Arsenal 2 Manchester United 0
Xhaka 54, Welbeck 57

Two minutes and 9 seconds. That was the time between both the Arsenal goals from Granit Xhaka and Danny Welbeck which sunk Manchester United at the Emirates stadium on Sunday. Arsene Wenger smiled on as his side beat a Jose Mourinho side in the a Premier League encounter for the first time since the Portuguese arrived in England 17 years ago. The win keeps alive the Gunners hopes of another top four finish, but that aspiration remains out of their hands. Arsenal will need to win the remaining five games and hope for slip ups from those above them to see a Champions League opening for next season. The Arsenal win ends United’s 25 game unbeaten run.

With another three man defence, Rob Holding, Nacho Monreal and Laurent Koscielny started with Kieran Gibbs and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain again providing the width.

Xhaka’s release for Gibbs was cause for concern in the United defensive ranks, but Welbeck and Alexis Sanchez were unable to capitalise on the move after five minutes. Seconds later and United responded through Anthony Martial but his shot was deflected for a corner.

When Alexis then released Aaron Ramsey with a perfectly weighted ball, the Gunners number eight had just David De Gea in front of him. Ramsey struck, but the Spain ‘ keeper dived low to palm the ball away for a corner.

Arsenal continued on the offensive as Ramsey and Welbeck saw half chances which couldn’t the converted, and then saw Oxlade-Chamberlain sting De Gea’s palms with a twenty five yard drive which the United ‘ keeper punched away.

Assured as he has been to date, Holding almost cost his side with a poor back pass which let in Wayne Rooney. Petr Cech spread himself at point blank range to produce an excellent block to deny a certain United goal at the expense of a corner.

0-0 at the break and it seemed only a matter of time would produce the opening goal.

It arrived after 54 minutes when Xhaka looked up and let fly from 25 yards. His shot caught a retreating Ander Herrera on his back to deflect and loop the long range shot in past De Gea. It was Xhaka’s first goal the Emirates stadium.

We hardly had time to digest the 1-0 scoreline when we saw Oxlade-Chamberlain twist and turn at the United defence to send over a cross from the right. The cross eluded Chris Smalling but fell just right for Welbeck to head in off the underside of De Gea’s bar to double the Arsenal lead. 2-0 to the Arsenal and all in less than a two minute spell.

Feeling the effects of their congested fixture list, United tried to get back through Rooney’s free kick which Cech had to deal with at the expense of a corner. You felt that the visitors would rally as Mourinho sent on Jesse Lingard and Marcus Rashford. Their injection of pace and movement however was kept in check by Cech and his defence and Arsenal comfortably held on for a deserved three points.

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