Conferences between Arsenal and Manchester United in years passed by have been the stuff of legend, iconic battles, merely ‘prime Barclays’.
Nicely, on Sunday night time, we noticed a glimpse of these good outdated days.
A weighted conflict that concerned two title-chasers, an exhibition of high quality with excellent objectives and, most significantly, a battle fought with grit, chew and dedication, Sunday’s conflict between the 2 sides was harking back to Arsenal vs Manchester United all through the noughties – it was nearly Fergie vs Wenger.
Each groups, underneath Mikel Arteta and Erik ten Hag respectively, have completely impressed all through the 2022/23 marketing campaign.
The Gunners have been pink scorching and resolute because the opening day to guide the frontrunners within the Premier League whereas, after a gradual begin, the Purple Devils have bounced again to kind a title problem of their very own.
The significance of Sunday night time’s conflict couldn’t have been overstated and, with a late, dramatic 3-2 victory to point out for his or her efforts, Arsenal went residence having taken a giant step within the title race.
A 2-2 draw was on the horizon when Lisandro Martinez’s well-taken, swooping header cancelled out Bukayo Saka’s chic long-range effort – that was after Marcus Rashofrd’s equally thumping effort had been chalked off by Eddie Nketiah’s first of the sport.
At 2-2, Manchester Metropolis might need thought themselves the true victors with their closest rivals destined to drop two factors every whereas they themselves ran out 3-0 winners in opposition to Wolves earlier within the day.
Nketiah’s Ninetieth-minute winner, nonetheless, noticed the Gunners crowd produce fireworks – and with good purpose.
The win not solely avoids conceding the double to United (who, coincidentally, are the one aspect to beat Arsenal thus far this season) but additionally extends the hole they’ve over ten Hag’s males to 11 factors – the identical factors distinction between Arteta’s aspect and Eddie Howe’s Newcastle, who sit third.
In the meantime, even after Erling Haaland’s hat-trick and a second Premier League win on the trot for Metropolis, Arsenal nonetheless boast a five-point lead over Pep Guardiola’s males – with a sport in hand.
A draw won’t have been the tip of the world for both aspect, however a win solely strengthens Arsenal’s title credentials and actually tightens their grip on high spot as issues stand. In the meantime, defeat for the Purple Devils will style bitter, would require an entire lot of energy to bounce again from, and is an actual dent in their very own push.
Metropolis are nonetheless on the Gunners’ tails, however victory over United was, in conclusion, fairly large within the title-race image. Here is how issues stand on the high of the desk after Sunday’s motion…
1. Arsenal (performed 19; 50pts; 29 GD)
2. Manchester Metropolis (performed 20; 45pts; 33 GD)
3. Newcastle United (performed 20; 39pts; 22 GD)
4. Manchester United (performed 20; 39pts; 7 GD)