Arsenal fans were given good news prior to the match, with Lacazette able to play when he was originally ruled out for the game with a groin injury. Arsenal came out in full force with arguably their best first team lineup.
1st Half - How it Happened
It was a poor start at the Emirates. A 4th minute giveaway in the first third led to a 1-2 between Valencia and Pogba. All the Arsenal defenders moved towards Pogba and seemingly forgot about the man who passed it his way. Just watch how all 4 go all in on Pogba. There could be an argument it should have been stopped, as the ball went through two sets of legs (sigh, including Cech). Take a look:
Down 1-0 against a team who loves parking the bus, it would be an uphill battle the rest of the way. Sadly, it got even steeper 7 minutes later, when a terrible Mustafi error lead to a Lukaku ball to Martial. A very impressive ball through from Martial put Lingard in, and the Englishman slotted it home. 2-0. Mustafi was injured on the play, and had to make way for Alex Iwobi, putting Arsenal at a back 4. This led to some defensive lapses that haunted the rest of the 78 minutes to come.
David De Gea had a remarkable game with 14 saves (per WhoScored) and kept a strong Arsenal attack at bay in the first half. Just take a look at one sequence that left us wondering how Arsenal didn’t split the lead in half.
2nd Half - How it Happened
Arsenal came out on the right foot in the second half, with Lacazette scoring immediately. A sumptuous ball in from Alexis to pick out Ramsey led to incredible footballing IQ from the Welsh national to pick out Lacazette at a better angle. Lacazette put away his 8th of the season. What a goal, check this out:
Alexis picks out the run of Ramsey, who brilliantly tees it up for Lacazette. 1-2 pic.twitter.com/86VJ6HG4tA— Terje (@xArsenalTerje) December 2, 2017
Arsenal had plenty of chances to get back in the game, registering 33 shots to a measly 8 from United. But the second goal just never happened, and it was clear who was the better team all day. Sadly, the better team doesn’t matter, the goals do in this game.
Total shots (including blocked shots)— Chris Wheatley (@ChrisWheatley_) December 2, 2017
Arsenal - 33
Man Utd - 8
Arsenal - 75.1%
Man Utd - 24.9% pic.twitter.com/bQZ9rJdlXG
Manchester United finally put the game away, as Pogba made an unbelievable run, shrugged off Koscielny, and played a nice cross for Lingard to snag his brace. This one hurt emotionally, physically, etc. Xhaka seemed more interested in counting blades of grass instead of marking the only man with a chance to score. Another rough defensive day for the Swiss midfielder.
Pogba saw red shortly after, as a result of a gnarly stomp on Bellerin. The referee looked right to Mourinho indicating to save his substitute as Pogba was going to be shown red in a matter of seconds.
Arsenal take a massive blow by not getting a result, as Tottenham dropped points to Watford in a 1-1 draw earlier in the day. Arsenal have the final Europa League group game against BATE before returning to Premier League action next Sunday at Southampton. There need to be improvements, to say the least.