The mid-week Premier League fixture between Manchester United and Arsenal at Old Trafford didn’t end well for the visitors. Arteta’s men had several chances to defeat the Red Devils and move above West Ham into fourth place on the points table but suffered an unfortunate 3-2 loss.
The Gunners played much better against United compared to their matches against other top teams like Liverpool, Man City, and Chelsea. The team started well, with Smith Rowe scoring a quick goal within 13 minutes in the 1st half, which was needed to keep the pressure on the home team but failed to capitalise on it.
The visitors could have taken a 2-0 lead when Gabriel Martinelli found his way into the penalty area after a give-and-go with Martin Odegaard. It was a good chance for the Brazilian but he dragged his effort wide. Another close call was prevented by Marcus Rashford when he cleared Ben White’s header from the goal line.
As we went deeper into the first half, Manchester United started to get control of the match and was rewarded for their efforts when Bruno Fernandes found the back of the net just before halftime. However, Arsenal were confident of grabbing the win in the 2nd half.
But Ronaldo’s brace after the break dealt a blow to Arsenal’s ambitions. United took the lead just 7 minutes into the second half as Ronaldo scored his first of the night. But the visitors were quick to respond, with Martin Odegaard equalising the scoreline within 2 minutes.
Cristiano Ronaldo at his career at Manchester United scired his 800th goal vs arsenal from a assist by Marcus rashford. By the time I’m making this he scored his 801th from a penalty. #WHATAGOAL #GOAL #CR7 #CristianoRonaldo #ManU #ManchesterUnited pic.twitter.com/sOB6rd4YnW
— ManUnitedNews (@ManU__news) December 2, 2021
Although the Norwegian levelled Arsenal 2-2 with Manchester United, the hero soon became the villain on the 70th minute, when he made a reckless tackle from behind on Fred. The Portuguese superstar calmly converted the penalty and won the match for the Red Devils.
The North London outfit will be furious to lose out on the opportunity of moving into the top 4. Even a draw would have been unfair, but losing the match was even more dreadful. Let’s take a look at how the players performed individually in the fixture.
Aaron Ramsdale (7): Ramsdale was performing his duty perfectly, stopping all the possible goal attempts from United. However, he was helpless against those 3 goals scored by the hosts. Had he saved the penalty, it would have been a match-winning performance by him.
Takehiro Tomiyasu (6.5): Tomiyasu put up a decent performance at Old Trafford, shutting down Jadon Sancho on the left flank. His involvement in the offensive end was lesser compared to the previous games, due to Sancho’s runs.
Ben White (6): Ben White managed to keep his composure for the first half and was able to put a check on Ronaldo well. His attempt to stop Fernandes’ goal could have been better by his standards.
Gabriel Magalhaes (7): Gabriel had the best match out of all the Arsenal defenders. positioned himself well against the United attack and also made some important tackles during the game.
Nuno Tavares (5): Tavares was, once again, given the starting role ahead of Tierney, but he still needs to learn a lot to play against the top Premier League teams. His performance on Thursday was better than against Liverpool but couldn’t make an impact in offensive plays.
Gabriel Martinelli (6): The 20-year-old forward caused some issues for United’s defence line. Nevertheless, he seemed disheartened after the second goal.
Thomas Partey (5): After disappointing performances in the previous two games, his attitude and involvement in this fixture was better, but couldn’t impact the game with authority. Partey’s form is a worrying sign for Arsenal nowadays.
Mohamed Elneny (5): A surprise inclusion in the starting lineup, but was troubling United attackers and midfielders in their build-up.
Emile Smith Rowe (7): ESR had a good game and was on the scoresheet again. Though his goal was a bit controversial, his overall performance was very satisfactory for the team.
Martin Odegaard (6): His touches and passes were a good sign for the Arsenal fans, but unfortunately, he had few options in front of him to give the final ball. Scored a beautiful goal, but later conceded a penalty after a hasty challenge.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (4): Auba’s off-ball movements were good to open up play but the Gabonese forward was ineffective with the ball at his feet. Arsenal might need to think about the formation to finish in the top 4 this season.
Bukaya Saka (6): Tried to be more offensive and made some good plays after coming on in the 70th minute. He also had a chance to score but took a little longer to hit the ball.
Eddie Nketiah (5): Less effective substitute actually, considering more options available on the bench.
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Alexandre Lacazette (6): Much better focal point for Arsenal’s attacking midfielders. Shall be considered as a starter for the next match.
Do you agree with the given player ratings from the United vs Arsenal fixture? Give your opinions in the comments section below.
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