FootballManchester United

United falls 1-0 to Arsenal

Aubameyang penalty gives Gunners victory

Tactically sound

Manchester United continues to struggle at Old Trafford this season after suffering a 1-0 defeat to Arsenal on Sunday.

The Reds midfield that’s been so highly touted throughout the season was dealt with all afternoon by Mikel Arteta’s team.

Game Story

 Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s 100th match in charge was anything but memorable.

United was flat from the opening whistle, mustering only one shot in the first half.

The Gunners came close when Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang just missed a cross at the far post after a mistimed lunge.

A brilliant lob from Willian brushed the crossbar.

In the 55th minute, Harry Maguire came close to putting the Reds in front but his header went just wide of the left post.

This was a very cautious game by all accounts with both teams afraid to give anything away.

In the 69th minute, it was United’s Paul Pogba who gave away a penalty, kicking the foot of Hector Bellerin, which led to a penalty being awarded.

Aubameyang sent David de Gea the wrong way to give Arsenal the lead.

United was unfortunate not to equalize when a mistimed block from Mohamed Elneny bounced off goalkeeper Bernd Leno’s head and onto the post.

Stats

 This is the first win for Arsenal at Old Trafford in a Premier League match in 14 years.

Seven points from their first six EPL matches is the United’s lowest tally at this stage since David Moyes’ short stint as manager in 2013/14.

It’s the first time since the 1972/73 season that Man United have failed to win any of their opening four top-flight games at Old Trafford.

United has conceded five penalties in their last seven EPL home fixtures.

Paul Pogba has been guilty of giving away three penalties in the Premier League under Solskjaer.

No other United player has conceded more than one since the Norwegian became manager.

Man of the Match

 Thomas Partey showed why he was worth the £45 million the Gunners paid to sign him from Athletico Madrid.

He linked up well with Elneny all afternoon winning many tackles in the middle and shutting down a potent United midfield.

His touches and dribbles kept United on their heels most of the day.

He was tactically sound all afternoon.

Managers Thoughts

 After the match, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says they just had an off day.

“We never turned up first half, that intensity, tempo wasn’t there. Their shape was better than us.”

“We played better second half, but we have to turn up with more intensity. We weren’t at the races.”

Meanwhile, Mikel Arteta says he’s pleased with the turnaround he’s seeing from his team lately.

“The team you saw tonight is where we’re starting to be. I am proud, to show the personality to play against this team at Old Trafford, I’m delighted with the win.”

What it means

 The defeat drops United to 15th in the standings with seven points.

They’re currently just six points clear of the relegation zone.

The Gunners temporarily move into 9th place with 12 points.

Next Up

 The Reds look to remain perfect in the Champions League Wednesday when they travel to Turkey to face Istanbul Basaksehir F.K.

Kickoff is at 5:55 pm.

United face Everton next in the EPL next Saturday at 12:30 pm from Goodison Park. (JSL)

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