Feature

Five talking points from our win at Man United

Arsenal celebrate winning at Old Trafford

Our 1-0 success at Manchester United saw us return to the top of the Premier League, as our players kept their nerve to bring a vital three points home with them to north London.

Leandro Trossard’s first-half strike made all the difference, keeping up the pressure on Manchester City at the division’s summit and ensuring the title will be decided at the end of game 38 in a week’s time.

Ahead of the finale against Everton, here are five things we learned during the win against the Red Devils:

More records broken

Regardless of what happens in the next seven days, this season has undoubtedly been a success for Mikel Arteta’s side, who smashed more milestones at Old Trafford. The victory was our 27th from 37 matches, setting a new club record in the competition. In fact, we’ve only won more league games in a top-flight campaign twice before, in 1970/71 (29) and 1930/31 (28).

Trossard’s strike also took us to 89 Premier League goals for the season, again a record haul - surpassing last year’s tally. Arteta is taking our team to new heights, putting us in contention for the championship right until the final day.

Havertz’s heroics

Once again, Kai Havertz made a huge impact by pouncing on some lazy defending by Casemiro to beat the offside trap and set up Trossard for the all-important goal.

It was his seventh league assist this term - more than his last three seasons combined - and his 13th goal contribution in his last 14 league appearances. However it wasn’t just the assist, he was also a key focal point by winning more duels and aerial duels than any other player on the pitch as he caused numerous headaches for United’s makeshift defence.

Soaking up the pressure

If you’d looked at the stats post-match without watching the action, you might have thought United dominated proceedings, as the 14 shots we faced were only bettered this season by Tottenham Hotspur and Fulham. The hosts also entered our final third 61 times in the 90 minutes, yet they caused us few problems.

Only two of the 14 attempts required action from David Raya, and both of those were routine stops. Time after time, we allowed United’s attackers to advance on our goal but Gabriel, Ben White and William Saliba in particular did brilliantly to pick the perfect moment to snuff out the chance via a superb challenge or forcing the forwards wide and limiting the threat. Calm and composed despite the pressure on us to get a win, our backline was brilliant.

Bench boost

We’re now 30 points ahead of Manchester United in the table, a far cry from when we were both battling for supremacy at the top. However, as well as the gulf in the league table, the difference in options for both managers was vast.

Incredibly at this time of the season, Arteta had a fully-fit squad to select from, and eight of his nine substitutes were full internationals for their countries. Even when Bukayo Saka was forced off injured late in the second half, our boss could turn to four-time Premier League winner Gabriel Jesus to plug the gap, ensuring we maintained a strong XI at all times.

Erik ten Hag meanwhile was forced to name five academy players amongst his replacements, with a combined total of 12 Premier League appearances between them, with only Christian Eriksen and Antony presenting realistic options to try and change their team’s fortunes, and neither had little impact during their time on the field.

1-0 to the Arsenal - again!

Today was all about getting the vital three points we needed to return to the top of the league and put Manchester City under as much pressure as possible, and a business-like display ensured that was the case. Once we had the lead, we barely looked like losing it as we maturely saw out proceedings.

It also meant we completed a league double over United for the first time since 2006/07, and brought about our fifth win at Old Trafford in the Premier League era - all of which came via a 1-0 scoreline. The same scoreline would be welcome in a week’s time against Everton when we round off the campaign, still dreaming of being champions of England for the first time in 20 years.

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