Arsenal ended their 14 year wait for a win at Old Trafford with a narrow 1-0 win over Manchester United today after an impressive team performance from Mikel Arteta’s side.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team came into the game in buoyant mood after their 5-0 thrashing of RB Leipzig in midweek, although United spent the majority of the opening exchanges struggling to get out past the Gunners well-coached press.
Despite Arsenal seemingly winning the tactical battle their much publicised lack of creativity saw them struggle to make chances and it would be United who were the first team to work either goalkeeper. Mason Greenwood’s low drive stopped at the near post by Bernd Leno after an excellent ball in behind the defence by Marcus Rashford.
Five minutes before the break the Gunners did finally threaten David de Gea’s goal, Willian’s curling effort with his left foot skimming off the top of the crossbar.
Just a few minutes later Arsenal once again had a chance to take a deserved lead, but Bukayo Saka headed over the top when free in the penalty area.
Solskjaer switched from a diamond formation to a 4-2-3-1 at half time and despite United initially looking to have more control in the game, Arsenal would again go close to scoring, this time skipper Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang curling just wide from the edge of the area.
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) November 1, 2020
It would then be the turn of United’s captain to almost break the deadlock, Harry Maguire’s back-post header drifting past the woodwork.
On 69 minutes Arsenal would finally take the lead when Aubameyang fired home from the penalty spot after Paul Pogba was penalised for an idiotic foul on Hector Bellerin in the area.
Solskjaer brought on Edison Cavani and Donny Van Der Beek in search of an equaliser, but despite a bit of huffing and puffing Arsenal held on for a first away win against a big six rival since January 2015.
Speaking afterwards matchwinner Aubameyang was quick to point out what a big win it was for his side and paid tribute to the job Arteta has done since taking over at the Emirates last December.
“Very big. It was a very tough night but I’m really happy because the team did very well. It’s been a long time since we won here,” the Gabon international told Sky Sports.
“We knew we had to score after having opportunities in the first half. And then we had the penalty. We work a lot with our penalties in training so we are pretty confident.
“The team did a great job. Everyone was giving their best that’s why we won. We knew since the beginning that we had to trust the process. Mikel [Arteta] is bringing something very nice and we have to follow.”
United sit in 15th place in the table after today’s defeat, while Arsenal’s victory sees them move up to eight.