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Arsenal were left ruing a plethora of missed chances after suffering a 3-1 defeat at the hands of Manchester United on Saturday. The defeat was the Gunners’ fifth of the season in the Premier League and their first at the Emirates in the League since January.
Arsenal’s failure to register a result against the visitors means Liverpool are now fourth on the standings with 29 points- a point above the Gunners- after an emphatic 5-1 win over Brighton & Hove Albion in an early kick off.
The visit of Manchester United was always going to be a litmus test test for Arsene Wenger’s charges, but not one which would end with the Gunners shooting themselves on the foot.
Arsene Wenger may have flipped the script on Jose Mourinho with a deliberately misguiding response over the availability of Alexandre Lacazette, but it was the Portuguese that was destined to have the last laugh.
United grabbed the lead barely before the managers had made their way into the dugouts, after Antonio Valencia struck the back of the net following an apathetic pass by Laurent Koscielny.
Arsenal’s ineptitude was showcased once again, this time by Shkodran Mustafi, whose indecisiveness saw him robbed of the ball by Jesse Lingard who got on the finishing end of United’s second.
The final nail on Arsenal’s proverbial coffin emanated from yet another individual mistake, as the hosts were caught on the break in textbook Jose Mourinho fashion.
De Gea brilliance
Arsenal’s only way back into the game was to outscore their opponents, a case that wasn’t to be given David De Gea’s presence between the sticks.
The Spaniard’s performance was hailed as “The best from a goalkeeper in the world” by his manager, and deservedly so after the 27-year old equaled the record for most saves made in a single Premier League match (14).
The Red Devils may have secured the bragging right on the day, but it’s nearly impossible seeing any other United goalkeeper merit the same score line.
The hosts may have given themselves a mountain to climb by gifting Manchester United with two easy goals, but managing a single goal after 33 shots on goal is very indicative of a side that is all but clinical.
Written by Brian Humphrey
Follow Brian on Twitter @brihum
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