Arsenal 3, Manchester United 2
Arsenal scored a last minute winner at home to Manchester United thanks to Eddie Nketiah to stay 5 points clear at the top of the league.Embed from Getty Images
United had looked on course for a point thanks to Lisandro Martinez after Nketiah and Bukayo Saka had put the Gunners into the lead following a Marcus Rashford strike.
United boss Erik ten Hag summed up United’s day, declaring: “This game was decided by the details. It’s hard to accept but we must accept it today.”
The Gunners were unchanged from last weekend’s win in the north London derby against Spurs while United made just one change with Scott McTominay replacing the suspended Casemiro.
Ultimately the absence of the Brazilian defensive midfielder may have been the difference in a game which the Gunners deservedly won.
Marcus Rashford sidestepped Thomas Partay and rasped home a low drive from 20 yards out for his 17th goal of the season as he continued his rich vein of scoring form to upset the league leaders.
But the Gunners hit back with an equaliser by Nketiah who headed home from a left wing cross by Granite Xhaka.
McTominay’s drive was palmed away by Arsenal keeper Aaron Ramsdale before the Gunners took the lead through Bukayo Saka after the break.
Saka spotted his chance with a long range effort from 25 yards after cutting inside from the right to curl the ball home – it was his third game in a row scoring against the Reds.
Rashford’s deflected shot off William Saliba was saved by Ramsdale as United tried to find the equaliser.
Lisandro Martinez scored his first United goal with a header just before the hour mark when Ramsdale failed to properly collect a United corner.
United thought they had weathered an Arsenal storm as they tried to hold out for a point, with Saka’s curling shot shaving the post and Nketiah denied by a fine save from De Gea after another free kick.
Fred replaced Antony as United looked to hold on for a draw but there was to be one more twist in the saga.
Nketiah popped up in the last minute to break United hearts with a winner after former Manchester City player Oleksandr Zinchenko’s cut back sent goalwards by Martin Odegaard and diverted past De Gea by Nketiah from close range.
There was a tense wait before the goal was ratified by VAR – a result which restored a 5 point gap between Arsenal and Manchester City in second place – and the Gunners have a game in hand.