Arsenal on Sunday afternoon halted Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s undefeated run in the domestic league as the Gunners handed a shock 2-0 to Manchester United to leapfrog their Red Devils into the Premier League’s top four.
The assault came from Granit Xhaka through an early strike and Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang’s penalty 21 minutes from time which moved the Gunners into fourth, two points above United in fifth.
Arsenal are also close to within just a point of third-placed Tottenham and now hold the upper hand in the race for Champions League qualification.
The rest of the league fixtures look good for Unai Emery’s men as they do not face any of the top six in their remaining eight games, whilst United host title-chasing Manchester City and Chelsea in the coming weeks on top of their Champions League and FA Cup commitments.
Emery made five changes from the side that lost 3-1 to Rennesmid week and was rewarded with a fast start that could have been rewarded inside two minutes had Alexandre Lacazette connected with Sead Kolasinac’s wicked cross.
However, Arsenal were nearly hit with a sucker punch when with United’s first attack, Romelu Lukaku turned Luke Shaw’s cross onto the crossbar for the first of a series of wasted chances for the Belgian striker.
David de Gea who made 14 saves as the Red Devils won 3-1 at the Emirates last season in one of the Spaniard’s best ever United performances was found wanting for the opening goal as he failed to read the swerve on Xhaka’s long-range strike.
United seemed to feel the after-effects of their heroics in Paris early on, but soon clicked into gear to look more like the side that had suffered just one defeat in Solskjaer’s first 17 games in charge.
Fred’s curling effort from outside the box clipped the post before Lukaku’s dangerous cross just evaded Marcus Rashford at the back post.
United were utterly dominant for the first 20 minutes of the second period as Rashford also sent a dipping free-kick inches wide, but Arsenal hung on and then got a break 22 minutes from time.
Lacazette charged into the area and hit the floor under minimal contact from Fred, but enough for referee Jon Moss to point to the spot.
Aubameyang who missed a last-minute penalty to win the north London derby against Tottenham last weekend, made no mistake to leave the visitors a mountain to climb.