Arsenal – Manchester United: Arsenal Prevail In Late Drama (3-1)
The first half was a somewhat low-tempo affair, as United tried to control the game with a cautious possession approach which Arsenal were happy to allow. Arsenal took more possession in the second half though, while United attacked through transitions. This very nearly worked out for the away side, but Arsenal ultimately got the decisive goals in stoppage time.
Tactical analysis and match report by Josh Manley.
Arsenal came into this match with two wins and a draw in the Premier League so far, in which they had arguably not quite replicated last season’s high level of performance just yet. Mikel Arteta’s side lined up in a 4-3-3 shape here, with a back four of Ben White, William Saliba, Gabriel Magalhães, and Oleksandr Zinchenko. Declan Rice was the deepest midfielder, with Martin Ødegaard and Kai Havertz ahead of him. Eddie Nketiah started up front, flanked by Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli.
Manchester United have not had the smoothest start to the season themselves. Either side of defeat at Tottenham Hotspur, there were underwhelming home performances in which the team still lacked some coordination. They also lined up in a 4-3-3 shape, with Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Victor Lindelöf, Lisandro Martínez, and Diogo Dalot. Casemiro, Bruno Fernandes and Christan Eriksen were in midfield, with Antony, Anthony Martial, and Marcus Rashford up front.
United’s quiet possession
Perhaps unexpectedly, the first half saw United having slightly more possession than Arsenal. This possession was quite slow and unthreatening though, as they mostly circulated the ball in deep areas. This resulted in a quiet first half, aside from the short flurry of action in the middle of the . . .