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Player ratings, fan reaction & more: Arsenal pile pressure on Spurs as Manchester United’s top-four hopes go up in smoke


Result

Saturday’s early Premier League kick-off played out a short time ago. Said clash saw Manchester United and Arsenal face off.

The pair headed into the game both struggling for form, though the Gunners had just beaten Chelsea 4-2.

Man United, meanwhile, needed a win to ensure that they kept their slim hopes of securing a top-four spot this term alive.

However, when all was said and done at the Emirates, Ralf Rangnick and co. fell to defeat at the hands of Arsenal.

The hosts took the lead after just three minutes through Nuno Tavares.

The Gunners then doubled their advantage 27 minutes in after Bukayo Saka won a penalty, which he scored from.

However, just as it looked as though Man United were set to collapse, Nemanja Matic played a lovely ball to Cristiano Ronaldo who slotted past Aaron Ramsdale.

Nuno Tavares then needlessly handled the ball 55 minutes in, handing United a penalty. However, Bruno Fernandes, normally so clinical from 12 yards, hit the post.

Granit Xhaka then killed the game off 70 minutes in with a thunderbolt of a strike.

Arsenal player ratings

Aaron Ramsdale (5) – Poor distribution nearly cost Arsenal early on. Made a couple of good saves throughout the match.

Cedric Soares (5) – Had some trouble dealing with Jadon Sancho and Bruno Fernandes.

Ben White (6) – Made a couple of key tackles and interceptions.

Gabriel (6) – Put in a great tackle to prevent a Ramsdale mistake from being too costly. But then let Ronaldo get in front of him too easily for his goal.

Nuno Tavares (6) – Did well to get into the box and tap in Saka’s deflected effort, but then gave away a penalty early in the second half and struggled to deal with Anthony Elanga.

Granit Xhaka (7.5) – Helped control the midfield and put in the cross that led to the Gunners’ first goal. Scored their third with a stunning long-range strike.

Mohamed Elneny (6) – A quiet but solid midfield display from Elneny.

Bukayo Saka (9) – Good effort in the build-up to Tavares’ opener. Linked up well with Martin Odegaard throughout the match, including in the build-up to winning a penalty, which he then scored. Good pressing of Fernandes to win the ball back before Xhaka’s goal.

Martin Odegaard (7) – Excellent ball to Saka in the build-up to Arsenal’s second. Continued to test United’s defence with Mesut Ozil-like through balls.

Emile Smith Rowe (4) – A quiet first 45 that saw him struggle to test Diogo Dalot. Off after 63 minutes.

Eddie Nketiah (4) – Missed a huge chance 25 minutes in to make it 2-0. Largely ineffective link-up play.

Substitutes

Gabriel Martinelli (4) – Did little of note after being introduced.

Rob Holding (5) – Brought on to help see out the game, which Arsenal did.

Takehiro Tomiyasu  (N/A)

Manchester United player ratings

David de Gea (4.5) – Perhaps could have done better when pushing away Saka’s shot which fell straight to Tavares. Good save to deny Nketiah when one on one.

Diogo Dalot (4) – Should have tracked Tavares better before his goal. Came close to scoring with a long-range effort which hit the crossbar.

Raphael Varane (3.5) – Should have done better when attempting to clear the ball in the build-up to Arsenal’s opener.

Victor Lindelof (3.5) – Like Varane, his attempt to clear the cross that eventually led to Tavares scoring was poor. Made just one interception and managed no tackles on the day.

Alex Telles (3) – Gave away a penalty which led to Arsenal’s second and struggled to deal with Saka and Odegaard throughout the match.

Scott McTominay (3) – Completed a full seven passes in the first half and spent much of the second half committing fouls.

Nemanja Matic (6.5) – Great ball for Ronaldo’s goal to make it 2-1. Decent passing on the day but was hooked after 77 minutes with United needing two goals.

Anthony Elanga (5.5) – A very ineffective first half that saw him have just one shot and attempt zero crosses. Much livelier in the second half, causing the inexperienced Nuno Tavares problems.

Bruno Fernandes (2) – Missed a huge chance to make it 1-1 ten minutes in. He then hit the post from 12 yards. Fernandes’ poor showing was capped off by him being dispossessed too easily, which led to Xhaka scoring Arsenal’s third.

Jadon Sancho (6) – Caused Cedric problems down Arsenal’s right with his quick feet and clever passing.

Cristiano Ronaldo (7) – Was United’s best player in the first half, making a number of clever passes and producing a great finish to make it 2-1 on the day.

Substitutes

Marcus Rashford (2) – Didn't manage a single shot or cross after he came on.

Jesse Lingard (2) – Didn't manage a single shot or cross after he came on.

Juan Mata (N/A)

What the experts said

What the fans said

What you may have missed

Cristiano Ronaldo joins Premier League 100 club.

Click here to view our latest Premier League betting tips.

The Premier League table as it stands


Josh Barker

Josh Barker

Middlesbrough fan from the North East of England. @JoshBarker979 on Twitter.



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