Arsenal win at United to regain top spot: Five things we learned from Man United 0-1 Arsenal

Arsenal have brought the Premier League title race to the final day following a tense 1-0 victory over Manchester United at Old Trafford.

Mikel Arteta’s side are now one point ahead of the champions but Pep Guardiola’s side still have that all-important game in hand- an away trip to Tottenham on Tuesday.

Leandro Trossard’s opener after more questionable defending from United was the decisive goal of the game as Arsenal dug deep to keep their title hopes alive

Here are the five things we learned from the game…

Arsenal dig deep to stay in the race 

It was not pretty for Arsenal today, but they got the job done and have kept the pressure on Manchester City. With just one win in their last 16 visits to Old Trafford before today, this was always going to be a stern test for the Gunners irrespective of United’s form. In the second half, Arsenal allowed the game to drift which is always risky against a United team that play in moments, but in the end got over the line.

Arsenal held on for 1-0 wins at Old Trafford in 1998 and 2002 on the way to winning the league in those seasons- can they do the same in 2024? 

Trossard the man again for Arsenal 

It is now nine goals in the last 17 for Leandro Trossard, who is quickly emerging as one of Arsenal’s most crucial players in the run-in. The versatile forward, who boasts exceptional vision and close control, is creating a habit of scoring massive goals since he moved up the pecking order ahead of Gabriel Martinelli.

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His clever movement across Aaron Wan-Bissaka put him in position to convert Kai Havertz’s cross which put Arsenal on their way. 

Casemiro woes continue 

It’s gone from bad to worse for Casemiro, who was once again the centre of attention after another defensive schoolboy error gifted Arsenal the lead. As United cleared their lines, the Brazilian was far too slow getting out which allowed Havertz to ghost in behind and set up Trossard for the simplest of tap-ins. 

There was a real lack of legs in United’s defence today and once again it proved costly. Granted, Casemiro is not a centre-half by trade, but his know-how and longevity in the game means he should have been much more alert on that occasion.  

Saliba’s presence making the difference in the run-in 

Arsenal’s title collapse last season stemmed from several factors, but mainly it was because of the injury sustained by Saliba. The Frenchman’s absence at the back end of the last season significantly affected Arsenal’s defence as they went on a barren run of results to hand the initiative to Manchester City. 

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This season, he has been an ever-present for Arsenal and his importance is starting to show in the run-in as the Gunner’s defence continues to dominate games. His perfectly timed challenge on Alejandro Garnacho in the second half epitomised the quality of the Arsenal centre-half. It is now 11 away clean sheets away for Arsenal too, and that is largely down to the performances of the young defender. 

United’s injury crisis must be taken into consideration 

Erik ten Hag must feel like the most scrutinised manager in world football right now. It’s part and parcel of being manager of Manchester United, which is arguably the hottest seat in managerial football. Whatever about United’s suspect tactics or their inconsistency, it all feels unjust when you consider how many injuries Ten Hag has had to deal with this season. 

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Jonny Evans and Casemiro starting at centre-back for consecutive games and a bench consisting of six youth players emphasised the injury crisis at United. They have had 35 injuries to contend with this season and it feels like that has become an afterthought given how poor United have been on the pitch.

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