It was a night to forget in North London for Manchester United, as they slump to a 3-0 defeat at the hands of a ruthless Arsenal.
Arsenal started the game by coming at United right from the outset and it paid dividends as all three of Arsenal’s goals came in the first 20 minutes.
The first came in the 6th minute when some mesmerizing one touch passing ended with Mesut Ozil, on the right-hand side of the United box. Ozil played the ball to the near post where Sanchez fired home past David de Gea with a cool Cruyff-like finish.
Less than a minute later Theo Walcott broke into the United box down the left. Cutting back, he played the ball into Mesut Ozil, who was unmarked on the penalty spot. Ozil, with all the time in the world, struck the ball first time, placing it into the bottom left corner, leaving David de Gea rooted to the ground.
It didn’t stop there. Arsenal’s attacking frenzy continued and Alexis Sanchez found the net in the 20th minute for his second in the game. From a central position, Theo Walcott played the ball out to the left finding Sanchez unmarked. Doing what he does best, Sanchez ran at the United defence, skipping past Matteo Darmian and Chris Smalling, then lacing the ball into the top right corner. David de Gea had no chance.
By this point United looked defeated and shocked. I think every player and fan on both sides were shocked by what they were seeing from both teams.
On 33 minutes Aaron Ramsey had a golden chance to put United out of their misery. After some more quick, clever passing from Arsenal, a ball over the top to the back post found Ramsay unmarked but his volley was mis-hit and sailed over the bar.
By now Arsenal had taken their foot off the pedal slightly and Manchester United enjoyed some possession.
In the 44th Minute, Anthony Martial found the ball at his feet on the edge of the 6-yard box. He turned his man brilliantly but Petr Cech read the situation very well and came out quickly to block Martial’s shot. Had Martial scored, the second half could have been very different.
The second half was completely different regardless. Arsenal were contempt with their 3-goal lead and so sat back and allowed Manchester United to play.
Although United dominated possession for the entire second half, they only managed a few half chances that never really threatened Petr Cech.
Arsenal again had a couple of chances toward the end of the game to score another with Ozil and Giroud both having shots straight at de Gea and Oxlade-Chamberlain came close in the 91st minute with a lobbed shot hitting the bar.
It has to be said, Arsene Wenger and Arsenal got it spot on today. They completely out-classed Manchester United early on scoring the goals they deserved. They played at a very high tempo and their passing was so quick and tight that it pulled United apart. The link up between the Arsenal forwards was admirable. They were all in tandem with each other and showed great awareness. Then in the second half, they showed their defensive qualities – which have been questioned many times in the past – by keeping Manchester United at bay.
United on the other hand were nowhere near as good. And the sooner they put this result behind them the better.
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Arsenal Team Sheet
Özil (Oxlade-Chamberlain 75′)
Sánchez (Gibbs 81′)
Walcott (Giroud 75′)
Manchester United Team Sheet
Darmian (Valencia 45′)
Mata (Wilson 82′)
Depay (Fellaini 45′)