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Manchester United logo
Premier League | Gameweek 37
May 12, 2024 at 4.30pm UK
Old Trafford
Arsenal logo

Man Utd
0 - 1

FT(HT: 0-1)
Trossard (20')
Saka (71'), Raya (90+4')

Arsenal return to Premier League summit with slender win at Manchester United

Arsenal return to PL summit with slender win at Man United
© Reuters
Arsenal return to the top of the Premier League table after securing a slender 1-0 victory against Manchester United at Old Trafford.

Arsenal have returned to the top of the Premier League table after securing a slender 1-0 victory against Manchester United at Old Trafford on Sunday afternoon.

The Gunners may not have been at their free-flowing best from an attacking perspective, but a clinical first-half strike from Leandro Trossard proved decisive and their resilient backline ensured that they got the job done against a weakened Man United outfit.

Erik ten Hag was without the presence of several injured players including Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford, and although his side showed signs of promise in stages of the tight contest, they ultimately struggled to pose a real threat in front of goal.

Victory for Arsenal means that the Premier League title race will go down to the final day of the season; the Gunners have climbed back to the top of the table and sit just one point clear of reigning champions Manchester City, who thrashed Fulham 4-0 on Saturday and crucially have a game in hand on Mikel Arteta's side.

Arsenal have also completed their first league double over Man United since 2006-07 and have won three matches in a row versus the Red Devils for the first time since 1997-98.

As for Man United, they remain eighth in the Premier League table and at risk of failing to qualify for European competition as they sit three points behind sixth-placed Newcastle United and seventh-placed Chelsea with only two games remaining, including an encounter with the Magpies next Wednesday.

The Red Devils have now lost a total of 14 Premier League games - a club record - and 19 matches across all competitions for the first time in a single campaign since 1977-78.

Manchester United's Casemiro reacts on May 12, 2024© Reuters

Casemiro the culprit as Trossard taps Arsenal in front

Arsenal made a strong start to the contest but Man United responded well and carved out a couple of decent chances, the first fired over by Rasmus Hojlund, who slipped as he took his shot, before Amad Diallo - a livewire in the opening exchanges on his first league start of the season - and Alejandro Garnacho had shots blocked inside the area.

The Gunners were patient and pragmatic when in possession as they attempted to regain a measure of control following an encouraging spell from the Red Devils, and they eventually made the breakthrough in the 21st minute courtesy of a close-range finish from Trossard.

After playing a short pass to goalkeeper Andre Onana, Casemiro - who has received widespread criticism in recent weeks - decided to only trundle up the pitch, and as Arsenal won the ball back, the Brazilian played Kai Havertz onside as he burst down the right flank to meet a smart delivery over the top from Ben White.

Arsenal's Leandro Trossard scores their first goal on May 12, 2024© Reuters

Havertz then raced to the byline and cut the ball back to Trossard, who showed great desire to get in front of Aaron Wan-Bissaka and tap home a first-time finish from just a yard out.

Arsenal's opener means that Man United have now conceded a total of 82 goals across all competitions so far this season - the most shipped by the Red Devils in a single campaign since 1970-71.

Ten Hag's side had their fair share of possession inside Arsenal's half after going a goal behind, but they struggled to carve out any clear-cut opportunities and put David Raya under any real danger - the Red Devils entered half time having failed to register any of their eight shots on target.

Man United lacked cutting edge against solid Arsenal backline

Arsenal were comfortable in possession during a relatively uneventful start to the second half, but Man United certainly had the pace and trickery down both flanks, as was seen in the first half, to cause the Gunners' backline problems.

United's full-backs had to play their part in preventing Arsenal from scoring a second just before the hour mark. Wan-Bisaska firstly made a crucial block, throwing himself at Declan Rice's shot from the edge of the area, before Diogo Dalot nipped in front of Bukayo Saka to ensure that the Arsenal attacker would not tap home in similar fashion to Trossard from close range.

At the other end, the Red Devils continued to pose a threat from wide area, but they ultimately lacked an end product; Garnacho found himself in acres of space after cutting inside from the left, but his curling shot failed to trouble Raya as it flew well wide of the far post.

Arsenal's Bukayo Saka in action with Manchester United's Kobbie Mainoo on May 12, 2024© Reuters

Arsenal were at times inviting pressure from Man United's attackers and struggled to break forward when regaining possession, but there was one occasion in the 64th minute when the visitors quickly regaine possession and raced up field, but their attack resulted in Martin Odegaard curling a tame shot straight at Onana.

The Gunners were unable to put their stamp on proceedings and were by no means in complete control. Man United, meanwhile, were roared on by the Old Trafford faithful throughout the second half, aware that they were still in the closely-contested contest heading into the final 20 minutes.

Not long after Scott McTominay led a promising United counter-attack and set up Garnacho to ripple the side-netting, Arsenal substitute Gabriel Martinelli glided inside and his venomous shot was superbly tipped over by an acrobatic one-handed save from Onana.

The Cameroonian was then called into action to make a quick double save, firstly punching away Wan-Bissaka's failed clearance of an Arsenal corner, before diving to his left to prevent Rice's curling long-range shot from sneaking into the bottom corner.

Man United continued to push forward in search of an equaliser, but Arsenal - marshalled excellently at the back by William Saliba and Gabriel Magalhaes - held on to claim three valuable points and keep their title hopes alive.

While Ten Hag and co have just three days to prepare for their final home league fixture of the season against Newcastle on Wednesday, Arsenal are next in action at home against Everton on the final day of the campaign on May 19.

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Group A

Q Germany Germany32107
Q Switzerland Switzerland31205
3 Hungary Hungary31023
4 Scotland flag Scotland30121

Group B

Q Spain Spain22006
2 Italy Italy21013
3 Albania national flag Albania20111
4 Croatia Croatia20111

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4 Ukraine Ukraine21013

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4 Georgia Georgia20111

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