Saturday, January 28, 2023 | Rajab 5, 1444 H
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Thrilling win keeps Arsenal well on top

Arsenal's Eddie Nketiah scores their third goal REUTERS
Arsenal's Eddie Nketiah scores their third goal REUTERS

London: With an exciting finish to their 3-2 win over Manchester United, from a 90th minute winning goal, Arsenal retained their lead of the Premier League with 50 points from just 19 matches. No Arsenal team in history has reached that many points in fewer games.

Gunners manager, Mikel Arteta said: “Extraordinary. It doesn’t get much better than that. We deserve the points we have. We have played well enough to win most matches. But we have things we can still get better at. The performance was just incredible. To win it in that way makes it even better. We showed a lot of emotional control. It was a beautiful moment at the end and we got going with our people (fans) behind us.”

Asked if his players have the belief to finish top, Arteta said: “I hope they do. They are good enough to play against these teams and have done it. We know our reality, we know how much we still have to improve. We know what’s taken us to the position we are in today and have to reinforce that every day.”

He added: “This league is so demanding that opponents are going to make life very difficult. They (players) feel our way of playing is going to reward them. There is pure belief in what we do. It was really a special moment (the winning goal) as we pushed and pushed and it wasn’t coming. It came in the end but it was electric and really emotional and passionate and I loved it.”

United took the lead in the 17th minute when Arsenal lost possession and Marcus Rashford evaded Thomas Partey before hammering a low right-foot swerving shot inside the near post from 20 yards. But the lead lasted just seven minutes as the Gunners equalised. It came from a corner for which and Eddie Nketiah went ahead of Aaron Wan-Bissaka to head home from the six-yard box.

Arsenal kept creating better chances and deservingly went into the lead eight minutes after the break. Bukayo Saka received a long pass and moved inside Christian Eriksen to unleash a left-footed shot from 25 yards.

It was, however, a short-lived joy for the Gunners as it took just six minutes for United to equalise. Aaron Ramsdale, having saved well from Rashford, dropped a corner and Lisandro Martinez managed to head into the net with Gabriel attempting to head clear off the line.

Arsenal were having the better of the play and created more chances. With four minutes left De Gea made a brilliant save from Nketiah who then, in the last minute of normal time, deftly flicked into the net a deflected pass from Martin Odegaard to the roar of Arsenal fans.

United manager, Erik Ten Hag said: “I am annoyed and I told the players, ‘If you want to win trophies, you have to change your mentality, because it is not possible that you are in a top game, making three big mistakes where you concede.”

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