Arsenal continued their push for a champions league berth with a brilliant 3-1 victory over Manchester United at Emirates stadium on Saturday.
Nuno Tavares put the Gunners ahead after only three minutes, capitalising on errors by Raphael Varane and Alex Telles. The Portuguese youngster slotted home a simple finish after David de Gea saved a shot from Bukayo Saka.
Saka himself added the second on 32 minutes from the penalty spot after being fouled by Telles. The VAR earlier ruled out the goal by Eddie Enkatiah for offside before checking the possible penalty involved.
🏰 The Fortress— Arsenal (@Arsenal) April 23, 2022
👏 Thank you for your incredible support, Gunners pic.twitter.com/aFOPjay6c2
United posed a real threat in attack as well, with the returning Cristiano Ronaldo scoring a well-deserved equaliser moments after the hosts increased the lead.
It laid the stage for a United rallying, only for Fernandes to squander their golden opportunity by clumsily spinning a second-half penalty against the post following a Tavares hand ball which was awarded after a brief VAR check again.
Arsenal capitalised on the respite as Granit Xhaka lashed home Arsenal’s third goal from 25 yards with 20 minutes remaining.
Arteta on Xhaka:— Chris Wheatley (@ChrisWheatley_) April 23, 2022
"I was dreaming about that, because he deserves it. If every fan spent two minutes with Granit, they would understand the person he is, the professional he is." pic.twitter.com/uNqhlo49O7
Arsenal’s victory capped an outstanding recovery to three league defeats that had jeopardised their chances of finishing in the top four.
Mikel Arteta’s side had to fight their way through adversity – they were not convincing defensively and had several close calls – but they capitalised on their opportunities when they arrived to exploit United’s carelessness in front of goal.
Tavares got them off to the right start, and while goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale had a difficult afternoon, he also made some key saves, including one early on from Telles and another from Diogo Dalot.
However, Xhaka’s thunderous drive left De Gea helpless, and the atmosphere inside Emirates Stadium was electric after the final whistle.
Arsenal have dealt a severe blow to United’s fragile chances of finishing in the top four, while also maintaining pressure on north London rivals Tottenham in the race to qualify for next season’s Champions League.