed it from 25 yard across goal, away from De Gea and into the corner of the net with unerring precision.

Immediately Rashford forced Ramsdale into an alert reaction save, as the forward working his way into the area with his shot deflecting off William Saliba. Ramsdale adjusted and palmed it out.

He was then at fault. From a corner Ramsdale and Tomiyasu got in each others way with the goalkeeper spilling the ball Martinez seven yards out. The defender threw himself with Gabriel, on the goal-line, unable to stop his diving header. As with Arsenal, following Uniteds first goal, it had been a strong rally and the celebrations said it all.

It continued to be stunning and the outstanding Saka attempted to a repeat of his goal only for the ball to be deflected onto the outside of the post with De Gea beaten.

Less outstanding was Antony who was inevitably replaced amid chants of what a waste of money aimed at the 86million winger from the Arsenal fans with Erik ten Hag interestingly turning to Fred as he attempted to shore up his midfield as the home side poured forward.

It was prescient. The pressure became immense with wave after wave of intense Arsenal attack and with United increasingly frantic in their defending before Fernandes, maybe cannily, went down injured to break up the momentum.

Even so it took a superb reaction save from De Gea to deny Nketiah as the ball fell to the striker eight yards out after yet anotjer scramble. Maybe his shot was too close to the goalkeeper but it was still an excellent stop from the Spaniard when Nketiah seemed certain to score.

But the pressure told. When Oleksandr cut the ball back it was met by Odegaard who was challenged by Fred. It spun up to Nketiah who stuck out of leg to divert it beyond De Gea. Was he offside? It was tight but, after a delay, the goal was given and the reaction said it all.

Two games head to head, really hard to accept losing in the final stages of the game. We made mistakes for all three goals.

I dont think we were under too much pressure for the winner.

At the end, they play home, they come, you could smell it.(Er, ok)

Many players made poor decisions. We are making so many mistakes and that cannot happen. This is a lesson we have to take and we will face the players with this. Good teams do not make mistakes.

We have to accept today. We are unsatisfied. This is one game. Last week we did very well. Normally we dont concede from corners, now today two.

Emotional, a lot of passion, a lot of quality. It does not get much better than that. To win in that way it makes it even better.

Mentally and emotionally we were really composed, we always believed we could win it and we didnt panic.

United are very difficult to play against once they go in front because they love to play into spaces.

You can talk about maturity, but it is about perseverance and quality as well. I am delighted for the boys. We showed a lot of quality and confidence. It is a joy to work with this group.

I dont think I will complain about my yellow card. You can always get better in life cant you?

The margins are so small in the Premier League, it is hard to play against every team.

Trossard was composed and confident when he came on, and he helped us win the game.

Granit Xhakas game by numbers vs. Man Utd:

Thats five assists in the Premier League now this season. /ok8dFIKeY2

Unfortunately Arsenal potentially winning the title with a bunch of vibrant, attacking young players wont be good for the game, because Mikel Arteta runs up the touchline a bit

Probably a generation thing, but Arsenal v Man Utd is a whole lot more fun than Liverpool v Man City. Always more chaotic, more thunderous

Arsenal just about deserved that. More encouraging from United generally tho - Casemiro was actually a pretty big miss in that game as it turned out.

Arsenal were superb, especially in the 2nd half and deserve their victory. Their football has been a delight to watch. Nketiah has really stepped up in the absence of Jesus. As for Arteta, well, what an incredible job hes doing.

Much better second half when Arsenal played at a slower rhythm and were more patient with the ball. United want a basketball game - both goals came from Partey trying to force a pass straight forward.

20 minutes to go, you look at the United bench and who they have got and its not great, for all the money they have spent.

At the end, United have Wan Bissaka, Fred and McTominay on the pitch and you think really this is back to the problems they had before.

In the second half, we deserved (to lose). We were passive in the second half, disappointing to concede at the end.

They start really fast here, they always do. We felt we were winning the ball high up the pitch in the first half but the second half we backed off and let them have control of the game. If you do that, then there is a chance they will score at the end.

I think they deserve to be top, the way they have played so far. The quality of these games now are getting much more. Tough game but these are the ones you want to play in.

Gutting to concede late on but maybe a bit of a reality check for us. We need to get back to work.

Eddie Nketiah became the second Arsenal player to score a 90th minute winner against Manchester United in the Premier League, after Thierry Henry in January 2007.

Man Utd have failed to win any of their last five away games in all competitions against Arsenal, losing four times and conceding at least twice in each defeat (D1) its their longest winless run at the Gunners since October 2000 to March 2004 (5 games).

Arsenal are now unbeaten in their last 13 Premier League games (W11 D2), their longest unbeaten streak in the competition since December 2018 (14 games).

This was just the third time Arsenal hosted Manchester United in a Premier League match while top of the table, with the Gunners going unbeaten in all three matches: winning 3-2 today and drawing the other two games (1-1 in March 2004 and 2-2 in November 2007).

Bukayo Saka became only the third Arsenal player to score in three consecutive Premier League appearances against Man Utd after Freddie Ljungberg (1998-2000) and Thierry Henry (2000-2001).

Marcus Rashford has scored nine goals in all competitions since the World Cup finished, the most of any player in Europes big five leagues

Eddie Nketiah has scored 19 goals across his last 26 starts for Arsenal in all competitions, including 13 in his last 13 starts at the Emirates Stadium.

Lisandro Martnez became the seventh Argentine player to score a Premier League goal for Man Utd, the most of any club (also Carlos Tevez, Juan Sebastin Vern, ngel Di Mara, Marcos Rojo, Gabriel Heinze and Alejandro Garnacho).

For me it was about staying alert if I got a chance and with players like B (Saka) you will always get a chance.

I thought it was going to be onside (winner) because I was next to Martinez, but when you see that purple Var screen comes up your heart always goes a bit.

They are the only team who has beaten us this season and you could see how much we wanted it. Not our best start.

I am happy I accepted the challenge to score in three consecutive games against Man United, hello Freddie, hello Thierry.

(Asked about reasons for his excellent recent form) Many things, I could be here for days! The belief we have, especially at the Emirates with the way our fans support us even when we go 1-0 down. They dont understand how much that does for us. Definitely also the way the coach is setting us up, and the players weve brought in, theyve changed us a lot.

Well keep this blog going for a while because there will be plenty of reaction. Heres a teaser trailer ofJason Burtsmatch report:

There is such a refreshing and phenomenal relentlessness to Arsenal that it might just propel them to their first Premier League title in two decades. This was just like the old days and, with it, Arsenal and Manchester United showed that finally they are both back. Arsenal claimed the win and probably deservedly so but even though they lost United played their part in what was the game of the season so far.

A brilliant football match, and the right result. Arsenal have 50 points from 19 games and boy that is a hell of a win. Who knows how important that is going to prove come the end of the season? United stay fourth with 39 points.

What if....having a poacher like Eddie Nketiah was better as the centre forward for this Arsenal team than Gabriel Jesus?

Rob Holding replaces Martin Odegaard. Alejandro Garnacho replaces Raphael Varane. Arsenal are holding firm and United cannot make it too hairy in this added time period....

It is in the net and the players are going wild but I reckon the old enemy Var might be into the action here. Zinchenko gets down the left and crosses. Possible that he is offside. And then as it is played in, half cleared, and then stuck back into the mixer as Odegaard shoots and it hits Fred to loop into the six yard box, Nketiah gets the final touch and he too is very close to being off. After a couple of looks, Var rules that this is a goal. Yay. How to make an 90th minute winner less exciting. Anyway, its a goal and Arsenal take the lead late, late on.

Absolutely pathetic this from De Gea, mind you. Hes taking a wee bit of time to re-start and Nketiah grabs at his arm. De Gea HURLS himself on the floor like a toddler in Waitrose.

Arsenal piling it on. De Gea with a magnificent save from close range. Odegaard played a freekick in, MUFC could not clear. Nketiah cracked it at goal from no more than ten yards and somehow the Spaniard kept it out. Wow.

Rashford could have been through there but his control just let him down. Shaw has been booked for fouling Saka.

Delay of game as Fernandes gets a bang to the head.

Arsenal corner. Scramble!  Wan-Bissaka boots it clear. Odegaard crosses and Bruno denies Xhaka in the n of t.

Its all Arsenal. Theyre really piling it on these last few minutes.

Partey error, and McTominays ball nearly finds Eriksen.

United break, Rashford surges down the centre, but Ramsdale rushes out to close things down and he does it fairly too, despite stifled cries for a penalty.

Exciting, hotly contested affair albeit no actual chances in the last few.

Think that Saka shot just now got a wee touch off Eriksen by the way.

Ole Antony is getting the hook, here comes Fred.

Saka is at it again. This man is absolutely lethal from that right flank, cutting inside again. Again he lets rip with a really good shot, and this time hits.... the post. Oof. So close.

United deal with that corner pretty comfortably.

Xhaka is having a really good game, involved here in a neat passing round the corner move that ends with Odegaard having an attempt. Behind for a corner.

Ha ha a vintage commentators curse there. No sooner have I typed that about Ramsdale than hes come for a corner, flapped at the ball, and dropped it. Martinez dives to head the ball and does brilliantly to loop it up over the Arsenal keeper and defence. Dear me. Sorry, Arsenal chums! Good brave header from the United man. Gabriel on the line tried to get his head in the way and indeed may have got a touch.

In fairness to Ramsdale, he kind of ran into his colleague Tomiyasu as he tried to come for the ball.

Sam Dean: Lisandro Martinez deserves that goal, even if United might consider themselves a little fortunate to be level. Martinez was wanted by Arsenal this summer, lest we forget. He has been first to every challenge at the back, and his passing is excellent. Fearsome player.

Fantastic save from Ramsdale! He really is having a purple patch. Rashford got the better of Tomiyasu, shot across goal and Rammers got down well to stop. Think it came through a crowd so extra points.

That is gorgeous! Even nicer than his England colleague Marcus Rashfords earlier. Saka gets it on the right, drifts inside seemingly going nowhere in particular and then unleashes a fierce shot into the bottom corner. Lovely.

Odegaard with a quicksilver run and a gorgeous little pass through. Xhaka hares onto it and it takes a brilliant, desperate lunge from Lisandro Martinez to stop him in the nick of time.

Oleksandr Zinchenko has the ball, tackles fly in almost simultaneously from Bruno F and Antony. Ref is going to book one - but which?! Antony has his name took.

The players are out for the second half, and Arteta has withdrawn Ben White (had been booked) for Takehiro Tomiyasu.

Arsenal the first of the two sides to get control of the ball and mount an attack.

That was a really enjoyable half of football. Good open game whose momentum swung this way and that, illuminated by two very good goals.

Surprisingly even game. I guess EtH has picked a team to keep the ball, and theyve done that pretty well bar some moments building from the back. Think Arsenal need to play a few extra passes in midfield, just rushing it a touch.

I missed the Sky half time thing because I was making a drink but reassuring, in an uncertain world, to hear that Roy was absolutely spitting chips about something or other.

Didnt think this game could get any more entertaining, and then Roy Keane brings out the angry knee slaps