Manchester United were brought back to Earth will after a bump after their mid-week European exploits after Arsenal produced a resounding win over the Red Devils at the Emirates Stadium to steal a march on the race for top four in the Premier League.
It was the first domestic defeat tasted by interim United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who inferred in the aftermath that his side’s performance didn’t match the result to afford Arsenal the three points;
"We are disappointed with the result but looking at the performance, you cannot say it was a game we deserved to lose.” (BBC)
A long-range strike from Granit Xhaka and a Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang penalty bagged the North London club the win, but Solskjaer was quick to point out United tried to match the hosts blow-for-blow.
“We created five big chances, hit the woodwork twice.
"When you see the boys work as hard as they do, the attitude they show in training - today we were lethargic in the first 10-15 minutes, did not have the zip and we did not take the chances.
“Hopefully we will be ready for Wolves in the FA Cup next week.
"It has been fantastic so far but today is the the lowest we have been because we lost and missed the chance to put pressure on Spurs.
"We have won games we have not deserved to win, and today we lost a game we did not deserve to lose."
The result means that Arsenal jump back up to fourth - and into a Champions League qualification spot - and are now two clear of Man Utd, with eight games left to play.
Arsenal haven’t dropped points at home since mid-November, and haven’t suffered a league loss at home since the opening day of the season, to incumbent champions Manchester City.
🙌 P18, W14, D2, L2
🏆 still in the Champions League, FA Cup & top four race
🔥scored 3+ goals 8 times, never conceded 3+ goals
👶 3 league debuts given