Post-Match Report

Report: Manchester United 0-1 Arsenal

Trossard and Havertz celebrate at Old Trafford

Manchester United -

Old Trafford
Premier League
Premier League
  Manchester United
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Manchester United
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  Arsenal
      
                  Trossard (20)
            
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Arsenal
Trossard (20)

The title race will go right to the very final whistle after Leandro Trossard’s first-half strike was enough to grind out another win on our travels.

It will be the first time in 25 years that we have been involved in the title race on the final day of the season, after we completed the league double over Manchester United for the first time since 2006/07 to move back to the top of the table, though Manchester City have a game in hand.

It was also our 27th league win of the campaign, the most we have ever recorded in a 38-game programme. Next up, Everton at home on the final day, with the championship still up for grabs.


Trossard again

We pinned back the hosts early on, the first three or four minutes were played almost exclusively in the United half, but we only had a flicked-on Declan Rice corner and tame Bukayo Saka shot to show for it.

At the other end Rasmus Hojlund shot over after Thomas Partey was dispossessed just outside his own box, and Alejandro Garnacho had a shot blocked as our fast start petered out.

But just as the balance of play evened out, we struck the first blow. Kai Havertz was in acres of space, played onside by the slowly retreating Casemiro, and was able to pick out the arriving Trossard with a low cross. The in-form Belgian finished first time from close range for his 17th of the season, and our 89th in the Premier League this season – our most prolific campaign in the competition.

Few chances

For a while, it looked as though the goal would give us the lift we needed. Takehiro Tomiyasu had a fierce drive charged down and Ben White blasted over from a narrow angle – both chances came after a storming Rice run into enemy territory.

But in truth the rest of the half was fairly flat, with neither team able to take control, and chances were limited.

The second half began how the first finished, it was 10 minutes after the restart until we had a sight of goal. Rice’s shot from 20 yards was blocked, and Trossard was crowded out when the rebound fell to him.

At the other end Garnacho blazed over when space opened up for him, and then William Saliba made a superbly-timed tackle to deny the Argentine winger as he burst into the box. Odegaard at last worked Onana, his low shot was safely dealt with though, after being set up by a Havertz flick.


Late chances

Midway through the second half Mikel Arteta sent on Gabriel Martinelli for goalscorer Trossard to try to inject some verve to our attacking play. The Brazilian brought a smart save from Onana after shifting the ball onto his right foot inside the box, then forced another save after good work on the right.

Rice was the next to test the keeper with a low curler from 20 yards before Saka was forced off late on – replaced by Gabriel Jesus.

The game had started amid summery temperatures, but ended in thunderstorms. In the slippery conditions though, we kept our footing – and our nerve – to see out another hugely important win.


Facts and stats

We have won three successive Premier League games against Manchester United for the first time since September 1998, while this season is just the fourth time they’ve done the double over them in the competition, after 1997/98, 2001/02 and 2006/07.

Our win at Old Trafford was our 27th in the Premier League this season, only winning more league games in a campaign in the top-flight in 1970/71 (29) and 1930/31 (28).

Manchester United have lost 19 games in all competitions this season, their most since 1977/78 (also 19), while their nine defeats at Old Trafford this term is their joint-most at home in a season.

We have kept a clean sheet in seven of our last eight Premier League away games, while only Chelsea in 2008/09 (12) have kept more away from home in a single season in the competition on the road than their 11 this term.

United have conceded in 10 successive games in all competitions for the first time since October 2021, while the 82 goals they’ve conceded this season is their most since 1970/71 (also 82).

None of Leandro Trossard’s 20 Premier League goals since the start of last season have been a penalty; only Phil Foden (28) and Gabriel Martinelli (21) have more non-penalty goals in the competition during that time.

Only Cole Palmer (19) has been directly involved in more Premier League goals in 2024 than Kai Havertz (14 – 8 goals, 6 assists), with eight of those involvements coming away from home (4 goals, 4 assists), bettered only by Kevin De Bruyne (11).

 

What’s next

Our title bid will go to the final game of the season, regardless of what Manchester City do against Tottenham on Tuesday night. 

We face Everton at home in our last fixture of 2023/24, knowing a win will be enough to become champions for the first time since 2003/04, as long as City drop points in one of their final two fixtures, and we maintain our superior goal difference. The lowest we can now finish is second.

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