Manchester United lost 3-1 to Arsenal in a thrilling encounter at the Emirates Stadium in game week four of the Premier League season. Declan Rice was the hero for the home side as his goal six minutes into second-half stoppage time decided the game before Gabriel Jesus added another five minutes later. It was a cracking finish to an enthralling game between two of the Premier League’s biggest sides.
Marcus Rashford opened the scoring in the 27th minute for the Red Devils after Kai Havertz’s reckless first-time pass was intercepted by Christian Eriksen, who played an excellent through ball into the path of Rashford; the forward cut inside on his right foot and made no mistake with the finish. However, United’s celebrations were cut short as Martin Odegaard leveled the score a minute later through an excellent team move.
United had a higher share of possession in the first half, with new goalkeeper Andre Onana standing out. The Cameroonian was signed for his on-ball exploits, and it was on full display here. However, United’s attempts to draw Arsenal in and play through their press didn’t fully materialize as they were far too sloppy in the middle and final third.
This wasn’t the case in the second half, as the game opened up. This half was full of dramatic moments, starting with a 59th-minute penalty in favor of Arsenal that was reversed after a VAR check. VAR would come to the fore again after Alejandro Garnacho’s 89th-minute goal was ruled offside by the slightest of margins after a check. Rasmus Hojlund’s introduction was a positive for the Red Devils in an otherwise stinging defeat. The Dane was a handful, pinning the Arsenal defenders back and giving his teammates something to play off of.
Ultimately, dropping six points in the first four matches is not ideal. The manner in which the winner was conceded will come as a big concern for Erik ten Hag and his staff: Rice was unmarked at the back post for his winner after Jonny Evans unsuccessfully appealed that he was impeded by Gabriel; Andre Onana could’ve also got a stronger hand on the strike.
United will have to live with the defeat for a while as players head into the international break.
The matches don’t get any easier, as United face an in-form Brighton at home after the break.