Arsenal pay the price for defensive errors as unbeaten home run ends
Arsenal were beaten 3-1 in the Premier League by Manchester United at the Emirates Stadium tonight.
The result, and Liverpool’s 5-1 win at Brighton today, drops the Gunners to 5th position in the Premier League table with 28 points from their 15 matches.
The win for Manchester United moves them to within five points of leaders Manchester City, who play at home to West Ham United tomorrow.
The Red Devils have 35 points from 15 matches.
The Gunners found themselves two goal down in eleven minutes, with the visitors scoring through Antonio Valencia (4th minute) and Jess Lingard (11th minute).
Alexandre Lacazette gave Arsenal a lifeline after scoring in the 49th minute.
But Lingard sealed the three points with his second goal of the night in the 63rd minute.
Manchester United finished the night with ten men when Paul Pogba was shown a straight red card for a foul on Hector Bellerin in the 74th minute.
Arsenal were unable to take advantage of their numerical advantage and slipped to their first Premier League home defeat since losing 2-1 to Watford in January.
The Hornets also scored two early goals in that match to seal the win.
Arsene Wenger was able to name an unchanged starting eleven, with Lacazette recovering from the groin injury that forced him to be substituted at half-time in the win over Huddersfield Town on Wednesday.
Manchester United took full advantage of defensive errors from Arsenal to open up an early two goal lead. They scored from their only two shots on target in the first half.
First capitalising on a loose pass from Laurent Koscielny, which ended with Valencia being set up to drill a low shot past Petr Cech into the net.
They doubled their lead when Shkodran Mustafi was robbed of the ball by Lingard. He linked up with Romelu Lukaku and Anthony Martial, before side-footing the ball into net past Cech.
It was Mustafi’s final contribution in the match. He was injured and replaced by Alex Iwobi.
Arsenal made a spirited response to those early set-backs, but were denied by an outstanding goalkeeping display by David De Gea and some wasteful finishing.
The Gunners had 33 shots at goal and De Gea equalled the league record for saves in a match (14).
Arsenal hit the woodwork through Lacazette and Granit Xhaka during a goalmouth scramble, before De Gea denied Bellerin, Sead Koasinac, and then acrobatically pushed the ball out to stop a Lukaku own goal.
Nemanja Matic also blocked a goalbound Aaron Ramsey shot with the score at 2-0.
Arsenal did finally make a breakthrough within the five minutes of the re-start.
Manchester United had threatened first in the second period, with Lingard hitting the post.
Moments later Aaron Ramsey found himself unmarked in the Manchester United penalty area and teed-up Lacazette. The Frenchman beat De Gea to give the Gunners hope.
Lacazette has now scored more home goals in the Premier League this season than any other player (6).
De Gea produced a double save from Lacazette and Alexis Sanchez to deny Arsenal an equaliser.
But it was Manchester United who got the next goal, which proved to be decisive.
They caught Arsenal with a lightning counter-attack, with Pogba setting up Lingard to tap into an empty net from close-range. Xhaka had stopped tracking Lingard’s into the box, which allowed the simplest of chances to be taken.
Lingard has scored three goals in his last two Premier League games, as many as in the previous 51 combined.
Pogba saw red from referee Andre Marriner for a stamp on the back of Bellerin’s leg, and will now miss the Manchester derby next Sunday.
It’s his first red card in league competition since May 2013 for Juventus vs Palermo.
Arsenal were denied a late penalty when Danny Welbeck was caught by Matteo Darmian.
De Gea also tipped a deflected Welbeck shot over the crossbar.
Before tonight Arsenal had won their last 12 home Premier League matches in a row, and victory would have set a club record of eight consecutive top-flight home wins from the start of a season.
No team have won more Premier League away matches at Arsenal than Manchester United (8).
This was the 18th meeting between Arsene Wenger and Jose Mourinho, with Mourinho losing just two of those encounters (W10, D7).
Next up for Arsenal are BATE Borisov in the Europa League at the Emirates Stadium on Thursday, before a trip to St Mary’s to play Southampton in the Premier League on Sunday week.
Arsenal: Cech 6, Bellerin 7, Kolasinac 6 (Giroud), Mustafi 4, Koscielny 6, Monreal 6, Xhaka 5 (Welbeck), Ramsey 7, Ozil, Sanchez 7 , Lacazette 8