Arsenal bolstered their hopes for a top-four finish in the Premier League by defeating Manchester United in a thrilling match at Emirates Stadium.
The Gunners were on a high after beating Chelsea to stop a run of three consecutive defeats, while United were looking to bounce back from a 4-0 thrashing at Liverpool.
And Arsenal came away with three crucial points, as the visitors were outdone for average defense and Bruno Fernandes’ missed penalty, which highlighted a daring offensive showing.
Following Raphael Varane and Alex Telles mistakes, Arsenal were in front after only three minutes, with Nuno Tavares sending home a simple finish after David de Gea had saved Bukayo Saka’s effort.
The video assistant referee deemed Eddie Nketiah’s attempt offside, but after being called to his pitchside monitor, the referee gave a penalty for a foul by Telles on Saka just before Nketiah’s shot, which Saka converted.
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United posed a serious threat in attack, with Cristiano Ronaldo, who had returned from injury, deservedly pulling a goal back before the interval.
It set the tone for a United siege, only for Fernandes to squander a golden opportunity by slamming a second-half penalty against the post after Tavares handled.
With 20 minutes remaining, Arsenal capitalised on the respite when Granit Xhaka scored the Gunners’ third goal from 25 yards.
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On the outside of his own area, Fernandes lost possession, allowing Mohamed Elneny to give the ball to Granit Xhaka, who slammed the ball home from long range. Arsenal dominated the last 20 minutes, retaining possession of the ball and tormenting United. Takehiro Tomiyasu’s reappearance in the closing stages would have been a welcome sight.
With 15 minutes remaining, Saka fell down injured and was replaced by Rob Holding. Gunners fans will be hoping that this isn’t a major issue. If this week is any indication, Saka will be crucial to Arsenal finishing in the top four, which remains a realistic prospect.
If Manchester United is to compete in the Champions League next season, a lot of things will have to go their way. It appears that a spot in the Europa League or Europa Conference League is more possible.
Arsenal firm favourites
Following three consecutive defeats, many were writing the Gunners off in the top-four race due to their difficult schedule, but Mikel Arteta’s team has made a strong statement with consecutive victories.
Arsenal entered the week as the second-favorite for a Champions League place, with bookmakers predicting a 30.1 percent probability of finishing fourth.
On the other hand, Arteta’s team won both games against Chelsea and Manchester United, scoring seven goals in the process and regaining the lead in the race.
These victories, along with Tottenham’s lackluster performance in a goalless draw at Brighton, have given Arsenal a two-point advantage over their London rivals and put them in pole position heading into the last five games of the season. Vwin sports bookie is covering the Champions league games and offering attractive odds for placing bets.
Arsenal took the upper hand over Spurs, but their victory over United virtually eliminated United from contention, with their odds of finishing in the top four plummeting to just 0.1 percent.