The Arsenal youth players took centre-stage as the Gunners shot down Manchester United in a pivotal top four clash. Arsenal came into the game level on points with Tottenham Hotspur for fourth spot with United three points behind them.
Arsenal Youth Shines Through Against Manchester United
Red Devils No Match for Arsenal Youth Stars
Arsenal scored early thanks to a Nuno Tavares goal after a David De Gea save. Bukayo Saka whipped a shot to the far post, De Gea made a good save but pushed it straight into the path of Nuno who tapped it in. Arsenal then had a goal ruled out for offside, upon VAR review a foul occurred leading to a penalty that came before the offside. Saka stepped up and calmly slotted the penalty home to make it 2-0 Arsenal. 2-0 was short-lived as Cristiano Ronaldo scored yet again for United in the 34th minute. Nemanja Matic put in a looping cross that Ronaldo beat Gabriel Magalhães to and poked home with his left foot. United then had a penalty given for a handball on Nuno Tavares. Bruno Fernandes stepped up to take the penalty but missed hitting the outside of the post.
Arsenal put the game away after the penalty miss with a Granit Xhaka rocket from outside the 18. After an initial shout for a handball, the ball fell kindly to Xhaka who set himself and fired the ball into the bottom corner. Arsenal were 3-1 up at that point and would go on to win the game by that scoreline.
Arsenal Young Guns Get the Job Done
Arsenal continue to rely on the youth in attack. Eddie Nketiah, Emile Smith-Rowe, Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Martinelli, and Martin Odegaard all played a part today. The youth development at Arsenal continues to bear fruit with Saka scoring and Odegaard looking very lively all game in the 10 role. Nketiah had a goal ruled out for offside, but again showed he can deputize for Alexander Lacazette as the starting striker.
Next Man Up
Arsenal have been without starting fullbacks Takehiro Tomiyasu and Kieran Tierney for some time now. Cedric Soares and Nuno Tavares deputised today against United, with Tavares scoring the opening goal. Cedric did well against Jadon Sancho most of the game.
Another big injury miss was Thomas Partey who has been out for a couple of games. Mohammed Elneny stepped in to fill his boots and did a wonderful job being busy and harassing midfielders all day.
Arsenal Top Four Implications
In another pivotal top four clash for the Gunners this week, Arsenal get the win again. Arsenal beat Chelsea earlier this week to go level on points with Tottenham. After a difficult game at Stamford Bridge Arsenal came home for their game against United needing a big result to continue pushing for the top four. And they got it. Things are looking bright especially as the North London Derby begins to loom large.