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Arsenal rescue draw at Old Trafford with dramatic late equaliser

FA Premier League: Manchester United 1 Arsenal 1. Report from Old Trafford.

19 November, 2016 — By Ella Jessel

The Gunners scored with their first shot on goal at Old Trafford. PIC: Sean MacEntee

A THUMPING last-gasp header from striker Olivier Giroud salvaged Arsenal a point and denied Manchester United a deserved victory in a 1-1 draw at Old Trafford this afternoon (Saturday).

Juan Mata looked to have secured a much-needed three points for the home side with his second half strike but Arsenal’s blushes were saved when their two substitutes rewrote the script two minutes from the final whistle.

On a crisp afternoon at Old Trafford the stage was set for a blockbuster match but whether players were jaded from the international break or whether it was the early kick-off, the game began with a surprising lack of bite.

Alexis Sanchez missed a good opportunity to score early on in the game but without Carzola and right-back Bellerin, Arsenal looked uninspired and it was left to Mesut Ozil to pull the strings.

There was drama in the 34th minute was when Nacho Monreal left an arm dangling across Valencia sending him tumbling in the box.

Old Trafford thought it was a penalty and Mourinho’s amateur dramatics on the touchline, holding his head as if stabbed in the eye, made it clear he thought it was a penalty. But Andre Marriner said no.

After the break Arsenal played even worse. The hosts were totally in control and it was no surprise when Mata’s sweeping left-foot finish from Herrera’s cutback put them in the lead.

But just when it seemed impossible, somehow Arsenal dug deep and flipped the script.

Oxlade-Chamberlain came off the bench to bomb past Rashford and direct a cross to fellow substitute Giroud who broke United hearts with a powerful header into the corner of the net to make it 1-1.

The late equalizer was sweet relief for Wenger, whose side had looked for all the world to be heading back to London with nothing and speaking after the game the Arsenal boss praised his side for their “never give up” attitude.

It may not have been the day Wenger realised his dream of Mourinho but as  “you’re not special anymore” – the only printable of their chants – rang out from the away end the Gunners were clearly took some consolation in snatching victory from United at the death.

There was no doubt what Mourinho himself thought of it all. “We feel like a defeat and for sure Arsenal is feeling like a victory”, he said after the game.

With a rueful smile, his parting shot to reporters as he left the press conference: “Finally I lost against Arsenal”.

ARSENAL: Cech – Jenkinson (Oxlade-Chamberlain 83), Monreal, Koscielny (c), Mustafi – Elneny (Giroud 73), Coquelin (Xhaka 80), Ozil, Ramsey, Walcott – Sanchez
SUBS NOT USED: Ospina, Gabriel, Gibbs, Iwobi


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