An Eddie Nketiah brace saw Arsenal boost their Premier League title hopes as they recorded an important 3-2 victory over Manchester United at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday evening as the Gunners reached the 50-point mark in the top-flight.
Despite a fast start by Arsenal it was the visitors who struck first and of course it was the man who cannot stop scoring at the minute, Marcus Rashford. The attacker has been in great confidence since the season resumed after the World Cup and his beautiful finish to open the scoring in north London was his ninth goal since the restart. He did brilliantly to dance his way past Thomas Partey before finding the bottom corner with a powerful drive which left Aaron Ramsdale with no chance.
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United’s lead, however, only lasted for seven minutes as Nketiah headed home Granit Xhaka’s cross to bring the Gunners back into the match. It was a thoroughly entertaining half because it was showcasing two of the greatest rivals in Premier League history going to battle with one another like the old days where the destination for the title was going to be Highbury as it was back then for the hosts, or Old Trafford.
It was a brilliant contest with high stakes, which we have not been treated to in this fixture for far too long. Both of these clubs have each had their problems over the past decade but it looks as though the future is going to be a lot brighter for Arsenal and United with the way that they have been performing this season.
It has been a long time since there has been a lot riding on this fixture in the top-flight and you could see it on the pitch and feel it from the atmosphere in the stands. The quality didn’t drop after the break. Both teams were pushing for the advantage and the Gunners were able to take it. Bukayo Saka put Arsenal in front for the first time in the match with a curling effort into the bottom left corner, showing his England teammate Rashford that he can score great goals too, before mimicking his opponent’s celebration in front of the buoyant home fans.
United didn’t let their heads drop and they were able to pull themselves level minutes later through Lisandro Martinez who capitalised on a mistake from Ramsdale to head the ball over the line. Ramsdale will have been left frustrated with his loose punch after having pulled off an incredible stop to deny Rashford a second just moments before.
Arsenal continued to push for a winner and as the half went on, they continued to push United back and they appeared to be hanging on. David de Gea made a brilliant stop to deny Gabriel Martinelli but you got the feeling that he wouldn’t be able to keep the Gunners out alone. As the match started to reach the closing stages, the hosts got the goal they richly deserved as Nketiah got his second of the evening with a close-range finish to get the Emirates rocking.
After Manchester City’s 3-0 victory over Wolverhampton Wanderers earlier in the afternoon, the Gunners knew they had to get a result this evening and they made sure they maintained a five-point lead on their title rivals. With each game that passes their title credentials get all that much stronger. Not to mention Mikel Arteta's men still have a game in hand over Pep Guardiola's team.