January 25, 2023

Arsenal won 3-2 against Manchester United at the Emirates Stadium in a crunch encounter at the top of the table.

Arsenal faced their toughest test yet in their bid to break away at the top of the Premier League and mount a serious title challenge as they won 3-2 against Manchester United at the Emirates Stadium. A victory would have restored Mikel Arteta’s team’s advantage to five points over Manchester City with a game in hand and they dominated against Erik ten Hag’s side to earn a deserved win.

Marcus Rashford put the visitors ahead after 17 minutes with a thunderous drive from 25 yards out to score his ninth Premier League of the season. But the lead was cut shortly after when Eddie Nketiah levelled the score with a fine header seven minutes later.

Bukayo Saka had tormented Luke Shaw on the right and the 20-year-old produced a stunning effort to complete the turnaround and put Arsenal 2-1 ahead on 53 minutes. But United hit back in quick fashion with Lisandro Martinez reacting quickly to head past Aaron Ramsdale. With the clock ticking down, Nketiah prodded home in the 90th minute to steal all three points.

In a pulsating contest with chances at both ends, both sides provided brilliant entertainment for the packed-out crowd at the Emirates Stadium. But who came out on top in the player ratings? Express Sport looks at how Arsenal’s players performed after playing out a thrilling draw in north London.

Aaron Ramsdale: 6

Had no chance to stopping Rashford’s 25-yard thunderbolt but produced a decent stop to deny McTominay with the score at 1-1. Came up trumps when Arsenal needed him shortly after taking the lead, beating away Rashford’s low drive with a strong fist. But he flapped at a simple delivery and paid the price for his mistake.

Ben White: 5

Booked early on for scything down Rashford with a rash challenge and it left him on a knife edge for the rest of the game. Looked uncomfortable with the task of dealing with his England team-mate for the rest of the afternoon and Arteta decided it was not worth the risk, bringing off the defender at the break.

William Saliba: 6

Did little wrong in the first half and looked assured in building out from the back, although he could have closed down Rashford a little quicker for the goal and turned his back on the shot.

Gabriel: 6

Dealt with the aerial threat of Wout Weghorst adequately and, while sometimes guilty of high-profile errors, he kept his mistakes to a minimum. Had no part to play in either goal conceded.

Oleksandr Zinchenko: 7

His technical ability and fluid positioning gives Arsenal an extra option in the middle when building up from the back and he got forward at will to help Arsenal dominate the ball. Defensively, he looked solid against Antony as the Brazilian was quiet for much of the first half.

Thomas Partey: 5

So often a calm, composed operator in the middle of the park, a quick rush of blood to the head forced Partey to concede possession before he was humiliated with a nutmeg by Rashford for the opener. Struggled to recover from that incident on a rare off day for the Ghanaian.

Granit Xhaka: 7

It’s difficult to imagine Arsenal without their Swiss army knife performing three jobs at once. This time, he found himself on the left overlapping and delivered a pinpoint cross for Nketiah to head home. And when he was required to defend, he did so valiantly to emphasise his importance to the team.

Martin Odegaard: 6

Even in the absence of the United’s midfield general Casemiro, the Norwegian was not able to express himself as much as he would have liked. Plenty of endeavour, but nothing came off for the playmaker in the final third after improving in the second half.

Bukayo Saka: 9 (MAN OF THE MATCH)

No surprise that everything Arsenal created came from the right as Saka tormented Luke Shaw. He was a constant threat when approaching the penalty area and United were petrified of going near him. Deserved a goal for his efforts and got it when he unleashed a stunning strike to put Arsenal ahead, and nearly got a second only to strike the post. An incredible talent.

Eddie Nketiah: 8

Anonymous for long spells of the first half until the goal. But as a striker, all you need is to deliver in the moment and he did that twice. First, he ghosted in behind Wan-Bissaka to bring his side level with a super header and then he was in the right moment at the right time to prod home the winner. That’s seven goals in seven for the 23-year-old, who is gradually silencing his doubters.

Gabriel Martinelli: 6

Enjoyed a fascinating battle with Aaron Wan-Bissaka on left flank but, when Arsenal needed him at the back post to get on the end of crosses, the Brazilian’s movement was surprisingly lacking. Improved in the second half but not as effective as Arsenal are used to him being.

SUBS

Takehiro Tomiyasu (on 45′): 6

Apart from hindering Ramsdale when coming to claim the corner, from which Arsenal conceded, he looked bright when attacking down the right in the latter stages of the game.

Leandro Trossard (on 81′): 6

Looked very sharp on his Arsenal debut despite short cameo.

Rob Holding (on 90+3′): N/A

Subs not used: Turner, Tierney, Smith Rowe, Vieira, Lokonga, Marquinhos.

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