The Gunners outclass the Red Devils
Written By: Robert Halter
Arsenal kicked off 2020 with a New Year’s Day night time encounter against Manchester United at the Emirates stadium. In the opening thirty seconds, Fred exchanged passes with Jesse Lingard, and with a pop shot at goal, Marcus Rashford tested Bernd Leno. During the third minute, Sead Kolasinac was booked for a reckless challenge on Daniel James, and Fred’s free kick was pushed out by Leno, as he sprung forward. But it was Arsenal that delivered the first blow in the eighth minute, when Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang combined with Kolasinac, whose cross on the left, was aimed towards Alexandre Lacazette at the near post, but the ball deflected off Victor Lindelof, into the path of Nicolas Pepe, who drove a left footed shot from the centre of the box, into the middle of the net. Two minutes later, Pepe was provider for Aubameyang, who turned his strike high over the upright. In the thirty second minute, Pepe teased the Red Devils, but as Lacazette turned Harry Maguire, he miscued his strike across the face of the goal. Within a minute, Pepe laid the ball off to Lucas Torreira, who struck a low drive into the outside netting of the right post. On thirty eight minutes, a miss kick by David De Gea, gave the ball away to Pepe, outside the box, whose low strike cannoned against the foot of the left post. But in the forty second minute, from a Pepe corner, and knock on by Lacazette, the ball was pushed by De Gea against his own defender Lindelof, and Sokratis Papastathopolous was gifted the opportunity from very close range to strike the ball into the roof of the net and double the Arsenal advantage. In first half stoppage time, Kolasinac appended James, and a lopping free kick by Fred was headed down by Maguire into the clutches of Leno. In the fifty fourth minute, Rashford put the ball over to James, who drove his shot into Leno, at his near post. A minute later, Luke Shaw worked the ball out to Fred, whose snap shot from twenty five yards out, was calmly pushed away by Leno. The Red Devils soon made a double change of Andreas Pereira for Lingard as well as Mason Greenwood in favour of James. Within moments of being on the pitch, Pereira was set up by Nemanja Matic, but rammed his shot, into the outside netting of the left post. In the sixty first minute, Shaw lost the ball out to Mesut Ozil, who spearheaded the attack with a through ball to Aubameyang, before a strike from Lacazette, was snatched past the left post. Reiss Nelson then took over from Pepe. On sixty four minutes, Anthony Martial linked up with Rashford, in the area, and then after collecting a pass from Pereira, the ball was fired over by Rashford. After Kolasinac pulled up with an ankle injury, Bukayo Saka, took his place. In the seventy third minute, Lindelof’s ball was back heeled by Martial, and a strike by Greenwood was driven into the body of Leno. On seventy eight minutes, Aubameyang weaved his way through, before Lacazette blazed the ball high out of play to the right. Within a minute, Ozil spread a pass over to Saka on the right, who struck the ball straight into the target of De Gea. The Red Devils then switched Matic with Juan Mata, before Lacazette could not continue and Matteo Guendouzi took up the task for the Gunners. In stoppage time from Mata’s over the top delivery. Rashford clattered into Leno, who made the save in keeping him at bay. Then after Granit Xhaka fouled Fred on the edge of the area, the free kick was ballooned by Fred, high over the bar, before Arsenal put down a marker in securing a two nil victory over Manchester United, to give a first victory for Mikel Arteta, since being appointed as the new head coach of Arsenal, at the expense of the Red Devils.