Manchester United vs Arsenal
Sunday’s marquee Premier League tie saw Manchester United and Arsenal face off.
These two outfits have played out countless top matches over the years.
However, at Old Trafford, it has most certainly been United who have dominated.
In fact, Arsenal haven’t beaten Man United at home in any competition since 2015, doing so in the FA Cup.
And to find the last time the north Londoners got one over on United at home in the league, you had to go all the way back to 2006.
As a result, though both sides headed into the clash in similar form, Man United did look to be clear favourites.
But when all was said and done in Manchester, it would be Arsenal who came out on top – putting an end to their awful run away to both United and the rest of the ‘big six’ clubs.
The tie started in fairly sloppy fashion with neither outfit able to get a grip on proceedings.
Arsenal, to their credit though, were quite aggressive and did a solid job of preventing the home side from playing out in the early stages.
Thomas Partey also did a decent job of neutralising Paul Pogba’s threat early on.
And it would be the Gunners who came inches away from opening the scoring when Hector Bellerin whipped a low ball across the United box 14 minutes in, to an outstretched Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang who couldn’t quite reach the ball.
United eventually managed their first effort on goal 21 minutes in when Marcus Rashford played a lovely ball across the pitch to an advancing Mason Greenwood whose effort was saved by Bernd Leno.
Man United would then slowly start to gain a foothold in the game, causing the visitors a few problems with long balls.
And is often the case with the Red Devils against the bigger sides, the pace of players like Greenwood and Rashford was causing the Gunners a fair few issues, with both Gabriel and Rob Holding earning yellow cards in the first half in their attempts to prevent United’s quick counter-attacks.
Victor Lindelof then got a key touch on a pass meant for Alexandre Lacazette from Aubameyang in the United box, which probably should have ended in a goal.
This was followed moments later by Willian skimming the top of David de Gea’s crossbar and Bukayo Saka directing a free header well over de Gea’s goal 43 minutes in.
The first half drew to a close with Arsenal on top, though they were unable to make their dominance at either end of the half count.
Thomas Partey runs the show
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer opted to change shape at the beginning of the second half, switching from a diamond in midfield to a 4-2-3-1.
And it did seem to have a positive effect for the home team, with Man United starting the second 45 much livelier.
However, it would be Arteta’s men who nearly opened the scoring 52 minutes in when Aubameyang curled his effort just wide.
Harry Maguire then had United’s best chance of the game, directing a free header from a freekick wide of Leno’s post.
Thomas Partey then managed to garner Arsenal’s first shot on target of the tie, coming in the 60th minute from long range.
And six minutes later, Arsenal were awarded a penalty after Pogba chopped down Bellerin in his own box.
Aubameyang then stepped up to convert the ensuing spot-kick.
Solskjaer responded to going 1-0 down by bringing on both Edinson Cavani and Donny van de Beek.
Said changes did have something of a positive impact, with the Manchester powerhouse hitting the post 82 minutes in.
But the final whistle eventually blew with the score still 1-0, bringing an end to Arsenal’s awful away record against the ‘big six’, which had seen them fail to beat any of the remaining five sides away from home in the league since 2015.
Though it was Aubameyang who clinched the three points on Sunday, the plaudits should be going to another Arsenal star.
Said player is Thomas Partey, who put on yet another dominant display in midfield.
The Ghanaian completely dominated the likes of Pogba and Bruno Fernandes, the latter of which was unusually quiet all game.
And in truth, Partey looked a cut above every single player on the pitch at Old Trafford, with his ability both defensively and offensively hugely important to Arsenal’s success:
Thomas Partey for Arsenal in the first half vs. Man Utd:
Most passes (33)
Most passes in the opp half (23)
Most take-ons completed (3)
Most ball recoveries (8)
Dominating the middle of the park. pic.twitter.com/EyfuhsTJvO
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) November 1, 2020
Yes, it is still quite clear that Arsenal are not the most creative side in the league, hence why it took them 60 minutes to have a shot on target vs United.
But if the Gunners can secure the services of a no.10 type player to be deployed in front of Partey, Arsenal could end up with one of the best midfields in the Premier League.
Gabriel’s display was also quite noteworthy, with the Brazilian continuing to impress in England – though a case could be made he should have seen a second yellow during the second half.
Manchester United vs Arsenal Sunday’s marquee Premier League tie saw Manchester United and Arsenal face off. These two outfits have played out countless top matches over the years. However, at Old Trafford, it has most certainly been United who have dominated. In fact, Arsenal haven’t beaten Man United at home in any competition since 2015,Football (soccer) greatest goals and highlights | 101 Great Goals – Feed