Arsenal 1-3 Manchester United: De Gea the hero as Red Devils leave north London with victory
Jesse Lingard scored twice as 10-man Manchester United beat Arsenal 3-1 in a pulsating Premier League clash at the Emirates Stadium.
United burst out of the traps and Antonio Valencia opened the scoring in the fourth minute after linking up with Paul Pogba and drilling the ball through the legs of Petr Cech from 15 yards.
The Red Devils doubled their lead after 11 minutes through Lingard, who benefited from a fine Anthony Martial lay-off before converting in off a post.
Arsenal wasted numerous chances to cut the deficit, the most glaring being Alexandre Lacazette’s close-range shot which was somehow parried onto the crossbar by David De Gea.
Lacazette did pull a goal back for the Gunners just after half-time but Lingard restored United’s two-goal cushion with a tap-in after 63 minutes.
Pogba was then sent off for a stamp on Hector Bellerin with 16 minutes remaining but Jose Mourinho’s side – who are five points behind leaders Manchester City – held on.
Arsene Wenger secured a first Premier League win over Mourinho at the 13th attempt in May, when United’s focus was on the Europa League.
That victory was part of a 12-game winning run at home for the Gunners in the league, their best since leaving Highbury.
And it was also part of United’s winless streak of 11 away to established top-six rivals.
Mourinho’s men had scored just once in eight of those games, but they had surpassed that tally after 11 minutes here, punishing two Arsenal aberrations.
A dreadful pass from Koscielny towards Sead Kolasinac was intercepted by Valencia.
The United captain played a one-two with Pogba, who sucked in defenders for Valencia to overlap and fire a shot between Petr Cech’s legs.
The sin was repeated. Mustafi hesitated on the ball and Lingard nipped at his heels, sending the ball to Romelu Lukaku. The Belgium striker, now with one goal in 12, found Anthony Martial.
Martial showed great dexterity to pirouette and present the ball to Lingard to shoot inside the far post.
Mustafi collapsed in a heap, perhaps as much in embarrassment as pain, before limping down the tunnel for attention on his right ankle.
Alex Iwobi replaced him, giving Arsenal more of an attacking threat.
That left them vulnerable at the back. At times they were defending two on two and United looked as likely to score a third as Arsenal did to net in the remainder of the first half.
Lacazette was the Gunners’ greatest threat. The France striker, who shrugged off a groin injury to start, delayed over a shot which hit De Gea’s chest and struck the bar. Granit Xhaka fired the loose ball just wide.
Arsenal had further chances but De Gea saved from Bellerin, Kolasinac and Lukaku, after the striker had diverted a cross towards his own goal.
Arsenal did have a goal back within four minutes of the restart. Alexis Sanchez clipped the ball through for the on-rushing Aaron Ramsey.
The Welshman showed brilliant composure to cushion the ball for Lacazette to finish.
The intensity ramped up a notch. Lingard went through only to see his shot brush Cech’s arm and loop on to a post.
Then De Gea denied Iwobi and made a double stop, first from Lacazette low to his right and then with his feet from Sanchez.
United had threatened to strike on the counter and did so when Lingard found Pogba, who danced around Koscielny and crossed for Lingard to tuck in the third unopposed.
Having shown his best, Pogba then showed his worst. A mis-timed, studs-up challenge on Bellerin saw the France international dismissed by referee Andre Marriner.
Mourinho felt Koscielny should have seen red for hauling back Lukaku on the halfway line with three minutes remaining, but the Gunners defender was only booked despite being last man.
And there was no penalty when Danny Welbeck went down under the challenge of fellow substitute Matteo Darmian, meaning there was no furious climax to a breathtaking contest.