Welbeck did it again for Arsenal to keep hope alive for a champions league spot
Arsenal needed to win against their nemesis Manchester United to have any hope for securing a 4th place finish at the end of the season. With City’s thumping 5-0 win over Crystal Palace on Saturday, anything less than 3 points is a no good for Arsene and his boys. The Gunners are now two points adrift from their arch rivals who is sitting on 5th place in the table. Even by winning the remaining games, they could still be a point behind current 4th place Man City but anything can happen in football.
Arsenal started again with their newly established 3-4-3 formation with Danny Welbeck replacing Olivier Giroud upfront while Mourinho started the game by giving Axel Tuanzebe his top flight debut and give start to Chris Smalling and Phil Jones after 7 weeks absent from any Premier League game.
Manchester United drew the first blood as early as 2 minutes from their captain Wayne Rooney after a cross from Juan Mata finds him inside the box but Rooney’s header went over the bar and did not trouble Cech. Right at the other end, Kieran Gibbs crosses the ball into the box and finds Danny Welbeck who was pressured off the ball by Smalling, but Arsenal talisman, Alexis Sanchez pick up the lose ball and try to shoot from a tight angle but was easily saved by David De Gea.
A moment after that, Rooney gets the ball in the middle of the park and finds Martial with a delightful through ball in behind the Arsenal defense. It was a good chance for the frenchman to put his side in control but Cech produce a great save to keep Arsenal alive. Arsenal create a very similar chance on the 8th minute, when Sanchez picks up Ramsey who made his trademark run but Ramsey’s shot was parried off by the ever so brilliant De Gea.
Both side were quiet until the mid of the 1st half when Ramsey fails to set up the in running Sanchez. It was a perfect chance for Arsenal to go one up but Ramsey fails to make the perfect final pass. Rob Holding, who is standing up for Gabriel Paulista, almost cost his team to be a goal down when he makes a bad pass back to the goalkeeper that cost a confusion between Cech and Koscielny resulting in Rooney manage to intercept the pass and took a shot straight at the Arsenal goalkeeper. Fair to say, Man United looks to create more clear cut chances in the first half.
Granit Xhaka, who is the talk of the pundit on him being one of the worst signings this season, steps up to the plate in the second half when his long range effort, was deflected over and into the goal by Ander Herrera. Yes it’s deflected, but the usual flair Arsenal would take any kind of goal at the moment. Arsenal took the lead and the momentum and three minutes later, they make sure the three points is in the bag when Oxlade Chamberlain who is in fine form recently playing as a wing back in the new formation, found Danny Welbeck who rise up between Smalling and Tuanzebe to head the ball past the helpless De Gea. The goal was Welbeck’s third goal in as many appearance against his former team.
The game was done and dusty after the second goal went in and the pace of the game was slowed done till the end of the game. Man United’s captain, Wayne Rooney tried a few efforts to try to bring his team back into the game but his shots are mostly off target and sums of United’s evening.
This victory was not only needed by Arsenal, but for the manager Arsene Wenger as well, because this victory gets him his first ever win over Mourinho in a top flight game after 15 meeting between the managers. The competition for 4th place looks to be quite exciting until the end of the season after last night’s result and every fan can look forward to it.