I said a while ago that if we took 7 points from Newcastle, Tottenham and Manchester United we were going to be favourites and that’s exactly what we did. Manchester United v Arsenal is a fixture that for both sets of fans stirs emotions. Titles won and lost, cups decided, THE match of the season. In recent years that feeling has faded along with both teams prowess. But at the weekend it felt like a proper old school Arsenal v United. It was gritty, passionate and had a last minute winner.
Overall we were the better team but in football you don’t always get what you deserve. Take nothing away from Rashfords opener, spanked past Ramsdale. But as has happened all season the Emirates rallied around its new found heroes and we were duly rewarded when Nketiah nodded in after his run took the whole United defence out of the game. From then on apart from one big United chance it was all Arsenal. Those 7 points looked very much alive.
The second half began and within 8 minutes we were in front. Saka’s finish eclipsed Rashford’s in the first half, striking it low and hard, with just enough bend to nestle into the far corner. Pandemonium. And pure shit housery from Saka using Rashford’s celebration in the same corner of the ground. The game ebbed and flowed but in these games it only takes one moment to change the tide. An unusually sloppy piece of defending and keeping led to the shortest man on the pitch looping a header in and it was 2-2. Once again the Emirates rallied and Arsenal were not done.
Arsenal were not done. Saka clipped the base of the post with another great effort. Then came what felt like the pivotal moment. A scramble in the box fell to Nketiah who spun and shot but it was straight at De Gea. Head in hands. 7 Points were slipping away. Then, fittingly, to a chorus of Ars-E-Nal, Ars-E-Nal the ball broke down the left, it was fizzed in and prodded goalward. This time Nketiah made no mistake and flicked it past De Gea. The noise from the goal was explosive as was the celebration, once when it went in and twice when VAR confirmed it. 7 points in the bag!
7 points from those 3, 5 clear of our next opponent Man City, albeit in FA Cup action. On a Friday! Strange times. Till next week.