You are here
Home > Arsenal > Arsenal Humbled by the Red Devils at Old Trafford | Three Crucial Lessons Learnt From the United-Arsenal Fixture

Arsenal Humbled by the Red Devils at Old Trafford | Three Crucial Lessons Learnt From the United-Arsenal Fixture

Manchester United vs Arsenal, Man Utd vs Arsenal

We learnt three key things as Manchester United humbled table toppers Arsenal at Old Trafford, ending the Gunners’ five-game winning streak with a 3-1 victory on Sunday. The Red Devils haven’t lost a league game at home when leading at half-time in Premier League history. Amidst all the obstacles under different managers, the Red side of Manchester have somehow kept that record intact.

The North London side dominated the ball for much of the game and played well in phases, but there was a serious lack of killer instinct. United took their chances and defended well in their low block. This is a huge result for Erik ten Hag’s side, who are now just three points off the top.

A bright start to the game saw the visitors rattle the net first through Gabriel Martinelli, but their celebration was cut short by VAR, which picked Martin Odegaard’s foul on Christian Eriksen during the build-up to the goal. Minutes later, Antony marked his debut with a scintillating goal.

Manchester United vs Arsenal
(Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

There was nothing to separate the two sides at half-time and both Erik ten Hag and Mikel Arteta stuck with their original game plans. While the Spaniard’s side controlled possession and found the equaliser through Bukayo Saka, the Red Devils remained composed and absorbed the pressure before attacking on the break.

In-form Marcus Rashford made no mistake and ensured all three points for the Red Devils by scoring two quick goals assisted by Bruno Fernandes and Eriksen’s defence-splitting passes.

1. Manchester United’s Tactical Decisions And Game Management Was On Par

Manchester United and Arsenal were on par with each other, but the substitutions from the two managers on the touchline opened the gap in the home team’s favour. The substitution to bring on Cristiano Ronaldo opened the space for Rashford to restore United’s lead, while Fred added some energy to the midfield from the bench.

Arsenal, Manchester United, Mikel Arteta
Image Obtained Via Football Today

Scott McTominay took care of the game management side by making crucial tackles. The Red Devils created more counter-attacking opportunities through his intense pressing. On the other side, Arteta’s decision to switch to a back-three formation only exposed them more on the flanks, directly resulting in United’s third goal.

2. Christian Eriksen Is United’s Talisman

The Dane has been class in his deeper midfield role, quickly establishing himself as the club’s best midfielder. After the disaster against Brighton & Hove Albion, Eriksen was deployed in a deeper role and United have since looked much better in possession. He plays elegant passes and looks comfortable with the ball.

Christian Eriksen
Image Obtained Via Caught Offside

Once United had a proper striker following Ronaldo’s introduction, we saw the defence-splitting balls being played by Eriksen, which is his strength. Ten Hag’s strategy to bypass Arsenal’s press and pick them apart on the break largely came to fruition because of the Dane’s line-breaking passes. The midfielder was involved in both of Rashford’s goals and didn’t look out of energy at all.

3. Arsenal Are Exposed Against Big-6

“We were not good enough and we have to apologise for it,” Arteta summarised in the aftermath of that unexpected defeat. The identity and substance which was being discussed about Arsenal’s team this year have some flaws. Fast-paced, possession-based football, which thrills and entertains audiences is a hallmark of Arsenal Football Club.

Manchester United vs Arsenal
Image Obtained Via Sky Sports

Unfortunately, that tends to go hand in hand with a lack of conviction in big moments. The fixture schedule has indeed been kind to the North London club, but early-season momentum can only carry a side for so long. Arsenal’s kryptonite in recent campaigns has been inconsistency and lack of stature in big games.

Read More:

The North London side remained top of the table on 15 points thanks to their opening five wins, although they will be disappointed to have that run ended.

Manchester United led both Liverpool and Arsenal at half-time in recent weeks at Old Trafford. And the way both the visitors performed after coming out of the tunnel, it seemed a matter of minutes before they spoil the Manchester United record. But the Red Devils kept their nerves on both occasions and ensured that Jurgen Klopp and Arteta returned home empty-handed.

Manchester United go away to Crystal Palace while Arsenal host Everton at Emirates Stadium. Arteta’s era has gathered pace in recent months and there remains reason for cautious optimism at the Emirates Stadium.

Follow AD for the Latest Matchday Updates for Arsenal and Manchester United.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.