Man Utd player ratings gallery vs Arsenal - one scores 8/10 but one 3/10 awarded in 3-2 defeat
Manchester United were second best at the Emirates as they lost to Arsenal.
Manchester United lost 3-2 in a pulsating encounter against Arsenal on Sunday. The Red Devils thought goals from Marcus Rashford and Lisandro Martinez had earned them a point, but Eddie Nketiah netted at the death to hand the Gunners a significant win in the title race.
Arsenal started the game on top and created decent chances via Thomas Partey and Gabriel Martinelli shots, neither of which tested David de Gea. But it was United who grabbed the opener after 17 minutes.
Rashford won the ball from a misplaced Partey pass, skipped round the Ghanaian and unleashed a powerful strike from just outside the box, which flew into the bottom corner. Yet the lead lasted jut six minutes, and Nketiah headed in at the back post from Granit Xhaka’s sweeping cross to level proceedings in North London.
After the action-packed start, things settled down a bit, with a Scott McTmominay shot that was saved by Aaron Ramsdale the only note of effort until the final minutes of the first half, when Oleksandr Zinchenko fizzed a shot wide and Bukayo Saka’s deflected shot was held by De Gea.
But after the break, the United keeper watched Saka’s shot sail by him and nestle in the bottom corner. De Gea could have done better with the curling effort from the England winger, after he easily bypassed Christian Eriksen and shot from outside the box.
Most of United’s best attacking moments centred around Rashford, who soon after created a shooting angle inside the box after a jinking dribble. But it was an unlikely source who popped up with an equaliser for United, as Martinez grabbed his first goal for the Red Devils.
The defender capitalised on some poor goalkeeping from Ramsdale as he flapped at a United corner but only succeeded in pushing the ball towards the penalty spot where Martinez was waiting. He stooped to head the ball over the sea of Arsenal players and into the back of the net, with William Saliba trying and failing to head the ball over.
The Gunners were the better side in the final half an hour, with United having to throw themselves at repeated crosses and shots. Martin Odegaard produced a decent effort that went wide, while Saka nearly scored an almost identical goal as he cut in from the right and hit the post with a curling effort.
De Gea then made a great reaction stop to deny Nketiah with five minutes left. The Arsenal striker was one of the game’s standout players, and it was fitting he grabbed the winner in the 90th minute. Nketiah, standing inside the six-yard box, flicked in Odegaard’s initial shot with a deft touch, with the goal awarded after a VAR check.
It was the final act of a hugely entertaining game, as United’s long unbeaten run came to an end. Here’s how we rated the players...