By Emmanuel Ebimoh
With eight straight wins at the Emirates already in the bag, Arsenal looked more than confident when they filed out against Manchester United. It was a must win match for both teams as the battle for a top four finish rages on. Since taking charge at Old Trafford in December, Ole Gunnar Solksjaer had not lost a Premier League game, having won 10 out of 12. The momentum was high, and it was all poised to go down hot on the pitch.
Arsenal coach, Unai Emery went for a brave all-attacking line-up, playing Lacazette and Aubameyang as top strikers, with Ozil and Ramsey supporting just behind. Arsenal took charge of possession in the early minutes of the game but Manchester United seemed to have the best early chance when Romelu Lukaku hit the cross bar from close range.
Arsenal, however, dominated much of the first-half and yet had only shot on target, scoring from it. It came as Granit Xhaka confidently dashed a thunderous 25-yard shot that swerved agonisingly for De Gea who appeared to misjudge it as the ball veered away from the goalkeeper and into the net. For a goalkeeper of De Gea’s quality, it leaves worrying question marks as to present ability.
Manchester United had a few chances in the first half to redeem the score-line but as it would seem all night, Bernd Leno, Arsenal’s fantastic goalkeeper, proved to be the only stumbling block.
Away into the second half, Manchester United continued to pile the pressure on Arsenal, but it was only a matter of time before the North London side got their break. In the 69th minute of the game, Arsenal striker, Alexander Lacazette dashed beautifully into the penalty box and was brought down by Fred. Referee Jon Moss pointed to the spot and Aubameyang, with his 20th goal in all competitions this season rolled the ball coolly into the net, sending David De Gea the wrong way to give Arsenal a comfortable, well deserved 2-goal advantage.
The victory sealed a nine straight home win for Unai Emery’s side as they climb to fourth on the table, closing the gap on Tottenham Hotspur. Manchester United remain 5th while Chelsea are 6th on the table with a game in hand.