Three things we learned from Manchester United’s 3-2 defeat by Arsenal ⋆ Somag News

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Arsenal hosted Manchester United at the Emirates in a crucial match compared to the glory days.

The Gunners were looking to beat United and seal their title bid, while The Hague hoped to bounce back from Wednesday’s disappointing draw with Crystal Palace and get back to winning ways.

In Casemiro’s absence, Ten Hag brought Scott McTominay back into the side and Fred had to settle for a place on the bench.

Here are three things we learned from it of Manchester United Defeated 3-2 by Arsenal.

Angry first half

The first 45 minutes were very even for both teams who had their moments.

Arsenal had slightly better possession than United. The London club had 51% and United had 49%.

The leaders in the table made significantly more shots on goal against implacable opponents – 11:2. However, both sides had two shots on goal.

The red devils drew first blood in the 17th minute thanks to Marcus Rashford. The Englishman received a pass from Bruno Fernandes before cutting in a helpless Thomas Partey.

Rashford then fired a venomous volley into the Arsenal goal to put United ahead. However, Arsenal equalized after just seven minutes thanks to Eddie Nketiah, who outpaced Van Bissaka and beat David de Gea with a header.

The game in the first half was close. Both teams were resolute in defense and managed to withstand any opponent’s storm. There were few clean sheets.

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United pressed well and dominated throughout the game, as did Arsenal at times. The Ten Hag would undoubtedly have been disappointed with the manner in which the goal was conceded, but was delighted that his side held out in hostile territory against the best team in the country.

De Gea’s weaknesses are still a major concern

Nketiah’s goal was the result of a mistake by United. De Gea passed to Van Bissaka, who was under pressure, but was unable to control the transfer. A few seconds later, Granit Xhaka found himself in the penalty area and crossed magnificently to Nketiah, who shot unerringly in front of goal.

De Gea’s poor distribution and initiation was a constant theme throughout the game.

The Spaniard’s limitations with his feet were on full display – which is what Mikel Arteta’s men looked to exploit whenever the opportunity arose.

Whenever De Gea had the ball, the Arsenal crowd went into ecstasy and booed loudly, prompting their players to press the United stopper and force him into a mistake.

Often when De Gea hit the ball he couldn’t find a United shirt and instead conceded the ball to an Arsenal player. United’s No. 1 was also not covered in glory thanks to Bukayo Saki’s strike and Arsenal’s second goal of the game.

United’s inability to operate at the back and beat the press is clearly still an obstacle. Not surprisingly, after a while the tactic was abandoned and De Gea began to play long.

Building from the back is an important part of Ten Haga’s playstyle that needs to be worked on.

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Top four is still the target

There was plenty of pre-match talk about whether United would be legitimate title contenders if they picked up all three points against Arsenal.

Roy Keane himself said as much, but warned that if the Red Devils fail to beat their arch-rivals, they should forget they are fighting for the prize.

This defeat is a reminder that a top-four finish is still United’s main objective this season.

There is still a lot of work to be done before United can be considered a legitimate contender. This is proven by the second half, where the red ones were under heavy pressure and were confined to their penalty area.