Eddie Nketiah settles Premier League classic as Arsenal and Man United roll back the years
A match that went to the limits, and right up to the last seconds and even centimetres, that could also be the one that proves Arsenal can really go the distance more than any other.
There are moments in every such a campaign when so much comes together, when performance aligns with belief and timing to foster a sense of destiny about a team. Manchester United, who were such creditable parties to a vintage match that more than revitalised a classic fixture, have seen enough of them. They will have surely seen it in Eddie Nketiah’s improvised and oh so important strike. The agonising wait for the offside call only seemed to aid the moment, as everyone at Arsenal must now think they can end a wait of 19 years.
There is still a long way to go in this season, and this was actually only the halfway point of Arsenal’s league campaign, but what was so crucial was how that momentum was maintained; how they went the distance to show they can keep going the distance.
Nketiah settles classic as Arsenal and Man United roll back the years
Arsenal 3-2 Man United: Rashford, Saka and Martinez swapped goals but it was Nketiah who had the final say to score a close-range brace
Michael Jones22 January 2023 19:01
FT Arsenal 3-2 Man Utd
Michael Jones22 January 2023 19:13
Arteta’s reaction to late winner
Mikel Arteta was asked how it feels to get through such a tough match and win it right at the death. He replied:
“Emotional, a lot of passion. It doesn’t get much better than that. The second half especially, the performance was incredible.
“We were composed and determined at the same time. We never panicked. We always believed that we could win it. We showed the right composure in the box a lot of times but the ball didn’t go in. Thankfully at the end it did.
“It’s great and we deserve where we are because of how we’re playing. But there are a lot of things that we can do much better.
“We’ve been talking about ressure for the last 12 or 13 games. Premier League teams will always make it difficult and we have to prepare for that.”
‘I want to win, it is not good enough'
Manchester United boss, Erik ten Hag, was left ruing some simple mistakes after his team conceded three goals against a good Arsenal team.
Ten Hag spoke to the BBC after the match and says that his goal is to help the team win games.
“It was a great game with a lot of tempo and the audience is the big winner.” said the United boss, “Two top teams but of course we are disappointed when you lose this game at a late stage. All the goals we conceded today are mistakes - it can’t happen.
“Even last week, we were so hard to beat in such situations. Today we were not. All three goals, we could have avoided.
“They are very good on the ball but we are a good defending team. There were not a lot of open chances. We made mistakes which we cannot make. This game was decided by small details but also the decision making. That is hard to accept and we have to learn from it.
“I want to win. It is not good enough. We want to be the number one but not if we make mistakes. That is clear and what I told them.”
Michael Jones22 January 2023 19:06
Bukayo Saka details key reasons for Arsenal’s title-challenging form after late win over Man United
Bukayo Saka paid tribute to both Arsenal fans and technical staff as the Gunners kept their excellent run going and maintained a gap of five points between themselves and Man City at the top of the Premier League table.
The north London club came from behind to beat Manchester United 3-2 on Sunday, meaning they’ve lost just once in 19 top-flight matches this term and not at all since September - at Old Trafford against the same opponent.
It was Saka who put Arsenal ahead for the first time in the game on this occasion shortly after half time, with Eddie Nketiah ultimately poaching the winner in the final minute to spark joyous scenes among the home support.
Saka details key reasons for Arsenal’s title-challenging form after late win
The England winger scored one and played a key role in the comeback victory
Michael Jones22 January 2023 19:04
Reaction from Man Utd’s Luke Shaw
Luke Shaw struggled against Bukayo Saka during the game today and says that the second half performance from Manchester United let them down.
He said: “In the second half we deserved that, we were a bit passive and let them control the game completely. To concede right at the end is gutting. We were fighting to the last second but we have to concentrate for the full game and one lapse in concentration could cost you a goal.
“Always coming to the Emirates, they start really fast. We had a bit more control in the game, aggressive and winning the ball high up but we backed off in the second half and they had chance after chance. They were going to have one more chance late on.
“You have to give them credit for what they have done this season, they deserve to be at the top how they are playing. There is a long way to go and we have to focus fully on our next game, a big semi-final coming up.
“The quality of these games are getting much more, it was tough to be involved in but these are games you want to pay in and test yourselves. We are all gutted in the changing room to concede so late on and it is a reality check.”
Michael Jones22 January 2023 18:58
How does it feel to score a 90th minute winner?
Eddie Nketiah now knows how it feels to score a last minute winner in a crucial Premier League match. He explained how it felt after the game saying:
“I saw [Lisandro] Martinez next to me so I thought I was onside but when you see that purple (VAR) screen come up, your heart always goes a bit.
“You could see how much we wanted to win and how bad we wanted it for ourselves and our fans. We kept pushing and pushing and thankfully we found the goal.”
Michael Jones22 January 2023 18:55
More from Saka
Saka continued his post match interview and touched on how significant Arsenal’s start to the season - they’ve earned 50 points in 19 games - will be to their pursuit of the Premier League title.
“That’s really significant. It’s something we can be proud of but we have to stay humble. It’s only halfway through the season and things can change very quickly.
“But if we keep playing like we have then we’ll be in a good place at the end of the season, we just have to keep it up.
“Firstly, the belief we have. Especially at the Emirates with our fans and how they support us. We went 1-0 down and they still support, they don’t know how much that helps us.
“The way the coach is setting us up, too, and the players the coach has brought it.”
Michael Jones22 January 2023 18:52
Post match reaction from Bukayo Saka
One of Arsenal’s goalscorers today, Bukayo Saka, spoke to Sky Sports after the match and was visibly delighted after getting the win against Man Utd.
“You can see how much it means to everyone. They’re the only team that have beaten us this season so we really wanted to beat them for the fans.” he said, “It wasn’t easy and it definitely wasn’t our best start to the game but we showed a lot of character to come back and get the win.”
Saka also become just the third Arsenal player to score in three consecutive matches against United emulatin Freddie Ljungberg and Thierry Henry.
When asked about that feat Saka added: “Hello Freddie, hello Thierry - I’m happy. I was so close to get getting two but I’m just so happy I got that first one and it gave me confidence to keep shooting.”
Michael Jones22 January 2023 18:49
FT Arsenal 3-2 Man Utd
Arsenal are now five points ahead of the Premier League champions, Manchester City, and they have a game in hand. That’s an incredible position to be in but the Gunners have to play City twice before the end of the season.
There’s still a long way to go in this title race but Arsenal have put themselves in pole position.
Today’s clash was a farily even contest but Arsenal showed the willingness to win it in the final 10 minutes and they got their rewards.
Michael Jones22 January 2023 18:46