The big game against Arsenal was in fact not as tough as the pundits may have thought to be as Manchester United sailed through a rather convincing 3-1 victory over Arsenal in the 4th round of their FA cup fixture at the Emirates. Arsenal may have thought that they’ve struck form with a win over Chelsea in the Premier League but it appears a rejuvenated United under new caretaker manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer may have had the last laugh.
Analysing our much needed victory over Arsenal, here are a few key takeaways from our game against Arsenal –
5. Alexis Sanchez Scores when it Mattered the Most
Sanchez has been long criticized by United’s fans ever since he transferred here last year. With only 4 goals to show in his last 32 appearances, Alexis has been in the shadows and mostly used as a substitute by both Mourinho and Ole so far. His lack of form and injuries further aggravated the problem. The fact that this United side is not built around him didn’t help his case too with him being the talismanic striker for Arsenal in the 3 and a half seasons he was there.
But against Arsenal he started and he scored the first goal for the tourists with a neat finish from a superstar striker at an impossibly tight angle. He was impactful throughout the game and till the time he was substituted for Martial, United looked threatening in a brilliant counter-attacking display. That should bring him loads of confidence and the manager is now going to have a starting XI headache soon.
4. Lingard’s Cool Finish Against Arsenal
As the manager says – he’s the man for the important games and yet again, Jesse Lingard showed that he can perform in the big matches with a cool finish past Arsenal stopper Petr Cech to stun the hosts giving United a 2-0 lead at the Emirates. He has repeatedly been in the score sheet for most of the crucial games this season and other games too and that has naturally given the manager a lot of faith which he has wonderfully repaid.
Most of the attacks were built from right side and Lingard was all over in the link-ups and ruthless counter attacks. United will certainly look towards his creativity and form as the season wears on.
3. Pogba the All-Rounder
Paul Pogba has suddenly become the most dependable midfielder in the Premier League and why not with him being at the heart of all defenses and attacking, taking the ball forward and cutting in some brilliant passes and assists. All we can say is – ‘where has this man been all season?’. Setting up the third goal, Pogba made a brilliant run from a broken Arsenal attack and went for the shot, only for the ball to be parried in the way of Martial who calmly finished it.
Ever since the departure of Mourinho, Pogba has found his purple patch of form right when they needed it the most, giving manager Ole a perfect start with 8 wins out of 8 matches in all competitions, scoring 6 goals in the process. What more do you need from a midfielder? A leader for the future United side for sure.
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2. Romero heats up the competition
With David De Gea being rested for a key game against Arsenal, United’s main keeper for the FA cup Sergio Romero was called upon for duty. And he shouldered the responsibility all too well, coming up with key saves and showing great temperament at the goal for United. The goal scored by Arsenal cannot be blamed to him as Aubameyang was just at the right place at the right time, clear of any defenders whatsoever.
Romero has always been the second choice keeper for the club but when called upon, he has always been as reliable in front of the goal as De Gea giving the manager problems at every part of his side.
1. Lukaku has a Sensational Game ‘Assisting’ Against Arsenal
While the striker has definitely been signed by the club to score goals, he was given a different responsibility in the game against Arsenal, playing wide for Lingard rather than his natural position as center forward. And he had an amazing game in his new role which the manager may have observed him perform in his national side. Two assists and two brilliant goals in the span of two minutes all but ended any hopes of a comeback.
Lukaku was downright sublime with his thinking and passing, setting up Sanchez beautifully for the first goal and then Lingard for another. He was responsible for all counter attacks from the right wing and the Arsenal defense simply had no answer for this towering striker marauding his way through.
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