Manchester United were beaten 3-2 by Arsenal at the Emirates in the Premier League. Marcus Rashford opened the scoring in the 17th minute of the match before Eddie Nketiah equalised in the 24th minute. Bukayo Saka put Arsenal ahead in the 53rd minute before Lisandro Martinez scored his first United goal just before the hour mark. Nketiah then scored his second goal on the 90th minute to win the match for Arsenal.
United started well against Arsenal but it was the home side who got the first chance of the match. In the second minute, Martin Ødegaard received the ball from Gabriel Martinelli but his shot on goal was blocked. Thomas Partey then had a shot a minute later, this one missing the target. Martinelli then missed the target in the ninth minute, and was blocked a minute later. Bruno Fernandes was caught offside in the 16th minute after Aaron Wan-Bissaka found him.
United opened the scoring in the 17th minute with Marcus Rashford scoring his 17th goal of the season. Fernandes played the ball to him outside the box and Rashford ran towards goal beating Aaron Ramsdale from close-range. Ben White was booked in the 19th minute of the match after he brought Rashford down. Eddie Nketiah saw his shot on goal blocked in the 21st minute of the match. Martinelli then missed the target in the 22nd minute.
Arsenal equalised in the 24th minute through Nketiah who found the back of the net from close-range. David De Gea was unable to do anything to stop the home side from scoring. I did not think there would be a clean sheet in this match. Scott McTominay got a shot on goal in the 28th minute, played the back by Antony but Ramsdale made the save easily to deny United from taking the lead once again. United won a corner from the chance but nothing came of it.
Rashford was caught offside on the half hour after Christian Eriksen tried a through ball. Ødegaard was caught offside in the 32nd minute as Martinelli tried to find him with a through ball. A minute later, Mikel Arteta was booked for an overreaction – which is something he has form for. United continued to battle to find a goal to put them ahead again but this team seemed to be evenly matched. It was end to end football from the very start of the match.
Wout Weghorstwas caught offside in the 42nd minute as Raphael Varane tried a through ball into him. United were trying to work out a way to get ahead again before the end of the first half. White would Rashford again in the 44th minute of the match then it was announced that two minutes were added at the end of the half. Both United and Arsenal challenged at the end of the half with Arsenal attacking United as the whistle was blown. 1-1 at the break.
Arsenal made a substitution at the start of the second half with Takehiro Tomiyasu replacing Ben White. Antony become the first United player to be booked, getting a yellow card in the 47th minute. Ødegaard, after good interplay with Martinelli, had a shot on goal which was blocked in the 49th minute. Xhaka was through in the 52nd minute but Lisandro Martinez intercepted the ball inside the box before he could cause any damage.
Arsenal took the lead in the 53rd minute of the match through none other than Bukayo Saka. Tomiyasu provided the assist and it was a good finish for the England wide man. United had a lot to do in order to get back into this match. Substitutions were needed to make up for the tiredness on the pitch. Rashford had a shot saved two minutes after Arsenal took the lead then Antony had a shot blocked a minute after that. United were trying to build something.
Then just before the hour, Lisandro Martinez had the ball in the back of the net, scoring his first goal for United and levelling the match at 2-2. What a goal for the Argentinian FIFA World Cup winner to have scored. It could not have came at a better time for United. In the 64th minute of the match, Nketiah had another chance on goal, this time it was blocked. Both United and Arsenal had the ability to take this match and it was one of the best this season.
Gabriel Magalhães missed the target with an effort in the 66th minute as Arsenal were searching to retake the lead again. Ødegaard then had a shot blocked in the same minute. United made their first substitution in the match with Fred coming on for Antony in the 71st minute of the match. Rashford was caught offside in the 77th minute of the match after Fred tried a through ball. Martinelli had a shot blocked a minute later.
Nketiah and Ødegaard had an attempt on goal blocked in the 80th and 81st minutes of the match. Arsenal made another substitution in the 82nd minute with Leandro Trossard replacing Gabriel Martinelli. Luke Shaw then became the second United player to be booked in the match. De Gea then saved an effort from Nketiah in the 84th minute. Eriksen had a chance on goal in the 87th minute, although it was not a credible effort on goal.
Eriksen had an attempt on goal blocked in the 87th minute of the match as United sought the winner. But that came for Arsenal in the 90th minute as Nketiah got his second goal of the game. There was a call for offside in the run up to the goal but VAR cleared all of that and the goal stood. Ødegaard the missed the target. Alejandro Garnacho replaced Raphael Varane in the second minute of added time but that was it, United had lost the match – although it was a good one.
David De Gea: This was not a great match for De Gea. With the ball at his feet he was not at his greatest. He could have been so much better for Saka’s goal. Nketiah beat his fairly both times for Arsenal to take all three points in the match. He did make a good save though to deny Arsenal. He will be looking back at the goals and seeking to improve. United played very well in this match and that defeat does not seem as bad as the Palace draw. ★★★★★
Aaron Wan-Bissaka: Arsenal seemed to get the better of him at times on the attack. Under pressure he was not at his best but still have a good game for United. During Arsenal’s pressing, Nketiah out jumped him for the equaliser and then he played Nketiah onside for him to score the winning goal. There were some good moments for Wan-Bissaka in this match though and at this time, he seems to be the mainstay at right-back, for now. ★★★★★
Raphael Varane: Strong in defence alongside Martinez. Nketiah seemed to go for both De Gea and Wan-Bissaka on the attack though as it was the easiest route through to the goals. The Frenchman does what he does silently and in every match he plays. He will be determined to come back from this defeat in the next few matches, which are in the Carabao Cup and the Emirates FA Cup. What a player Champions League Varane is though. ★★★★★★
Lisandro Martinez: Scored his first goal for United and what a time it was to score it with United coming from behind and equalising from the World Cup winner’s effort. He defended astutely throughout the match and has really settled into the Premier League well. One of the best defenders at the club and he has added the Nemanja Vidic factor in the back four this season. Erik ten Hag will be pleased with his summer signing. ★★★★★★★★
Luke Shaw: He was vigilant at times against Saka on the left flank. However, Saka did get past him to find Arsenal’s second goal of the match. He did not offer as much going forward as that would have left his position open for Saka to breakthrough and threaten even more. He will be looking back at this tough game, with his head held high wanting to correct the errors that were made. This was United’s best match of the season in my opinion. ★★★★★★
Scott McTominay: The Scotland international seemed to hold his own at times and even tested Ramsdale with an effort on goal. However, there is no way he’s going to get ahead of Casemiro permanently. If the Brazilian was not suspended for this match, McTominay would have been on the bench and maybe not played at all. He has something to offer but needs to show it more to get off the bench and into a starting position. ★★★★★★
Christian Eriksen: I thought he might have been a bit tired for this match. He pushed to lead his team forward though, which was great to see. He made an important block to deny Ødegaard but also let Saka come inside and get a goal past De Gea. The Danish international is a fine player but he will need some rest to continue to put in high performances for the remainder of the season. United can afford to rest him against Forest on Wednesday. ★★★★★
Antony: I am not too sure of the Brazilian this season. He has five goals to his name, which is something to write home about but he has become a frustrating player to watch. He was booked rather cynically at the start of the second half and did not seem like he was in form in this match. He did track back and was applauded for that but I think there is a lot more to come from the Brazilian and Ten Hag will try to get that out of him. ★★★★★★
Bruno Fernandes: Played a key role in the opening goal of the match assisting for Rashford. It was Fernandes’ fifth assist of the season which with his five goals, gives him ten goal contributions. He put in a lot of effort throughout the match but his attacking was limited, as was United’s. Arsenal dominated at times and United will seek to string their attack like Arsenal’s in the not too distant future. United did well as did Fernandes. ★★★★★★
Marcus Rashford: Scored his 17th goal of the season, funnily enough in the 17th minute of the match. Got the better of Partey, who is lauded by Arsenal fans as the best midfielder ever – but I have not subscribed to that. Arsenal fans overreact all of the time. He should have scored a second goal but was denied by Ramsdale. He played well and will be seeking to ensure he can provide more goals for United in the coming weeks. ★★★★★★★
Wout Weghorst: Made his second appearance for United. Never really had much goalscoring presence in the United attack but helped to create more space and give United another dimension in attack. I had hoped he would score in this match – but his goals will come. He was better on the ground than in the air but this was a big challenge for him. The next three matches could see him settle. Don’t right the Dutch international off too early. ★★★★★★
Fred: Replaced Antony 71′. Came on to bring more energy on the pitch with Arsenal dominating the game in large spells in the second half of the match. He tried to get involved but at 2-2 in the final minutes of the match, United seemed to have got a point from the match. However, Nketiah’s second goal of the game in the second minute of added time changed that. He could start alongside Casemiro against Forest on Wednesday. ★★★★★
Alejandro Garnacho: Replaced Varane 90+2′. Came on too late in the match to have much involvement. I think he should have been introduced ten minutes earlier, perhaps with Facundo Pellistri and Tyrell Malacia. It may not have changed much for United, but the two attacking players could have given United more threat on the attack. Garnacho has a good future ahead of him, with rumours of him signing a new contract this year. ★★★★★
Goals: Eddie Nketiah 24’, 90’, Bukayo Saka 53’; Marcus Rashford 17’, Lisandro Martinez 59’
Assists: Granit Xhaka 24’, Takehiro Tomiyasu 53’; Bruno Fernandes 17′
Manchester United: De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Varane (Garnacho 90+2′), Martinez, Shaw; McTominay, Eriksen; Antony (Fred 71′), Fernandes, Rashford; Weghorst
Substitutes Not Used: Heaton; Lindelof, Maguire, Malacia; Pellistri, Mainoo; Elanga
Bookings: Ben White 19′; Antony 47′, Luke Shaw 83′
Written by John Walker