Arsenal stay in the hunt for fourth spot with 2-0 win over Manchester United
Arsene Wenger notches his first league win over Jose Mourinho at the 13th attempt
07 May, 2017 — By Tom Foot
The Gunners are trying to qualify for the Champions League
ARSENAL 2, MANCHESTER UNITED 0
ARSENAL surged back to winning ways after the crushing defeat against Spurs with a convincing win over Manchester United that keeps their Champions League hopes alive.
A deadly double from Danny Welbeck and Granit Xhaka, just before the hour mark, put Jose Mourinho’s under-strength side to the sword.
The Gunners remain sixth in the table but the win puts the club seven points behind Liverpool with two of four remaining games in hand.
After the match, Wenger said: “There is still a chance mathematically, although we need some help from others.
“We have a big game on Wednesday night. Southampton are a good team, we need to recover and win.”
A protest of around 30 fans outside the ground had before the match called for the manager to be sacked with “Wexit” banners and lively chants of “Arsene Wenger, it’s never your fault” and “sixth in the league, judge me in May”. But it was all smiles at the end as Wenger got one over the Mourinho in the Premier League for the first time in 13 attempts.
Wenger had little to say about reaching the milestone, offering only: “It’s between two teams at the end of the day. That’s what I make of it.”
The new-look defensive formation – effectively a back five when the opposition has the ball – looked shaky in the first 20 minutes. In the first half, Wayne Rooney found himself in acres of space but fired weakly and straight at Petr Cech.
At the other end, David De Gea pulled off an outstanding save from Aaron Ramsey, arguably Arsenal’s man of the match, and also blocked a powerful shot from Alex Oxlade Chamberlain.
The match came alive on 54 minutes when Xhaka’s speculative long range shot deflected off Andrea Herrera and dipped over De Gea.
Three minutes later a stunning cross from Oxlade-Chamberlain was powered home from close range by Welbeck. It was only the second goal of the season for the former United striker and Wenger said afterwards he hoped it would building his confidence for the final four games.
United never looked like mounting a come back despite the introduction of the lively Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard. The United attack was epitomised by Rooney’s wasteful and dejected performance.
The former England striker looked frustrated throughout and, if his form continues, may never return to the Emirates in an United shirt.
ARSENAL: Cech, Monreal, Holding, Koscielny, Oxlade-Chamberlain (Bellerin, 84), Gibbs, Xhaka (Coquelin, 74), Ramsey, Ozil, Sanchez, Welbeck (Giroud, 84).
Subs not used: Ospina, Gabriel, Walcott, Iwobi.