Despair turned jubilation as Arsenal staged a thrilling comeback against Manchester United, adding more misery to United’s away record.
A Stunning Turnaround
As the 89th minute approached, it seemed Erik ten Hag’s side had stolen a precious victory courtesy of young talent, Alejandro Garnacho. However, Arsenal’s fate took a drastic turn when VAR spotted Garnacho’s offside start, bringing a collective sigh of relief from the home crowd. Arsenal didn’t just take this chance to level, but instead secured the win in spectacular fashion.
Decisive Moments that Swung the Game
- From Joy to Despair for Garnacho: The young winger thought he had sealed the win for United after latching onto a Bruno Fernandes pass and deftly beating Aaron Ramsdale. The celebrations were short-lived, however, thanks to VAR.
- Rice’s Dramatic Winner: Declan Rice, the Gunners’ expensive summer signing, chose the most dramatic of moments to score his first for the club. Unmarked during a 96th-minute corner, his strike took a deflection off Jonny Evans and nestled into the net. A controversial call as Ten Hag believed there was a foul in the build-up, but the goal stood.
- Gabriel Jesus Seals the Deal: The 11th-minute of stoppage time saw a beautiful solo effort from Gabriel Jesus, leaving Diogo Dalot in his wake before calmly slotting past Onana.
The Story Before the Drama
The game began with Arsenal showing more intent. An early misfire from Kai Havertz seemed like a missed golden opportunity, especially after Marcus Rashford’s clinical finish gave United the lead. However, Arsenal responded almost immediately with Martin Ødegaard finishing a well-crafted move initiated by Martinelli.
The Old Trafford Woes Continue
Manchester United’s performance on the day reiterated the challenges they have faced this season. Injuries certainly haven’t helped Ten Hag’s cause, with key players like Raphaël Varane and Luke Shaw sidelined. The day became tougher for United when Lisandro Martínez left the pitch, forcing defensive reshuffles.
Yet, the struggles of the day were perhaps best epitomized by the overturned penalty decision against Kai Havertz, who the VAR determined had gone down too easily.
Key Match Statistics:
- Possession: Arsenal 55% – 45% Man Utd
- Shots On Goal: Arsenal 5 – 2 Man Utd
- Expected Goal (XG) statistics: Arsenal 2.35 – 0.95 Man Utd