The match between Arsenal and Manchester United was for the all important fourth position and with a 2-1 victory over the Gunners; Red Devils came away with their first away victory in the Premier League since the appointment of Louis Van Gaal.
The match billed as the blockbuster clash surely lived up to its billing in the first half. The first twenty minutes were all about the home team pressing the Manchester United defense with incessant attacks largely from the right flank spearheaded by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. Danny Welbeck, Wilshere were using every angle and kept testing De Gea in goal. With the continuous attacks a chance was created by Welbeck with Wilshere at the end of it; however the Spanish De Gea made the vital stop. Adding to the woes of the United’s side Luke Shaw went injured with Ashley Young as a left wing back replacement for the side who were playing a 3-5-2 formation from the back; the signs looked ominous for the Red Devils. Only realistic scoring opportunity for the visitor looked like a set piece however Rooney missed the mark by a distance. Another telling pass from Sanchez and Chamberlain was stopped sharply by the Manchester United’s goalkeeper. A controversial moment as Jack Wilshere meekly head-butted Fellaini, however the Gunner was lucky as the referee did not penalize him for the outburst. Towards the end of second half Di Maria made a telling runs and made an intelligent pass to Rooney, only to be stopped by a brilliant block by Chambers. The first half ended with no goals from either side, as somehow David De Gea was kept the Manchester team in the game, with few patches of possession in the first half the game was set for an intriguing second half.
Arsenal started the second half with couple of corners and booming crosses from Chamberlain and the gunners were breathing down the neck of the visitors. Influential Jack Wilshere limped off early in the second half and it was followed by an immediate attack from Manchester United which resulted in an own goal from Gibbs, Red Devils went ahead against the run of play. Following the goal, another Arsenal player went off injured; this time it was the goal keeper Sczney. With the goal behind them, Manchester United slowly started to stamp their authority on the game. With fifteen minutes of normal time to play, there was an attacking change from both sides with Wilson replacing Van Persie and Giroud replacing Ramsey. With tem minutes to go, Arsenal tried to put few attacks together to get the equalizer and kept playing with a high back line, a predictable counter attack which started from Fellaini to Di Maria was calmly finished by Wayne Rooney, to put Manchester United ahead with two goals and only five minutes to play. With the second goal the sixty thousand capacity Emirates stadium was stunned and silent. The few remaining supporters still waiting for a miracle to happen saw the best goal of the match with Giroud scoring and three minutes still left in the match, and with three minutes of additional time to play the game was setting up for a grandstand finish. However Manchester United players kept their nerve and came away with an all important first away win for the season.
Star of the Match
It was an impressive performance from Arsenal’s Alex-Oxlade Chamberlain an impressive performance from Wayner Rooney however it was David De Gea who kept Manchester United in the game in the first half ensured that the team came out with three points.
Image Source: BBC.com