Eddie Nketiah’s Ninetieth-minute winner sealed a dramatic 3-2 win in opposition to Manchester United as Arsenal took an enormous step in direction of successful the membership’s first Premier League title since 2004.
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In a pulsating recreation on the Emirates, each side traded the lead earlier than Lisandro Martinez’s equaliser within the second half for United appeared to ship the conflict in direction of a draw. But Nketiah, who cancelled out Marcus Rashford’s opener with a first-half header, claimed victory for Arsenal within the closing minute to maintain the Gunners 5 factors away from Manchester City on the high of the desk.
Here are some fast ideas about Sunday’s standout Premier League fixture.
1. Arsenal move one other enormous take a look at of their title cost
January was supposed to be the acid take a look at of Arsenal’s shock problem for the Premier League title, however Mikel Arteta’s group carry on proving the doubters mistaken with huge outcomes, and none will likely be extra important than this 3-2 win in opposition to Manchester United.
The Gunners have been held by Newcastle at first of the month, however received at Tottenham final week earlier than avenging their solely defeat of the season thus far in opposition to United. And in beating United, Arsenal displayed the qualities of champions. They fought again from conceding an early objective, went on to take the lead after which scored a late winner after the guests had made it 2-2 halfway by means of the second half.
Arsenal have but to play champions Manchester City this season, so the conflict in opposition to a resurgent United was the most important take a look at of Arteta’s group. And they answered all of the questions requested of them to beat Erik ten Hag’s aspect.
Arsenal at the moment are on the midway stage of the season and have amassed 50 factors from 19 video games. Even in the event that they drop off from that unbelievable tempo within the second half of the season, they may nonetheless end the marketing campaign with an enormous factors complete; the strain is on City to reel them in, however this Arsenal aspect is taking part in with out concern and nerves.
Both could come, in fact, however proper now they’re exhibiting the identical type of carefree type that propelled Leicester to the title in 2016. And until City can beat them of their first league assembly subsequent month, it’s going to turn into more and more tough to see how anybody can cease Arsenal from successful the title.
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2. Weghorst makes a distinction, however United nonetheless lack attacking edge
Wout Weghorst isn’t the reply to Manchester United’s goal-scoring issues, however he’s definitely giving Erik ten Hag’s group one thing completely different up entrance. The Netherlands worldwide, on mortgage from Burnley till the top of the season, has been introduced in to bolster United’s attacking choices following Cristiano Ronaldo’s mutually-agreed departure in November.
With Anthony Martial nonetheless sidelined with a hamstring damage, the 6-foot-6 Weghorst began his second successive recreation on the Emirates and, simply as on his debut at Crystal Palace, he did not threaten the opposition objective. But Weghorst has made United extra direct and given them the choice to hit the ball lengthy when wanted. It could be mistaken to recommend that he’s merely a goal man, although.
Weghorst is sweet together with his toes and he linked performed effectively together with his attacking teammates and in addition drew gamers to mark him each time the ball was within the air, releasing house for the likes of Marcus Rashford and Antony. He additionally has a a lot better work ethic than Martial and is ready to endlessly press the opposition defence. But finally, he’s restricted in his capability to beat his marker and opponents know that they’ll maintain Weghorst at bay pretty simply.
United have the bottom objective tally within the high six and proper now, they’re being rescued by Rashford’s objectives time and time once more. That will not proceed perpetually, so that they want to be stronger. Weghorst provides them an alternative choice, however he will not rating sufficient objectives to make United critical title contenders.
3. Arsenal have a right-back drawback
Mikel Arteta has labored wonders to flip Arsenal into title challengers, however his group nonetheless has flaws, and nowhere greater than at right-back.
Ben White was terrible within the first half and utterly failed to make life tough for Rashford. He was additionally outdone greater than as soon as by Bruno Fernandes as United repeatedly attacked down their left-hand aspect.
The former Brighton defender is primarily a centre-half, however he has operated at right-back all through this season as a result of Gabriel and William Saliba have been so spectacular in the midst of the Arsenal defence. White is just not outfitted to play at right-back. He thinks like a centre-back and it means he usually makes the mistaken choices.
Arteta substituted White at half-time — it could have been an damage, however there was no indication of that — and changed him with Takehiro Tomiyasu, however the Japan defender was no higher than his teammate and arguably even worse.
Obviously, being requested to defend in opposition to Rashford in this type of type is hard for any participant, however there are different nice large gamers within the Premier League and Arsenal will face them through the battle for the title.
To keep away from their clear weak point being focused, Arteta wants to discover a answer — and quick.
Best and worst performers
Eddie Nketiah, FW, Arsenal: He’s proving to be rather more than merely a stand-in for the injured Gabriel Jesus. Great objective to equalise within the first-half and was in the proper place on the proper time to rating the winner.
Lisandro Martinez, DF, Man United: Rejected a transfer to Arsenal to signal for United final summer season and Erik ten Hag will likely be delighted with the Argentina defender’s performances. This was one in all his finest, with a objective too.
Bukayo Saka, FW, Arsenal: Scored an impressive objective after which hit the put up when attempting to do the identical once more. United had no reply to the Arsenal winger.
Ben White, DF, Arsenal: The Arsenal right-back was turned inside and outside by Rashford and lacked conviction in too many challenges. An actual weak-link within the Gunners’ group.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka, DF, Man United: Lost Nketiah on the far put up for Arsenal’s equaliser and unreliable when he had possession. Like White with Arsenal, Wan Bissaka simply wasn’t up to the job.
Antony, FW, Man United: Another recreation with none type of constructive affect by United’s £85 million summer season signing. All left foot and never fast sufficient to go previous his defender … what does he truly do?
Highlights and notable moments
Rashford’s glowing type have to be famous, particularly as he opened the scoring on Sunday with a superb, thundering effort from distance to beat Aaron Ramsdale.
— NBC Sports Soccer (@NBCSportsSoccer) January 22, 2023
However, after a superb back-and-forth recreation, up stepped Nketiah with the decisive second within the Ninetieth minute.
Eddie Nketiah comes by means of in a MASSIVE manner.
— NBC Sports Soccer (@NBCSportsSoccer) January 22, 2023
After the match: What the gamers/managers mentioned
“It was a great game with a lot of tempo and the audience is the big winner. Two top teams, but of course we are disappointed when you lose this game at a late stage. All the goals we conceded today are mistakes: it can’t happen. Even last week, we were so hard to beat in such situations. Today we were not. All three goals, we could have avoided.
“They are superb on the ball, however we’re defending group. There weren’t numerous open probabilities. We made errors which we can’t make. This recreation was determined by small particulars but additionally the choice making. That is tough to settle for and we have now to be taught from it… I would like to win. It isn’t ok. We need to be the primary however not if we make errors. That is obvious and what I informed them.” — Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag speaking to BBC Sport
“Emotional, numerous ardour. It does not get significantly better than that. The second half particularly, the efficiency was unbelievable. We have been composed and decided on the identical time. We by no means panicked. We at all times believed that we may win it. We confirmed the proper composure within the field numerous instances however the ball did not go in. Thankfully on the finish it did.
“It’s great and we deserve where we are because of how we’re playing. But there are a lot of things that we can do much better.” — Arsenal supervisor Mikel Arteta, talking to Sky Sports
Key stats (offered by ESPN Stats & Information analysis)
Arsenal: Restores 5-point lead over Manchester City in Premier League standings; 63% likelihood to win Premier League per FiveThirtyEight’s Soccer Power Index
Arsenal: 50 factors by means of 19 PL video games are the fifth most by a membership at this stage of a Premier League season
Arsenal: Extends PL unbeaten streak to 13 video games (11-0-2 W-L-D), its longest Premier League unbeaten run since 14, from Aug.-Dec. 2018
Eddie Nketiah: Seven objectives in final seven appearances in all competitions after scoring two objectives in his first 18 video games this season
Marcus Rashford: Nine objectives in 9 video games in all competitions for the reason that post-WC restart; that’s greater than he scored in 19 video games pre-World Cup (8) for Manchester United this season; Rashford’s 9 post-restart objectives in all competitions are essentially the most amongst gamers in Europe’s high 5 leagues
Bukayo Saka: Scored in 3 straight Premier League video games vs. Man United, joins Arsenal legends Freddie Ljungberg (1998-2000) & Thierry Henry (2000-01) as the one Arsenal gamers to rating in 3 straight PL apps vs Man United.
Arsenal: It does not get any simpler for the Gunners after Sunday’s hard-fought win. First they face a visit to Manchester City on Friday for an FA Cup fourth-round conflict, adopted by struggling Everton away on Feb. 4 within the Premier League.
Manchester United: Thanks to United’s progress within the Carabao Cup, they face a busy fortnight of video games in a number of competitions. After a Wednesday go to to Nottingham Forest (Carabao Cup semifinal, first leg), they host Reading (FA Cup, fourth spherical) on Jan. 28 earlier than the return leg of their semifinal with Forest on Feb. 1. From there, simply a few days’ relaxation earlier than their subsequent league conflict, a house recreation vs. Crystal Palace, on Feb. 4. It’s exhausting to kind, not to mention play in.