Bukayo Saka created one and converted another as Arsenal beat Manchester United in a gripping Premier League clash, with Cristiano Ronaldo also on the scoresheet
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Bukayo Saka stole the show from the Gunners, setting up Nuno Tavares’ first goal in the third minute before doubling the advantage from the penalty spot in the first half Eddie Nketiah a goal was disallowed for offside. Cristiano Ronaldo pulled one back for the Red Devils and also saw a strike ruled out for a narrow second-half offside offense.
That came shortly after Bruno Fernandes missed a brilliant equalizer for United and hit the post with a lackluster penalty from goalscorer Tavares for handball. Arsenal made their visitors pay for this missed opportunity Xhaka granite produced a stunning long-range performance to take all three points for the north Londoners.
Here are five talking points from a vibrant duel in the Emirates.
Rangnick’s warning went unheeded
Manchester United via Getty Images)
Before kick-off, Ralf Rangnick explained that Manchester United “have to make sure it’s not too open” as they look to recover from their disastrous 4-0 defeat Liverpool.
To that end, the interim boss returned to a four-man defense with Victor Lindelof and Raphael Varane favoring Harry Maguire in the middle. However, his plea for United to brace themselves at the back fell on deaf ears and the visitors were 1-0 down at the Emirates just three minutes into action.
Arsenal’s goal was created by Bukayo Saka’s brilliance as the England international sliced inside and fired a vicious shot at David de Gea’s goal. The Spaniard made a good save to thwart the initial effort but his save sense got in the way of Nuno Tavares who had the easy task of putting the Gunners ahead early.
As ‘Arsenal 1-0’ was sung in north London, new United manager Erik ten Hag was once again reminded of just how much work he has to do at Old Trafford this summer.
Steely Saka has an effort on goal from the penalty spot
The 20-year-old suffered a crushing disappointment last summer after missing a penalty on penalties in the Euro 2020 final against Italy, but has responded forcefully this season, confirming his place among Arsenal’s key players. Saka was called again from 12 yards against Manchester United and made no mistake, sending David de Gea the wrong way to double Arsenal’s lead in the 32nd minute.
The penalty had been awarded after Eddie Nketiah was denied a goal for offside but VAR scrutiny soon turned to look for a possible penalty for Alex Telles’ push on Saka. The penalty was duly awarded and the England international sent the Emirates into a frenzy by giving Arsenal a 2-0 lead. The only blemish on Saka’s brilliant performance was that he had to be dismissed in the second half with a suspected muscle injury.
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Ronaldo reaches milestone
Manchester United could easily have capitulated in a 2-0 defeat at the Emirates, as they have on so many other occasions this season.
However, they scored a goal within seconds through none other than Cristiano Ronaldo, who latched on to Nemanja Matic’s cross to thrust home after fending off Gabriel with ease. It was an emotional moment for the Portuguese superstar to come to terms with heartbreaking loss of his young son On Monday.
Ronaldo returned to the starting XI after missing out on defeat at Liverpool midweek and has scored 16 goals in the top flight this season. Joining the elite group of players while scoring 100 goals in the Premier League. There was a poignant moment as he celebrated the goal points to the sky in a seemingly clear tribute to his little boy.
Fernandes spares Tavares blush
While Nuno Tavares scored Arsenal’s opening goal, for a moment it looked like he would go from hero to zero as he conceded a penalty just before the hour mark to make the Gunners 2-1.
To the chagrin of Emirates fans, the defender was penalized after a corner kick caught his outstretched arm, which was undoubtedly in an unnatural position. However, to Tavares’ relief, Bruno Fernandes’ penalty, after a typically nervous run-up, only hit the post.
Aaron Ramsdale rubbed salt in the Portuguese’s wounds by running out of his goal to celebrate as the ball trickled out of play. As for the costly miss, Fernandes and Rangnick can expect a fresh wave of scrutiny as to why Cristiano Ronaldo is out of the penalty shootout.
Xhaka confirms key points in top 4 race
They don’t play often for Granit Xhaka but the Switzerland international has always had a wild shot in his closet.
Manchester United were the recipients of such a thunder in the 70th minute. Just as Arsenal players were claiming an alleged handball from a Red Devils defender, Xhaka retrieved the ball and lashed past a helpless David de Gea to spark loud celebrations from the squad and Gunners fans.
The goal knocked the stuffing out of United’s minds, who have almost no chance of completing Champions League Stains as a result of her loss in North London. The Gunners are six points clear of United after playing a game down while their victory means Tottenham must react when they travel to Brentford on Saturday night.
https://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football/match-reports/arsenal-man-utd-saka-ronaldo-26779751 Arsenal defeat Man Utd in thriller and take initiative in top four - 5 talking points