Here is how the match trended
Man United vs Arsenal live score and goal updates from Premier League clash
Marcus Rashford 29′,
Marcus Rashford 32′,
Ander Herrera 65′
Danny Welbeck 40′,
Mesut Özil 69′
Key Events So Far
11 mins ago Story of the match in pictures
41 mins ago Rooney congratulates Rashford
43 mins ago Player ratings – who was your man of the match?
46 mins ago 5 things we learned
48 mins ago FULL-TIME: Manchester United 3-2 Arsenal
Wenger: “I cannot fault our commitment and spirit and desire”
Arsene Wenger has been speaking to the BBC following the game and is eager to look forward to the next game.
“We played with a lot of intensity, I cannot fault our commitment and spirit and desire but I feel we conceded too easy goals.
“I think after the game we have to be positive and prepare for the next one. We have another game on Wednesday, they come thick and fast and you want to keep a good mentality.
“We did fight until the end, we had a lot of the ball but I think we could avoid the goals with better concentration.
“I am disappointed because we lost the game but we will focus on the next one. This is a fight where you go to the next one and aim to come back even stronger.”
Story of the match in pictures
Here, via the medium of pictures, is how this afternoon’s thoroughly entertaining match at Old Trafford went down.
Marcus Rashford slots home the first goal…
… and rolls away to celebrate.
Rashford strikes again…
… and United are cruising at 2-0.
Welbeck pulls back a goal before half-time…
…but Herrera restores United’s two goal advantage.
Mesut Ozil’s goal gives Arsenal late hope…
… but it’s not enough and Arsenal’s title challenge suffers a huge blow.
Twitter reaction to that LVG dive…
Louis van Gaal often finds new ways of doing things. How many managers have you ever heard ask his team to be “horny”?
But even by the standards of the slightly ‘out there’ Man United boss, his protests to the fourth official at Man United vs Arsenal were particularly bizarre.
Irritated by what he considered to be a dive by Alexis Sanchez, van Gaal clearly didn’t think Mike Dean was taking his complaints seriously enough.
So, to REALLY make his point, the Dutchman “re-enacted” the Chilean’s fall to the floor.
Rio Ferdinand next to wade in on Arsenal’s failings
I’m expecting plenty of people will be twisting the knife on Arsenal in the coming days.
Here’s Rio Ferdinand’s take:
“Do arsenal actually want to win this league….lowest standard for years…the time is now for the Gunners…” he tweeted earlier.
Here’s how the two teams were looking after the game…
The visitors not looking so chuffed…
Graeme Souness seethes at Arseneal
Former Liverpool enforcer Graeme Souness is not impressed one bit at Arsenal after that display.
The Scot is exactly the sort of player they needed out there this afternoon…
Schweinsteiger checks in
The German is happy…
Is Marcus Rashford going to prove to be Louis van Gaal’s Mark Robbins?
Piers Morgan’s verdict is in
Never one to overreact…
Rooney congratulates Rashford
Careful Wayne, he you might not get back in the team…
Player ratings – who was your man of the match?
Our man John Cross was at Old Trafford and he’s been in the business of dishing out player ratings.
No spoilers, but you’ve got three guesses who gets man of the match.
And the first two don’t count.
That’s all from us and it has been a great pleasure talking you through all of today’s action from Old Trafford. We hope you can join us again very soon. Take care!
5 things we learned
Marcus Rashford struck twice and set-up Ander Herrera’s third to hand Manchester United a huge win against Arsenal.
Rashford scored twice in three minutes to continue his remarkable week and reignite United’s fading top-four hopes and harm the Gunners’ title chances.
The first, a flourishing finish, was followed by a glancing header that has seen the 18-year-old local lad take his goal tally to four in two games, following his brace in Thursday’s 5-2 Europa League win over FC Midtjylland.
Danny Welbeck scored before half-time to reduce the deficit.
Rashford set up Herrera as Man United added a third, before Ozil kept Arsenal in the game with a fine finish.
Louis van Gaal was finally cheered by the Old Trafford faithful when feigning a dive on the sidelines – a response to Alexis Sanchez.
And there might be a few more cheers after this win.
Marcus Rashford enhanced his burgeoning reputation by scoring a well-taken brace to help Manchester United down Arsenal 3-2 at Old Trafford. Ander Herrera’s goal made the all important difference after the Gunners twice gave themselves hope through Danny Welbeck and Mesut Ozil.
FULL TIME: MANCHESTER UNITED 3-2 ARSENAL
FULL-TIME: Manchester United 3-2 Arsenal
All over at Old Trafford, and the Red Devils have landed a massive hammer blow on Arsenal’s title hopes.
We’ll have plenty of reaction from a busy old game coming right up, so stay tuned…
Overall Possession Ratio
- Man UtdKey color for Man Utd
- ArsenalKey color for Arsenal
Van Gaal makes his third and final change of the game for United as another youngster, Weir, comes on in place of Herrera, who put in a sublime shift in midfield for his side today.
James Weir on for his debut
Yet another United debut as James Weir comes on in place of Herrera.
Here’s some background on the latest Carrington debutant from this piece on United’s next generation:
Weir was given a taste of first-team involvement when he was named on the bench against Newcastle last month. Another versatile type who can also operate at full-back, Weir is best in an attacking midfield role. “I’ve been mainly on the left this year but I can come in off the flank and play as a false winger, if you like, which is quite popular in the modern game,” he told the Manchester United website. “I can also still play as a central midfielder who can make runs forward and hopefully get back as well. I can play that narrow left-winger role and do a job for the team while also scoring some goals.”
Januzaj also gets his name taken by referee late on in the game. The Belgian has been lively since coming on for United, but picks up a caution for his troubles.
Ozil picks up a caution in the dying minutes here at Old Trafford. The referee has certainly been busy with the cards in this second half as Arsenal press for a leveller.
CLOSE! Januzaj plays a lovely one-two with Mata deep inside Arsenal’s half as United ponder whether to go for goal. The Belgian does so by playing a cutback towards Depay, but Koscielny gets an important tackle in to cancel out the move.
Ozil goes in the book.
Wenger is crouching on the sideline.
Halfway through the five additional minutes.
They wouldn’t be saying this if they were losing:
The fourth official on the touchline indicates that a minimum of five minutes is being added on here at Old Trafford. Ozil curls in a free-kick towards Giroud but Blind hacks away the ball for the hosts.
LVG’s tumble in pictures
You’ll be seeing plenty more of this in the coming hours/days/weeks/month/years…
Into FIVE minute’s stoppage time
There’s going to be five minute’s stoppage time at Old Trafford.
What have Arsenal got in their locker?
Varela makes an important intervention again as Fosu-Mensah gives possession away cheaply. Sanchez plays a long ball forward looking to hit Giroud but United’s right-back stretches his neck muscles to snuff out the danger.
United feed the ball towards the corner as they look to hold onto what would be a massive three points if they get over the line, with this scoreline intact. Lingard waits and waits for Elneny to bring him down, winning his side a free-kick. It’s all getting frustrating for Arsenal.
Depay barges into Bellerin as the two contest for the ball in the air. The Dutchman attempts to flick it on towards Januzaj but the Arsenal defender gets a block in and comes away with possession. The Gunners are on the breakaway here.
Five minutes left
Arsenal know they only have five minutes left to claim something from this game and are looking to flood forward.
Oh, by the way Spurs are winning 2-1 now.
This afternoon’s getting worse for Arsenal…
Wenger makes his third and final change for Arsenal as Iwobi comes on in place of Welbeck, who impressed today with his control while he also took his goal really well.
Ozil bends in a decent corner from the left-hand side towards the near post but United clear the danger easily. Arsenal’s best chance of finding an equaliser is through the Germany international, who has played well today.
United have been forced to play on the counter-attack now as Arsenal continue to push for a leveller. However, Wenger’s men are still playing short, neat passes rather than trying to hit Giroud early with crosses.
David McDonnell on LVG’s dive
Van Gaal rarely leaves the dug-out, but this time it was priceless, as he drops to the ground in front of the fourth official to mock Sanchez diving to the ground. Brilliant stuff from the Dutchman, who earned the applause of Old Trafford for his theatrics.
Van Gaal makes his second change of the game for United as Rashford, who has enjoyed a fine afternoon in red by having a hand in all three of his side’s goals, comes off in place of Januzaj.
A cross curls in from the left-hand side towards Giroud, who does his best to try and work an angle to get a shot off but United shut the door in the nick of time to deny him. Arsenal are on the front foot at the moment.
Rashford subbed with ten minutes remaining
Giroud beginning to make his presence felt, when he heads over the bar.
Van Gaal then manages to stay on his feet to congratulate Marcus Rashford on his afternoon’s work.
On come Adnan Januzaj.
Arsenal are starting to push for that all important equaliser by keeping hold of possession better. Giroud also gives them a different threat, peeling onto Blind to use his superior height advantage.
David McDonnell’s take with 15 minutes left…
The see-saw nature of the game continues with Giroud giving Arsenal hope, just as Herrera’s deflected strike – set up by Rashford – looked to have given United enough room for the win.
Now, at 3-2, the game remains in the balance, Arsenal given another lifeline with Ramsey escaping a red card after shoving Herrera to the ground after a late tackle.
Elneny picks up a booking as he mistimes a challenge in the middle of the park. The Arsenal substitute has barely had a touch of the ball since coming on due to United having a strong grip on the affair.
LVG hits the deck
Perhaps the finest comic moment of Louis van Gaal’s career, as Van Gaal gestures to the fourth official how easily Ozil went down – by hitting the deck himself.
This is fun. Gloriously, messy fun.
It’s just a yellow card for Ramsey, who did put his hands into Herrera’s face. In that sense, he can be seen as a lucky man as other referee’s may have dished out a red.
Overall Possession Ratio
- Man UtdKey color for Man Utd
- ArsenalKey color for Arsenal
Pictured: Herrera nets United’s third
As it all starts to get a bit tetchy out there, here’s a snap of the third Manchester United goal…
United, although they have shipped in another, are still in control of this match and you feel as though they have more goals in them. Depay and Mata have been very dangerous for the hosts today.
Herrera also picks up a booking for his involvement in his earlier scuffle with Ramsey. The cards are starting to tot up now as the odds shorten on this match staying 11 vs 11.
Wenger makes his second change of the game for Arsenal as Elneny comes on in place of Coquelin, who kept his side’s possession ticking over neatly today.
Herrera fumes at Ramsey as the Arsenal midfielder hits the deck from an earlier challenge. The Welshman reacts by pushing the Spaniard, who then falls to the floor. The referee has a big decision to make here.
Another lifeline for Arsenal?
Arsenal have looked lost for the last few minutes – but just as they did in the first-half, they’ve managed to pull a goal out of nothing.
Good finish from the German, as he hit into ground and the ball bounced into the back of the net.
20 minutes left…
GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAALLL!! It’s 3-2 and Arsenal are back in it again! Sanchez curls in a great cross from the right-hand side which falls to Welbeck, who forces a good save from De Gea with a close-range shot. The ball spills out to Ozil who hits a shot which bounces into the turf and into the top corner.
Fosu-Mensah gets brought down in Arsenal’s half but the referee plays advantage as United surge forward looking for a fourth. Depay dips infield to play a one-two with Rashford, before he almost gets a shot away only for Bellerin to get a last-ditch tackle in.
Rashford can do assists too!
He can do assists too!
Manchester United may well have wrapped this one up, after Hererra fires home from the edge of the area after Marcus Rashford jinks his way into the box, draws two defenders out of position and lays off the Spaniard 20 yards from goal.
Although, that strike took a massive deflection off Koscielny.
Rashford’s day improves further as he grabs an assist alongside his two goals today. The striker does well to hold the ball up and play in Herrera, who bends a brilliant shot past Cech from distance.
GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAALLLLL!! It’s 3-1 to United! The Red Devils counter-attack Arsenal brilliantly as Rashford gets involved again. The marksman holds the ball up patiently before he spots Herrera on the edge of the box and the Spaniard doesn’t disappoint as he bends a quality strike past Cech.
Ozil stands the ball up for Sanchez at the back post with a clipped pass but Varela gets in front of him to head the ball away. The attack stays alive for Arsenal as Welbeck tries to spin into the box, before Carrick gets another good tackle in. United are on the counter-attack now.
Giroud on for Walcott
Arsenal just can’t keep hold of the ball.
So that means it’s time for Giroud to come on, as Wenger checks the results of that Arsenal Twitter poll.
Can the Frenchman get the visitors out of this funk?
Depay picks up the ball just outside Arsenal’s penalty area and tries to play a one-two with Rashford, but Koscielny barges into the back of the latter and that sees the attack fizzle out. United are still in control of possession, though.
Wenger makes his first change of the game for Arsenal as Giroud comes on in place of Walcott, who disappointed by giving the ball away in the build up to United’s opener, while he didn’t do too much in attack either.
Time for Arsenal to make a change?
United are in the ascendancy here.
Now, I’m not sure if Arsene Wenger is geniunley crowd sourcing his decisions here or anything, but the club have just tweeted this out…
It’s good play from Depay on his own as he hangs onto possession up against both Bellerin and Walcott, who were snapping at the Dutchman’s heels. He’s building on his excellent display in midweek with another fine performance this afternoon.
The second half has started a little bit like the first in that both sides have occasionally threatened, particularly down the flanks, but it hasn’t caught fire just yet. De Gea is still yet to really be tested at all.
CHANCE! Depay bends in a decent free-kick from the right-hand side which flies right beyond Arsenal’s backline towards Schneiderlin, who stands unmarked at the back stick. The French midfielder waits for the ball to sit up before he smashes a shot which Sanchez blocks well.
Timothy Fosu-Mensah on for his debut
Louis van Gaal hands out another Manchester United debut, as Timothy Fosu-Mensah comes on for Marcus Rojo.
This is the 18-year-old Dutch defender’s first taste of action in the first team.
Van Gaal makes his first change of the game for United as Rojo, who appears to have picked up a knock, comes off in place of youngster Fosu-Mensah just before the hour mark.
United put together a decent attacking move as Depay lets Rashford’s cutback run through to Mata and peels away into the box in hope of getting played in. The Spaniard obliges with a clipped pass towards the Dutchman but Cech rushes out to gobble the ball up.
Arsenal with the lion’s share of possession in the early stages of the second half, as they poke and prod their way around the Manchester United half.
United are content to soak this up for now.
It’s a great pick-out from Koscielny as he plays a brilliant cross-field ball from the back towards Walcott, who lurks deep inside United’s half. The Arsenal forward curls in a cross which Schneiderlin clears with ease, though, due to the lack of numbers the visitors had in the box.
Rashford comes back onto the field appearing to be fine as Arsenal keep hold of possession early doors in the second half. Bellerin sweeps a pass forward towards Walcott, but it’s great play from Depay as he tracks back and clears the danger.
Worrying moments for Manchester United here, as Rashford goes down with what looks like a groin injury after stretching for a ball.
He looks ok to carry on after receiving treatment though.
That would be the last thing that LVG needs…
A short suspension in play occurs as Rashford receives some treatment from the physios following an earlier collision with Koscielny. The replay shows that the United forward gets caught slightly by the Arsenal defender’s trailing left boot.
PEEEP! Off they go again
Right, let’s see what these two have got in store for us in the second half.
Manchester United kick-off, but it’s Arsenal quickly win the ball back and go about their business.
Welcome back! United get us under way again for the second half here at Old Trafford.
Pictured: Welbeck’s goal
Could Danny Welbeck’s strike prove to be key in the outcome of this one?
Danny Welbeck scores the first goal for Arsenal
How about this for a coincidence?
What about Wayne Rooney?
It won’t be long until the wags on Twitter start insisting that Wayne Rooney won’t win his place back in the United team.
Well, the Red Devils skipper will have to sit a fair few more games, as he’s been pictured in a knee brace at Old Trafford.
However, Ozil’s set-piece threat provided the goods once again as he curled in a peach of cross to set up Welbeck just a few minutes before the half-time interval. It’s all set up for a quality second half.
Have your say…
Do United ride this Marcus Rashford inspired wave and go on to win?
Can Arsenal come back from behind?
Or does it end all square?
Who will end up winning this one?
14:58 Minute by minute
Arsenal started the better of the two in terms of going forward, forcing United to pick up two yellow cards during counter-attacks. Depay was his side’s best threat going forward for a long time before Van Gaal’s men soon clicked into gear, punishing bad defending twice.
And here’s Rashford’s second
The 18-year-old’s second was arguably the better goal – it showed that the teenager has the nous to find space when all about him were standing still:
Well, well, well. Both sets of players head down the tunnel for the half-time break as the referee calls time on what was an action-packed first half here at Old Trafford. Marcus Rashford catches the eye again as he scores a well-taken brace, shortly before Danny Welbeck claws an important goal back for Arsenal.
In pictures: Rashford’s opener
Here’s how Marcus Rashford’s first goal went down in pictures:
HALF TIME: MANCHESTER UNITED 2-1 ARSENAL
CLOSE! Lingard receives the ball deep inside Arsenal’s half and drives right at the heart of Monreal, who remains the last man back for the visitors. However, the linesman saves Wenger’s men with his raised offside flag.
The referee indicates that a minimum of two minutes are being added onto the first half here as Ozil drives the resulting set play straight at the United wall. The ball rebounds out to Sanchez, who smashes a shot off Depay which deflects out for a corner.
Overall Possession Ratio
- Man UtdKey color for Man Utd
- ArsenalKey color for Arsenal
HALF-TIME: Manchester United 2-1 Arsenal
Arsenal get one last chance to equalise before the break as Welbeck is hacked down – again.
Up steps Ozil and Sanchez for the free-kick five yards outside the area – the German fires into the wall and then the Chilean does the same with the rebound.
And there’s the half-time whistle.
Blind stops a lively Arsenal attack from testing De Gea as he clips Welbeck just outside his own penalty area. The referee keeps his cards in his pocket this time as both Ozil and Sanchez stand over the ball.
Welbeck finds the net against his former paymasters which could be a massive goal come full time. United have well and truly been in the ascendancy since going two nil up, but the visitors will fancy their chances of getting something now.
Law of the ex
Arsenal have a lifeline and it’s former Manchester United man Danny Welbeck who has the goal.
He heads home an Ozil free-kick and somehow Arsenal have gathered themselves enough to grab a lifeline before the break.
This is turning into a fascinating clash.
Ozil’s assist tally edges ever closer to breaking the all-time Premier League record as he sets up Welbeck for Arsenal’s first today. The Germany international, in trademark fashion, bends in a lovely free-kick which does all of the work for the goal scorer.
GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAALLLL!! It’s 2-1 as Arsenal grab a lifeline at Old Trafford. Welbeck importantly claws a goal back just before the interval as he loses Schneiderlin inside the box and heads home from Ozil’s delightful free-kick.
Mata, who was involved in the build up to both of Rashford’s strikes, plays a one-two with Depay down the left as United look for a third goal. But the Spaniard fails to keep the ball in play as he smashes a cross into the arms of Cech from outside the byline.
Leicester City will be smiling
In today’s other game, Tottenham are losing 1-0 to Swansea as they approach half-time.
Somewhere in the Midlands, Claudio Ranieri will have a big smile on his face…
Arsenal, in need of a goal to restore some confidence, create an opening at the other end as Ozil tiptoes around the penalty area before Blind gets a good tackle in. The Gunners try and keep the attack in play but ironic cheers soon greet Ramsey’s inability to keep the ball in play down the right.
David McDonnell on Rashford’s brace
Rashford scores twice in three minutes to continue his remarkable week and reignite United’s fading top-four hopes.
The first, a flourishing finish, was followed by a glancing header that has seen the 18-year-old local lad take his goal tally to four in two games, following his brace in Thursdya’s 5-2 Europa League win over FC Midtjylland. Extraordinary stuff.
United can smell blood as they steam forward on the hunt for a third, in hope of getting revenge for their defeat at Arsenal earlier in the campaign. Depay dips infield onto his stronger right foot from the left but sends a shot wide of the target.
Arsenal in shock
Arsenal are in absolute shellshock here.
They’re completely rattled and can’t get a sniff of the ball after those two goals in five minutes.
This is where a leader in the mould of Patrick Viera would come in handy, as they need picking up and shaking.
And Rashford does it yet again!
Yet more incredible scenes at Old Trafford!
Rashford has doubled his tally with a superb headed goal, as he shows off his movement in the box to get on the end of a cross.
That’s four goals in less than a game and a half for the 18-year-old.
The atmosphere inside Old Trafford has cranked up dramatically since Rashford broke the deadlock. Arsenal looked the more dangerous of the two going forward, but they’ve been pegged back and need to find a response as United fly forward on the attack again now.
Lingard grabs the assist for United’s second here today. The youngster shifts the ball from right to left and bends in a lovely cross towards Rashford, but Gabriel has to do more to get in front of the goal scorer.
GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAALLLL!! Rashford scores again! The young forward’s week just gets better and better as heads home with aplomb to double United’s lead. Gabriel crucially fails to deal with Lingard’s cross from the right-hand side.
Rashford does it again!
Incredible scenes at Old Trafford, as Marcus Rashford nets his first Premier League goal. With his first shot, to boot.
It’s another cool sidefooted shot from inside the area, which beats Cech.
Arsenal fans should be unhappy with Theo Walcott – he went walkies in his own half and gave the ball away which got Manchester United’s attack going.
GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAALLLL!! It’s 1-0 to United! The roof flies off as Rashford does it again at Old Trafford! The ball squirts out to him inside the penalty area as Gabriel tries to clear Varela’s cross, before he guides a shot calmly past Cech.
Overall Possession Ratio
- Man UtdKey color for Man Utd
- ArsenalKey color for Arsenal
Manchester United are guilty of lots of niggling fouls so far here, as they look to disrupt the visitors’ rhythm.
That said, Michael Carrick has just put in a crucial challenge on Welbeck – had that gone wrong it would have been another yellow and penalty.
Just when Gabriel receives deserved praise for making a good challenge, Carrick trumps him with an even better one on Welbeck minutes later. The United man stands firm up against a stepover from the Arsenal striker and wins the ball as he makes a tackle inside the penalty area.
It’s good, important defending from Gabriel as he cancels out a potentially lethal United attack. The defender slides in well to prevent Rashford being fed down the left-hand side, to the relief of last man Koscielny.
David McDonnell’s take on the opening 25 minutes
Apart from Rashford’s run between Gabriel and Bellerin, which yielded a free-kick from which United failed to capitalise, United have created very little. The best chance so far fell to Arsenal, clever work from Welbeck and Ozil putting Monreal through, but his effort was blocked by the advancing De Gea. Halfway through the first-half and still 0-0.
Ozil whips in another teasing free-kick from a deep area which plays Sanchez in. The former Barcelona forward tries to steer a header around De Gea, before he gets thwarted in his tracks by the linesman’s offside flag.
Manchester United need to be careful here, as Michael Carrick is now booked. The pace in this Arsenal team is causing problems.
The former Spurs man chopped down the busy Danny Welbeck and that’s a deserved yellow for the England man.
Depay drops the shoulder once more as he attempts to take Bellerin on towards the byline. The winger, however, curls in a cross which bypasses his team-mates inside the penalty area as the danger goes for Arsenal.
Carrick becomes the second United player to pick up a booking in the first half as he clatters into Welbeck. The Arsenal man sees the makeshift defender coming and wins his side a free-kick cleverly.
Monreal continues to shine in this match as he marauds forward from left-back once more. He bends in a cracking cross from the left towards Welbeck, before Blind gets in front and heads the ball away. It sits up for Sanchez but he scuffs a shot on the rebound wide of the target.
Sanchez collects possession from Welbeck down the left and gets his head up early to look for options. He opts against testing Varela, who has already been cautioned, and instead curls a pass towards Walcott at the back post, but Rojo makes a good clearance for the hosts.
Arsenal continue to probe
We’re almost 20 minutes in and Nacho Monreal’s saved effort is still the best chance so far.
Arsenal look far more dangerous though, with Ozil finding his range and Monreal looking to link up with Sanchez on the left for the Gunners.
Welbeck is also looking lively.
Welbeck steams forward on the breakaway for Arsenal but Rojo matches him stride-for-stride, falling to the floor as the two players rub shoulders. The game finally feels as though it has kicked into life after a tentative opening.
It’s a great save from Cech as he gobbles up the free-kick from Depay. The ball just bounces up slightly in front of him but he does well to hang onto it with several United players lurking in the box.
Manchester United FURIOUS
We get our first sight of Marcus Rashford and he almost makes a huge impact.
The 18-year-old picks up the ball on the left and uses his explosive pace to burst towards the box before being chopped down.
Manchester United are insistent that it should be a penalty, but the referee got this one right.
Cech does well to gather Memphis’ free-kick.
Overall Possession Ratio
- Man UtdKey color for Man Utd
- ArsenalKey color for Arsenal
FOUL! Rashford oozes confidence as he skips past Bellerin down the left flank, before he goes to ground under pressure from Gabriel. United appeal for a penalty but the contact occurs just outside the box. Depay stands over the free-kick with interest at the moment.
Arsenal have looked the sharper of the two in an attacking-sense so far. And with Varela already on a yellow card, you feel giving the ball to Sanchez down the left-hand side could bring them further joy.
It’s going to be a long afternoon for Varela
It took only eight minutes for Varela to be handed a yellow card, with Arsenal continuing to target the inexperienced right-back by finding Sanchez out wide.
And it was a stone cold booking, as that was practically a rugby tackle from the Chilean.
Ozil bends in a decent free-kick from the left flank towards the back stick as Gabriel rises highest. The Arsenal defender flicks it towards Welbeck at the other post before Blind smashes away the ball.
Arsenal should be ahead
Of all the people to be on the end of a delicious Mesut Ozil lofted through ball, Nacho Monreal is not top of your list.
That was a fantastic chance for the visitors to take an early lead, but the Arsenal defender showed exactly why he isn’t usually at that end of the pitch.
This fan won’t be getting too excited yet…
A Manchester United supporter with a comical sign in the stands
Varela picks up the first booking of the match as he fouls Sanchez down the left-hand side. The Arsenal winger skins the youngster, who cynically pulls him to the ground to stop the attack.
GREAT SAVE! It’s magnificent play from Ozil as he scoops a first time pass over the top of United’s backline towards an onrushing Monreal. The Arsenal left-back waits for the ball to sit up for him before he shoots straight at De Gea, who does well to make himself big from point-blank range.
Arsenal starting strong
The visitors are doing the early running here.
The Gunners are looking to put Sanchez up against Varela in these early stages.
And look who’s in the crowd…
Sanchez steals possession away from Schneiderlin outside United’s penalty area as an Arsenal opportunity beckons. However, the Chile international undercooks his pass into Welbeck and that allows Carrick the chance to clear the danger.
It’s been a cagey opening couple of minutes here in Manchester. United, as expected, are moving possession around neatly, biding their time to find an opening. Arsenal, on the flip side, are looking to counter-attack through Walcott’s pace.
Wenger’s pre-match thoughts
Walcott in a central position
It looks as though Theo Walcott is playing in a central role from the start for Arsenal, as the Gunners go looking for the early breakthrough.
Here are some pre-match ramblings from the Manchester United boss:
Arsenal get us under way here at Old Trafford. The man in charge of the cards for today’s encounter is Craig Pawson.
PEEEP! Off we go at Old Trafford
The teams are out, the warm-ups completed and hands shaken.
That means we’re just one small ad break away from kick-off.
And there we go, as Arsenal get us under way.
Both sets of players are stripped and raring to go as they leave the tunnel and enter onto the field here at Old Trafford. We are just moments away from seeing the action start to unfold.
Less than 10 minutes until we get under way at Old Trafford.
Which is just about enough time to get your quiz hat on and tackle this set of fiendishly difficult Arsene Wenger vs Manchester United questions from the Row Zed team to test your knowledge on the Arsenal boss’s record against the Red Devils.
David McDonnell checks in from Old Trafford
Marcus Rashford’s reward for his two-goal heroics in midweek against FC Midtjylland is a first Premier League appearance, with Anthony Martial failing to prove his fitness in time.
Chris Smalling, who, along with Martial, missed the 5-2 Europa League win in midweek, also missed out, with Michael Carrick partnering Daley Blind in central defence.
Manchester United’s young bench
Over on Twitter there’s an awful lot of agog posters wondering just why Louis van Gaal has named such an inexperienced bench.
It’s simple – owing to injuries, he has no choice.
Sergio Romero is the wise old head, with Adnan Januzaj the only real player with significant first-team experience.
Paddy McNair, Joe Riley, Tomothy Fosu-Mensah, James Weir and Andreas Pereira are all in the match-day squad today.
While Van Gaal arrived at Old Trafford with a reputation for nurturing youngsters, he will not have intended to have blooded quite so many Carrington starlets this season.
Who was better: ’99 United or ’04 Arsenal?
A match between Man United and Arsenal at Old Trafford SHOULD be a massive title-decider.
Of course, this season, it’s not. But it wasn’t long ago that clashes between these two sides were EPIC . Around the turn of the century, matches between Fergie’s Red Devils and Arsene’s Gunners saw the two best sides of the Premier League era going toe-to-toe.
These were two unique teams with two unique achievements . Manchester United’s incredible treble in 1999; Arsenal’s ridiculous unbeaten season in 2003/04.
We could go into a massive, long-winded analysis of which feat was the more difficult or significant, but that would be boring and pointless. Instead, we’ve (tried to) pick the best XI possible if we could hypothetically combine these two amazing squads.
Timothy Fosu-Mensah makes the bench for United…
There’s a new name on the Manchester United bench today, as 18-year-old Timothy Fosu-Mensah gets the nod.
Manchester United moved to snap up the highly-rated youngster from Ajax last summer and if he is able to reach his potential, the Red Devils will have a real star on their hands.
His size belittles his tender years, with the teenager looking like he is physically ready to make the step up to United’s Under-21 side.
Able to play at centre-back or further forwards as a central midfielder, Fosu-Mensah adheres to the Dutch traditions of being technically excellent with the ball, as he has a good footballing brain on his shoulders.
He also has pace and the kind of attitude that could see him emerge as a leader as his career develops. He signed a three-year deal at the club last year, so United should give him plenty of time to reach his potential.
ARSENAL substitutes: Ospina, Gibbs, Giroud, Mertesacker, Campbell, Elneny, Iwobi.
ARSENAL (4-2-3-1): Cech; Bellerin, Gabriel, Koscielny, Monreal; Ramsey, Coquelin; Walcott, Ozil, Sanchez; Welbeck.
MANCHESTER UNITED substitutes: Romero, Januzaj, McNair, Pereira, Weir, Riley, Fosu-Mensah.
MANCHESTER UNITED (4-2-3-1): De Gea; Varela, Carrick, Blind, Rojo; Schneiderlin, Herrera; Lingard, Mata, Depay; Rashford.
TEAM NEWS: Arsene Wenger has made three alterations to the team which started Arsenal’s 2-0 loss at the hands of Barcelona on Tuesday. Gabriel comes into the backline while Theo Walcott and Danny Welbeck start in attack. Per Mertesacker and Olivier Giroud drop to the bench with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain out through injury.
TEAM NEWS: Louis van Gaal has made just two changes to the side which started United’s 5-1 thrashing of Midtjylland on Thursday. David De Gea and Marcos Rojo come into the first 11 for Arsenal’s visit, while midweek hero Marcus Rashford keeps his place up front. Teenager Timothy Fosu-Mensah is amongst the substitutes.
Arsenal, on the other hand, secured that memorable last-gasp 2-1 win over Leicester City a couple of weeks back but have suffered two blows since then, drawing to Hull City in the FA Cup before losing in the late stages against Barcelona on Tuesday. The Gunners need to respond well and a game with United is the perfect stage to do so.
United are heading into today’s affair with confidence on their side after picking up morale-boosting wins over Shrewsbury and Midtjylland across two cup competitions. Every time they have threatened to go on a run this season, though, they’ve slipped up so this match is a huge test of their character.
More on Rashford now.
The Manchester-born lad became the club’s youngest-ever scorer on Thursday, breaking none other than Geroge Best’s record.
He also became the 13th United youth team player to score on his first-team debut and the fourth to bag a brace.
Here’s another juicy stat from Opta:
Good afternoon and welcome to our LIVE text commentary on today’s Premier League clash between Manchester United and Arsenal from Old Trafford. Kick-off is at 2:05pm.
Can Rashford do it again?
Marcus Rashford has been the talk of the town since his Europa League brace against FC Midtjylland on Thursday evening and has now been handed his Premier League debut for Manchester United.
Can he do it again? He goes up against a changed Arsenal back-line, where Per Mertesacker drops out for Gabriel.
In case you’ve been living in a cave and has no idea who this Rashford fella is, then check out our profile of the teenager here.
Three changes for Arsenal
And here’s your Arsenal team for the day.
Arsene Wenger has made three changes to the side that lost to Barcelona midweek, with Walcott, Gabriel and Welbeck all returning to the starting line-up.
Here’s how the Frenchman is sending out his troops:
- Arsenal: Cech, Bellerin, Gabriel. Koscielny, Monreal, Coquelin, Ramsey, Walcott, Ozil, Sanchez, Welbeck
- Subs: Opsina, Mertesacker, Gibbs, Elneny, Campbell, Iwobi, Giroud
Team news: Rashford starts for Man United
Our teams are in and we kick off with the home side.
The headline news here is that Marcus Rashford keeps his place in the starting XI, as Martial is still recovering from the injury he picked up in the warm-up on Thursday.
A huge test for the teenage.
Elsewhere, there are very few options up front for Van Gaal…
- Manchester United: De Gea; Varela, Carrick, Blind, Rojo; Schneiderlin, Herrera; Lingard, Mata, Memphis; Rashford
- Subs: Romero, McNair, Riley, Fosu-Mensah, Weir, Januzaj, A.Pereira
Arsenal are in the building
Only about ten or so minutes until we get our team news in.
There are plenty of rumours going around that Marcus Rashford will be keeping his place in the United XI this afternoon, following his two-goal debut midweek.
It’s be intersting to see how the 18-year-old can cope with the huge step up in class that Arsenal will present, as some of Midtjylland’s defending on Thursday night was not of the highest quality.
Meanwhile, Arsenal have arrived. Which is good news for all concerned…
Wenger: There will be no collapse this season
Arsene Wenger insists his side won’t blow the title again – because their team spirit is much better than the bottlers of the past.
The Gunners are in with a great chance of their first Premier League triumph sincethe Invincibles’ historic achievements of 2003-4.
Since then they have been a part of the title run-in on several occasions – only to fall away, in typical Arsenal style, in the latter stages.
Wenger, however, rejects the idea that his teams have choked at the prospect of winning silverware.
But he admitted: “There is a perception that Arsenal fades in March and April. It is true we have lost the championship once or twice.
“But if you look over 20 years we have always finished stronger in the second part of the season.
Read more from the Frenchman here.
Rooney must wear knee brace for next two weeks
Wayne Rooney is facing two more scans after his injured knee was put in a brace for the next two weeks.
Manchester United’s medical team want the additional scans to be certain the injury is healing correctly while Rooney’s knee is immobilised in a bid to aid his recovery.
Boss Louis van Gaal has played down fears that Rooney may have needed surgery after being crocked at Sunderland – but United are taking no chances, writes Steve Bates in the Sunday People.
With the brace not coming off until mid-March it may be the beginning of April before Rooney is back playing again for United.
LVG on Memphis Deapy
Louis van Gaa has revealed that it took him just 10 minutes to realise that Memphis Depay is a special talent.
And the Manchester United boss is unwilling to change his first impressions – despite seeing the Dutch winger endure a torrid first season at Old Trafford.
Depay, a £25million signing from PSV Eindhoven last summer, has struggled to justify either his price-tag or big reputation.
But Van Gaal will not give up on the 22-year-old.
“The first time I saw Depay was in the first year of my time as the national coach,” said LVG.
Alexis Sanchez previews today’s action
Alexis Sanchez insists his club’s clash with Manchester United is a must-win game for Arsenal.
The Chilean is desperate for the Gunners to recover the hunger they showed last October when they thrashed United 3-0 at the Emirates.
Sanchez, who scored twice in that game, said: “That really was the best match we’ve played all season.
“We went out there and put pressure on them having gone out with the mentality to win.
“That day, before we all went out for the match, if you looked into the eyes of all the players you could see we all had this hunger to win.
Morning folks and welcome to a huge game in the Premier League, as two of English football’s biggest rivals get ready to lock horns this afternoon.
Manchester United versus Arsenal is perhaps the most high-profile fixture in the history of the Premier League and today’s clash at Old Trafford should be a doozy.
Visitors Arsenal head north knowing that anything less than a three-point haul will be hugely damaging for their title hopes after seeing Leicester pull five points clear at the top of the league following their last-gasp win over Norwich yesterday.
Wenger’s men will also need to keep pace with their local rivals Tottenham, who they begin the day level on points with, before Spurs take on Swansea at White Hart Lane alongside this game,
Manchester United are currently languishing in sixth place following West Ham’s win over Sunderland yesterday.
Louis van Gaal’s long-term job prospects are about as slim as their title hopes and a win for the Dutchman is a must if he is to begin silencing the naysayers. Still, he has a new hero in Marcus Rashford, after the teenager bagged a brace on his debut in the 5-1 win over FC Midtjylland on Thursday night.
Will United draw on this momentum or can the Gunners get their title bid back on track?
Either way, it should be a good ‘un, so settle in and let’s get cracking.