Arsenal 2-0 Manchester United
Arsenal got their first win in five Premier League games and the first since early December at West Ham [1-3]. The Gunners got a much needed win against a top 4 contender in Manchester United.
The win places Arsenal 4 points behind their rivals but still 9 points behind 4th place Chelsea. Another season outside of the top European competition lure for the Gunners.
Arteta Get First 3 Points
It took 3 matches for the new coach Mikel Arteta to get his first win. The former Guardiola’s assistant coach at Manchester City moved to a club where he played for 6 seasons from 2011 to 2016. He ended his professional career with Arsenal and was honored to be selected for the job.
The new coach comments on the importance of beating a rival like Man United:
I am very pleased with the performance, I am even more pleased with the result, which we needed. All of the things that I demanded and wanted to see on the pitch.
I said to the players, ‘it is up to you, your body language and behaviour, if you are able to transmit to them, they will buy into it. If it is negative, it is a negative [reaction from the fans], if it is positive, it is positive and they are willing to help you guys.
They are here to support you. They are fans and they want to see their team perform like they did today. Thank you so much to them because when they are right behind [the team], you can tell the confidence and the things they tried, and the energy had towards the game you could see it was much better.
At the end of the day, we’re getting judged by results. That’s going to give the players a massive lift in terms of confidence, that they can play against any opponent in this league and be better than them, dominate them, and compete against them.
That’s something that, in my opinion, for many weeks, they haven’t been doing together. As well, what we are trying to create is not just words, it’s actually happening and you can see that happening. That generates more belief. That’s only about winning games.
For Manchester United, the loss is a stop after two consecutive wins. The Red Devils sit a the 5th place, 5 points behind Chelsea. Coach Solskjaer on the loss:
“You can say that [it’s two steps forward, one step back] because of course we have lost the game after two wins. Then again, it’s for me it was a game between two teams that do have loads of quality. Arsenal showed it more than us in the first half and they won the game through that. I thought we came out [of the blocks] okay, got two or three counter-attacks.
But then they got into the game because we maybe took a few too many touches. They were really sharp in the regains and they won the ball back off us. We never managed to settle and the two goals were obviously disappointing to concede. I can just see them again there, sorry.
I think Mikel Arteta has really got a reaction from his team and you expect that, because he is a new manager, but you saw in the second half that their energy died a bit and we had loads of it, but we just didn’t manage to get the goal.”