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He dispatched his penalty in what would be the winning goal
Manchester United needed to find consistency following their erratic form earlier in the season. It appeared they were on the way to doing so given their recent results. Their unbeaten run was ended tonight, however. Arsenal came out victors in what was a lacklustre Manchester United performance. Many would have favoured Manchester United for the victory tonight, but that wasn’t to be.
After all, Arsenal were in less than impressive form prior to the match. Before this evening, Arsenal had lost 4 of their previous 5 Premier League games. Their win this evening means they now sit 8th in the Premier League table, moving up 5 places from 13th.
The form of their talisman Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has been called into question this year. The striker’s goal return has been nothing short of incredible over the years. However, this year he has struggled to find the net with regularity. He will be satisfied with his performance tonight, though. His goal to make it 1-0 would turn out to be the winner. Having struggled for consistency so far this season, his goal tonight should give the striker a massive confidence boost.
🗣”Mikel is bringing something very very nice and everyone wants to follow this way”
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) NOVEMBER 1, 2020
Oppositely, Marcus Rashford has been in incredible form of late. Rashford scored 6 goals in his last 4 games prior to today. His impressive return of 3 goals – as a substitute – midweek would have done his confidence no harm going into tonight. He failed to impress, though, as he was marshalled by the opposition and failed to find space throughout.
The match itself was anticipated to be an exciting affair but that wasn’t to be. While not being necessarily boring, the match was a tense affair. Arsenal kept the ball well in possession as Manchester United failed to disgruntle them by pressing high like they have done in the past.
In fact, it took 21 minutes before either team had a shot at goal. Academy graduates linked up as Marcus Rashford’s pinpoint ball was collected by Greenwood. He shot from a similar angle as his goal midweek, but Bernd Leno had no trouble as he comfortably dealt with his effort.
Arsenal struggled to create opportunities in the first half, but were quite clearly the better team. Lacazette had the best chance as the ball fell to him inside the box after a good passing move. He failed to make a connection with the ball though and the move broke down. Saka also had an opportunity from a header towards the end of the half, but his shot sailed over the bar.
Aubameyang had his first real chance of the game shortly after the first half commenced. Indecision from Fred allowed Lacazette to intercept and set up the Gabonese hitman. David De Gea had no problems, however, as his shot went wide of the post.
Manchester United had an opportunity of their own not long afterwards. Harry Maguire got his head to the ball from a good set piece delivery, but his attempt went just wide.
Paul Pogba was the villain in the 67th minute as his clumsy challenge inside the box brought down Hector Bellerin. Mike Dean made his decision almost immediately as he pointed to the spot. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang ended his drought of 5 games without scoring by tucking away the resulting penalty.
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) NOVEMBER 1, 2020
United nearly got their equalizer on 84 minutes after a series of mishaps in the Arsenal box. Donny Van de Beek crossed the ball into the box before his cross bounced off Elneny and Leno on the way to hitting the post. In truth, it would have been very unfortunate for Arsenal as they had dominated much of the match.
Arsenal managed to hang on as the match finished 1-0. Aubameyang’s strike was the difference in an important match for both clubs.
— Premier League (@premierleague) NOVEMBER 1, 2020