Sunday’s version of Arsenal-Manchester United, a pulsating 3-2 Gunners win at the Emirates Stadium, taught the Premier League a new but familiar lesson.
The Arsenal-Manchester United rivalry is back big time, as fans and neutrals alike will be dreaming of this fixture growing up to become what it was at the start of this century.
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Eddie Nketiah completed his brace with a 90th-minute winner, joining Bukayo Saka’s wonder goal on the scoresheet and eclipsing Man United goals from Marcus Rashford and Lisandro Martinez.
The Gunners just keep rolling as Mikel Arteta’s top-placed side beat bitter rivals Tottenham and now old foes Man United in the space of a week, picking up 50 points to extend their lead in the table to five over Man City with one match to match. – hand
WATCH THE FULL REPLAY OF THE ARSENAL – MANCHESTER UNITED MATCH
But Erik ten Hag’s Manchester United showed bravery as they bounced back against Crystal Palace in midweek, battling through fatigue before coming on. The Red Devils’ 39 points are behind third place Newcastle United on goal difference.
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The Arsenal-Manchester United rivalry has been properly reborn (or at least revived)
We needed this.
There are some non-geographic rivalries in the Premier League that simply fill the fixture list and for a long time we’ve been waiting to see Arsenal and Manchester United give us a meaningful battle in the top four.
Sunday’s game joins United’s early-season win to reignite the rivalry and allow fans of each side – as well as neutrals – to wonder if there is hope for Mikel Arteta and Erik ten Hag to give us a mini-Arsene Wenger vs. Alex Ferguson.
The toss-up between Bruno Fernandes and Gabriel Magalhaes gave us hints of Roy Keane and Patrick Vieira (in different positions, of course) and the fire in the eyes of goalscorers Marcus Rashford and Bukayo Saka in particular showed us what it can mean to score a big goal in this match.
How would that look with Casemiro, Gabriel Jesus and Diogo Dalot?
Arsenal’s project is still slightly ahead of Man United
Erik ten Hag doesn’t have all his pieces, and the distance between the two sides may not be a gulf, but it’s still noticeable.
Even accounting for home-field advantage, injuries to Diogo Dalot and Anthony Martial, and – more critically – Casemiro’s suspension, Arsenal were poised to leave the bounce and United spent most of the day adjusting to the dictates of host game.
Thomas Partey and Granit Xhaka restricted the still influential Bruno Fernandes, and the Gunners had more than half the ball plus a significant advantage in shot attempts and goals conceded.
But Ten Hag’s defense didn’t allow many chances to a talented side who needed a superb goal from Saka on his way to a point – there are questions about the backs in Nketiah’s mark – and Raphael Varane has been a cheat code when he was healthy. .
United are a step behind the Gunners now and Nketiah’s winner was deserved and decisive, but sign us up for front row seats when these games come next season.
Stars of the Show
What is expected next?
Arsenal travel to Manchester City for an FA Cup fourth-round tie on Friday before a Premier League visit to Everton on February 4.
Man United have three cup games before their next Premier League game, which comes on February 4 against Crystal Palace at Old Trafford. United travel to Nottingham Forest in the first leg of the League Cup semi-final on Wednesday, host Reading on Saturday in the FA Cup, then welcome Forest for a second leg on February 1.
Mikel Arteta’s reaction
“It doesn’t get better than that after a derby, to come here and win it like that makes it even better. …. Mentally and emotionally we were really composed and determined at the same time. We never panicked and kept believing, doing the same things even better than before.
“You can talk about maturity, but it was about confidence and quality, to show the determination to take the game where we wanted. I’m delighted and thanks to the crowd.”
Arsenal-Manchester United video highlights: Arsenal 2-2 Man United
Video of Marcus Rashford’s goal: Man United lead 1-0 (17′)
Video of Eddie Nketiah’s goal: Granit Xhaka gets the fifth assist in PL this season (24′)
Video of Bukayo Saka’s goal: The Arsenal star scores a fantastic goal from distance (53′)
Video of Lisandro Martinez’s goal: Desperate header clears the line (59′)
Video of Eddie Nketiah’s goal: Deft touch gives Arsenal victory (90′)
Eddie Nketiah comes through in massive fashion.
📺 @nbc AND @pallua #ARSMU | #MyPLMorning pic.twitter.com/NM1hhUvgF1
— NBC Sports Soccer (@NBCSportsSoccer) January 22, 2023
How to watch Arsenal v Manchester United live stream link and start time
Kickoff: 11:30 a.m. ET, Sunday
TV channel: NBC
Online: Stream via NBCSports.com
Top stories and in-form players to watch
Bukayo Saka, Martin Odegaard, Thomas Partey, William Saliba and Aaron Ramsdale continue to shine and through the backbone of the squad Arsenal are fit and fired up. Even without Gabriel Jesus they haven’t missed a beat with Eddie Nketiah standing admirably. After this clash against United, they have an FA Cup game and then the Premier League game against Manchester City to negotiate, but then a series of very easy games. Topping the table at this stage is truly deserved and a win against a United would see many predicting the Gunners have a hand in the Premier League trophy.
United slipped up in midweek at Palace after Michael Olise’s stunning free-kick in stoppage time denied them another win. United weren’t ruthless enough, but they are still well ahead of where everyone thought they would be this season. Marcus Rashford has been on fire in recent weeks, while Luke Shaw has been a revelation at centre-back, but be in his usual left-back position for a tasty battle against Saka. Bruno Fernandes has scored in back-to-back games and is leading the attacking department and Casemiro has been outstanding but he is suspended for this game which is a massive blow. Scott McTominay or Fred are expected to replace him in the lineup alongside Christian Eriksen in midfield.
Arsenal team news, injuries, squad
Gabriel Jesus and Reiss Nelson remain out, while Mohamed Elneny has a knock. Mikel Arteta continues to field the same starting lineup once again, and why the hell not?
🧱 Gabriel in the back
🪄 Odegaard in midfield
📞 Nketiah leads the line
👊 Ready for war – together! pic.twitter.com/OjJqnWU9W9
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) January 22, 2023
Manchester United team news, injuries, squad
Jadon Sancho, Diogo Dalot and Donny van de Beek are out injured, while Casemiro is suspended. Scott McTominay replaces Casemiro in the starting line-up, while Anthony Martial remains out, so Wout Weghorst starts up front again.
🚨 TEAM NEWS 🚨
Eric makes a change from Wednesday night, with @McTominay10 coming for the suspended @Casemiro.#MUFC || #ARSMUN
– Manchester United (@ManUtd) January 22, 2023