As one of the Premier League’s most fabled rivalries, Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal team welcomed Manchester United to the Emirates as both sides looked for their third victory of the new season.
ARS: Ramsdale, White, Saliba, Gabriel, Zinchenko, Odegaard, Rice, Havertz, Saka, Nketiah, Martinelli
MUN: Onana, Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Martinez, Dalot, Casemiro, Eriksen, Antony, Fernandes, Rashford, Martial
It was the home side who looked to take the initiative immediately, as Martinelli broke down the left hand side in the early moments – but any openings were snuffed out by Wan-Bissaka before successive Arsenal corners came to nothing.
Manchester United, looking to frequently play out from the back via their new goalkeeper, Andre Onana, were playing on the edge at times and were forced to clear their lines on numerous occasions – not leaving much opportunity to fashion any chances.
Arsenal spent the majority of the first half an hour with the ball, but it was United who took the lead as their first foray into Arsenal territory resulted in a goal. Christian Eriksen played through Marcus Rashford on the left hand flank, and the England international floated inside, taking on two Arsenal defenders before curling the ball past Ramsdale, off the far post and in to give Erik Ten Hag’s side an undeserved lead.
Thirty-five seconds later however, the game was level again as Arsenal broke straight from the kick-off. The ball found its way out to Martinelli on the left wing and the Brazilian darted inside before feeding the ball across the area to Martin Odegaard who smashed the ball firmly into the right hand corner to restore parity.
Eriksen had an opportunity to restore United‘s lead soon after the equaliser but his shot was blocked by an otherwise quiet Kai Havertz before it could find the bottom corner.
Both Victor Lindelof and Bukayo Saka saw yellow cards for reckless challenges before the half-time whistle, as both sides went into the interval level.
Chances were few and far between in an attritional second half, before Arsenal were given a penalty by referee Anthony Taylor after Kai Havertz seemed to have been tripped by Aaron Wan-Bissaka. However, VAR called Taylor over to the monitor and within moments, the decision had been overturned – much to the dismay of the animated Arteta.
Most of United’s threats were coming from Rashford down the left hand side, but neither side could create any big chances until Ten Hag’s side thought they had stolen it at the death.
Substitute Alejandro Garnacho was slotted through by Casemiro and placed the ball past the Arsenal goalkeeper, only for VAR to cancel it out for offside before Arsenal’s late show stole the points.
The clock had ticked over to 96 minutes when Declan Rice found himself in acres of space at the back post from a corner, and he took it down and lashed home via a deflection from Harry Maguire to spark jubilation in the home stands.
Gabriel Jesus scored a third with the visitors pouring forward chasing an equaliser, as Arsenal secured a dramatic 3-1 victory to keep the three points in North London.
The late win moves Arsenal up to fifth in the Premier League table, on ten points alongside West Ham, Liverpool and Tottenham – while Manchester United drop into the bottom half on six points.