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Football news - Manchester United and Arsenal share spoils in error-strewn affair

Man Utd and Arsenal share spoils in error-strewn affair

06/12/2018 at 05:00Updated 06/12/2018 at 06:45

Premier League, Old Trafford - Manchester United 2 (Martial 31', Lingard 69'), Arsenal 2 (Mustafi 26', Rojo og 68')

Jesse Lingard rescued Manchester United as the Red Devils twice came from behind to draw 2-2 with in-form Arsenal at Old Trafford.

The England forward took advantage of some slack Gunners defending to tuck home from close range just seconds after the visitors had regained the lead when substitute Alexandre Lacazette bundled in via Marcos Rojo on 68 minutes.

United had gone in at the break level, after birthday boy Anthony Martial had grabbed his seventh goal in his last eight Premier League outings when he fired in on the half hour.

Anthony Martial of Manchester United celebrates after scoring his team's first goal during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Arsenal FC at Old Trafford on December 5, 2018 in Manchester, United Kingdom

Anthony Martial of Manchester United celebrates after scoring his team's first goal during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Arsenal FC at Old Trafford on December 5, 2018 in Manchester, United KingdomGetty Images

Arsenal will feel aggrieved that Ander Herrera was not flagged offside in the lead up to the goal, but the visitors were guilty of switching off just four minutes after Shkodran Mustafi's header had somehow slipped through David De Gea's grasp.

Jose Mourinho had made seven changes from the side that drew 2-2 at Southampton, dropping both Paul Pogba and Romelu Lukaku, and it seemed to have the desired effect as United made a fast start.

Arsenal improved and had the better of the chances overall, but neither side could find a third goal to avoid sharing the spoils.

Arsenal restored their lead in scrappy circumstances through Alexandre Lacazette

Arsenal restored their lead in scrappy circumstances through Alexandre LacazetteGetty Images

The result means Arsenal are now 20 matches unbeaten in all competitions, but drop to fifth as a result of Tottenham's win over Southampton.

Eighth-placed United are winless in four league outings and eight points adrift of Chelsea in fourth spot, with Maurizio Sarri's men paying the price for a surprising loss at Wolves.

Next up, United host Fulham on Saturday while Arsenal take on Huddersfield at Emirates Stadium.

TALKING POINT

United battle back again - but lack of quality is telling in an entertaining affair. Following the impressive Champions League win at Juventus on November 7, United and Mourinho seemed to have turned the tide. However, just one unconvincing win (against Young Boys) in the last five means the heat is back on the Portuguese boss.

He may have later downplayed his choice of words when he claimed they needed a miracle to reach the top four following the draw at Southampton, but there's no doubt the task is just getting harder as they struggle to find their best XI on a regular basis. They remain eight points adrift of the Champions League places as we head towards the midway point in the PL season.

Jose Mourinho's Manchester United and Unai Emery's Arsenal played out an entertaining draw

Jose Mourinho's Manchester United and Unai Emery's Arsenal played out an entertaining drawPA Sport

Mourinho continues to make headlines away from the pitch for some of his comments since the summer, but no matter what he says, he cannot deflect or hide the fact his team, who showed good spirit to battle back again here, are still short of the high expectations set at Old Trafford. In contrast, the Gunners are very much revitalised under Unai Emery and will be disappointed they switched off so soon after taking the lead on both occasions.

MAN OF THE MATCH

Nemanja Matic (Man United). Worked tirelessly in midfield as United showed good spirit throughout.

PLAYER RATINGS

MAN UNITED: De Gea 6, Darmian 6, Bailly 6, Rojo 6, Smalling 7, Dalot 7, Herrera 7, Matic 7, Martial 7, Lingard 7, Rashford 7. Subs: Lukaku 6, Fellaini 5, Pogba 5.

ARSENAL: Leno 6, Bellerin 7, Sokratis 6, Mustafi 7, Holding 6, Kolasinac 6, Guendouzi 6, Torreira 7, Ramsey 6, Iwobi 6, Aubameyang 7. Subs: Lichtsteiner 6, Mkhitaryan 7, Lacazette 7.

KEY MOMENTS

26' - GOAL! Man United 0-1 Arsenal. The visitors lead! Mustafi is left free to meet a left-wing corner and De Gea fails to hang on. Herrera attempts to hook it off the line, but the ball is deemed to have crossed it.

Arsenal's Spanish defender Hector Bellerin (L) jumps in to celebrate after Arsenal's German defender Shkodran Mustafi (R) scored the opening goal during the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Arsenal at Old Trafford in Man

Arsenal's Spanish defender Hector Bellerin (L) jumps in to celebrate after Arsenal's German defender Shkodran Mustafi (R) scored the opening goal during the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Arsenal at Old Trafford in ManGetty Images

30' - GOAL! Man United 1-1 Arsenal. Martial tucks home from close range via a cut back from the right by Herrera after Rojo's free kick had been parried by Leno. Replays suggest Herrera was offside when the free kick was taken - cue the usual talk of VAR...

68' - GOAL! Man United 1-2 Arsenal. The Gunners regain the advantage! Lacazette seizes upon an error by Rojo and plays a one-two with Mkhitaryan. The forward races in on goal and a combination of the Frenchman and Rojo just about stabs it beyond the keeper.

69' - GOAL! Man United 2-2 Arsenal. United are level immediately! A long ball over the top catches the Gunners defence out and Lingard sneaks in to prod home.

71' - ARSENAL CHANCE! Arsenal so close to restoring their lead again. First De Gea denies Aubameyang before Mkhitaryan fires off target from close range.

KEY STATS

Manchester United have now made a total of 46 changes to their starting XI in the Premier League so far this season - more than any other team in the competition.

United are unbeaten in 12 home league versus Arsenal since September 2006 (W8, D4).

United have now conceded more goals at Old Trafford in the Premier League this season (10 goals in seven games) as they did in the whole of 2017-18 (nine in 18 games).

Martial is just the second Manchester United player to score a Premier League goal on his birthday, after Wayne Rooney in October 2004 (also v Arsenal).

De Gea is the first goalkeeper to save a Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang shot on target in the Premier League since Łukasz Fabiański for West Ham 102 days ago, ending a run of 10 consecutive shots on target scored for the Arsenal striker.

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