Euro 2020 Special
 

What Does Manchester United’s Win Over Arsenal Mean?

Arsenal’s perfect start to the season came to an end at Old Trafford last week after a 3-1 defeat against Manchester United. The Gunners were on the back of a 100 percent record in the Premier League 2022-23, while the home side were on the back of three straight wins. Arsenal had a chance to extend their lead in the points table after Manchester City dropped points, but things did not go their way as United capitalised on Arsenal’s sluggishness.

Manchester United, who began their campaign with back-to-back 4-0 defeats in the Premier League, are now fifth on the table, just three points behind league leaders Arsenal. What does this result mean for both sides? Are Manchester United gunning for Premier League glory themselves? Can the Gunners hold onto their top spot? We find out.

 

United making a bold statement

Manchester United have extended their winning streak to four games with an emphatic win over league leaders Arsenal. This was much needed for the Red Devils and their supporters as the fixture was equally important for both sides. Arsenal had to prove that they can take on any club while Manchester United had to show that they are back on track.

Summer signing Antony from Ajax was signed on deadline day at the request of the former Ajax manager. The $100 million signing was questioned by the fraternity as many pondered if the Brazilian winger is worth it. So far, Antony has managed to silence his critics after scoring the opening goal against Arsenal on his debut. Looks like things really are working out for United.

With United prevailing, gaffer Erik Ten Hag must be relieved that his plans are finally taking shape. His side’s win over Arsenal is indeed a bold statement, considering how they were ridiculed after the first two games of the season. However, their next three games are against Crystal Palace, Leeds United and defending champions Manchester City. It will be interesting to see how Ten Hag prepares for these fixtures.

 

Arsenal with a point to prove

Arsenal were off to a remarkable start to their 2022-23 campaign, registering five wins in five games. However, their 100 percent record came to an abrupt end after a humbling defeat against Manchester United. The Gunners were off to a flying start when Gabriel Martinelli broke the deadlock in the first half. However, the goal was disallowed after Martin Ødegaard’s tackle on Christian Eriksen in the build-up was given as a foul by referee Paul Tierney.

United debutant Antony scored his first Premier League goal to finally break the deadlock before the half-time whistle. Arsenal equalised in the second half after Bukayo Saka breached United’s defence. However, a Marcus Rashford brace settled the score for the home side, bringing Arsenal’s run to an end.

Going into this match, Arsenal were yet to face a ‘Big 6’ side, as many considered the new Arsenal side as still untested. The Gunners had a perfect opportunity to prove their worth and briefly even made a point with the Martinelli goal. However, the controversy of poor refereeing decisions continue to haunt Arsenal as they registered their first loss of the season.

Arsenal are set to face Everton, Brentford and Tottenham in their upcoming league matches. These matches will be crucial to evaluate their capacity to maintain their position at the top of the league. Arsenal still sit atop the rest with much of the season remaining. Their main objective is to win all three points against other ‘Big 6’ sides.

 

Arsenal lack squad depth

Arsenal were aiming to strengthen their wings and midfield towards the end of the transfer window. However, they failed to make any signings. With Thomas Partey and Mohammed Elneny still out, the Gunners will have to rely on Albert Sambi Lokonga, who still lacks experience. In the wings, Emile Smith Rowe has picked up an injury as Arsenal fear another injury. This will leave Gabriel Martinelli and Bukayo Saka with no backup for the near future.

Squad depth has been an issue for the Gunners for quite some time now. The only way for Arsenal is to look forward to the winter transfer window, hoping to sign some quality players to the squad.

 

United don’t need Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo was on the bench for the first half of the game. He played in the second half but had no conclusive contribution to the result as Rashford stole the spotlight. Perhaps for those wondering why Ronaldo is on the bench all this time, this is why. Ronaldo has failed to make an impact in his game time while Rashford has scored match-winning goals.

Erik Ten Hag is finally getting used to the brutalities of the Premier League. Fair to say, he is now settling in.

 

What does this result mean?

At the moment, Arsenal still are a strong side that lacks squad depth. Their main players are sidelined with an injury and so far they have failed to beat a ‘Big 6’ side. It will be instructive to see manager Mikel Arteta tackle these problems, with the UEFA Europa League on the schedule.

While Manchester United are on a mission to punish all those who made fun of their horrendous start. 

Also Read: Top Contenders Capable of Winning the Premier League Golden Boot

 

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