|Gabriel Jesus sends Diogo Dalot out of the stadium to seal Arsenal's 3-1 win over Manchester United on Sunday at the Emirates. (Photo credit: BBC)|
"Rice Rice baby, and the angel Gabriel stole it at the end; that is why you play big bucks; that is how big players grow on the biggest days," said Peter Drury after full-time at the Emirates on Sunday.
Manchester United had a game plan; they stuck to it, and it almost paid off. Alejandro Garnacho wheeled away in celebrations, but the cold grip of the offside flag curtailed him and his fellow devils; two late goals fixed it for the Gunners, and bedlam ruled North London.
Arsenal beat Manchester United 3-1 at the Emirates on Sunday, and you wonder what happens to the Red Devils over the next two weeks; it’s always tough having to deal with defeat going into the international break, more so to a rival.
Mikel Arteta ditched his funny formation of Thomas Partey at right back in the absence of the Ghanaian following an injury in training. Alexander Zinchenko and Gabriel returned in defence, but there was still room for Kai Havertz in midfield.
Manchester United had to make changes too. Victor Lindelof replaced the injured Rafael Varane, and the sight of Rasmus Hojlund on the bench warmed the hearts of the United fans. Anthony Martial led the line, but you’d need to see replays a couple of times to notice he played.
United led with their first touch in the Arsenal area. Marcus Rashford struck again, right against the run of play, but Martin Odegaard responded instantly. A neat pass from Gabriel Martinelli found the Arsenal captain, and he rammed a fierce one past Andre Onana.
Arsenal dominated and created more chances, with Havertz missing an open goal before Lisandro Martinez took the rebound away from Eddy Nketiah. The half ended delicately poised at 1-1, but the Gunners would feel they deserved more.
United had spells in the second half, but they couldn’t trouble Aaron Ramsdale. Both coaches rang changes late on, and you can tell that Erik Ten Hag wanted to take a point or hit Arsenal on the counter for a late win; he nearly got his wish, but the offside flag denied Garnacho after he raced through to beat Ramsdale.
Deep into added time, Arsenal got a corner, and Bukayo Saka’s floated ball met Declan Rice. Arsenal’s record signing had all the time in the world to chest the ball, drop it, and fire a deflected effort past Onana for what would send the Emirates into wild noise.
Not for the first time, Arsenal scored a late winner through Eddy Nketiah on this ground last season, but there was more. Substitute Fabio Vieira found Gabriel Jesus on the counter, and the Brazilian sent Diogo Dalot on an errand before sliding past Onana to kill off the game.
The win took Arsenal closer to the top, fifth and just two behind Manchester City, as everyone takes a break to return in a fortnight. Arsenal will return with a trip to Everton, while the Red Devils will be at home to high-flying Brighton.