Two first-half goals condemned us to defeat in the second match of our U.S. Tour.
In the first-ever meeting between the teams on American soil, 82,262 supporters were inside the MetLife Stadium, but we failed to get going after Manchester United opened the scoring through Bruno Fernandes' long-range strike on the half-hour. Jadon Sancho doubled the lead soon afterwards and although Eddie Nketiah came close in the second-half, we tasted defeat for the first-time this close season.
United at the double
In a sold out MetLife Stadium, a strong Arsenal line up made a positive start against United, with Gabriel Martinelli forcing a low double save from Tom Heaton after excellent work by Jurrien Timber and Bukayo Saka on the right wing.
Moments later Eddie Nketiah’s low cut back was intercepted just in front of the goalline, with the United defence scrambling to cover.
At the other end Antony scuffed a shot wide when well placed, but we were looking dangerous going forward, especially when Saka picked up possession on the right.
It was Manchester United who struck first however. Bruno Fernandes tried a speculative effort from 20 yards, that squirmed past the outstretched Aaron Ramsdale into the bottom corner.
Jadon Sancho doubled the lead a few moments later, latching onto a long ball that Gabriel misjudged, and finishing powerfully inside the near post.
The game got gradually more physical and disjointed, with Martin Odegaard and Saka on the receiving end of some hefty challenges.
United changed all ten outfield players at half-time, while Kieran Tierney replaced Takehiro Tomiyasu at left back for us.
We started the second half on the front foot, and Nketiah had a great chance to pull one back when he ran onto a sliderule pass from Martin Odegaard’s free-kick, but he dragged his shot wide.
Marcus Rashford missed an open goal – though the flag later went up for offside – before Kai Havertz headed a deep cross onto the roof of the net, but the game had lost some fluency by then.
Mikel Arteta sent on reinforcements on the hour mark, with Leandro Trossard, Gabriel Jesus, Thomas Partey and Emile Smith Rowe among those sent on.
Smith Rowe came closest to pulling one back, but we failed to make the breakthrough.
Penalty shoot out
As planned, the game ended with a penalty shoot out, here's how it panned out:
Casemiro scores 1-0
Martin Odegaard scores 1-1
Diogo Dalot scores 2-1
Leandro Trossard scores 2-2
Victor Lindelof scores 3-2
Fabio Vieira misses 3-2
Marcus Rashford scores 4-2
Jorginho scores 4-3
Christian Eriksen scores 5-3
We conclude our 2023 U.S. Tour with a friendly against Barcelona in the SoFi Stadium, Los Angeles on the early hours of Thursday (3.30am UK time). Tickets are available here. Then the team head back to the UK for the Emirates Cup against Monaco on August 2, before the Community Shield against Manchester City on August 6.
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