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  • By Charlie Stong at Emirates Stadium

Gunners move five clear at the top after breathless 3-2 win over United at the Emirates

Arsenal 3 (Nketiah 24, 90 Saka 53)

Manchester United 2 (Rashford 17, Martinez 59)

If someone asked you to sum up the Premier League, you could do worse than show them a replay of this game.

It was breathless, brilliant, full of both pace and power and guile and artistry.

United took an early lead through Marcus Rashford’s wonder strike from outside the box. Arsenal equalised through Eddie Nketiah’s header, then took a second half lead thanks to a brilliant strike from Saka.

United levelled things up at 2-2 thanks to Lisandro Martinez’s header.

And Arsenal won it thanks to that man Eddie in the very last minute.

The victory leaves Arsenal five points clear of Manchester City at the summit – with United now trailing the Gunners by 11 points having played a game more than the Londoners.

It was a fast start by Arsenal. Granit Xhaka’s cross from the left was poked wide by Thomas Partey in the second minute and Gabriel Martinelli had a shot which curled over David de Gea’s crossbar.

But it was United who took the lead on 17 minutes. Bukayo Saka lost the ball midway through his own half and the visitors fed the ball to Rashford who unleashed a shot low into the bottom left-hand corner.

Arsenal responded – Martinelli shooting wide from a corner routine before Nketiah equalised with a fine header at the back post after a perfectly-weighted cross from Xhaka down the left.

It was Arsenal’s high press which had won the ball back in the lead-up to the equaliser and the United backline never looked comfortable in the first period playing out from the back as the Gunners’ relentless pushing eventually paid dividends.

Back came United, Scott McTominay’s 25-yard shot drawing a fine save from Aaron Ramsdale.

Then Zinchenko swept a ball across the face of the United goal, but the ball was just out of the reach of Nketiah.

Arsenal almost took the lead seven minutes into the second half. The increasingly influential Martin Odegaard almost finding Xhaka with a deft through ball but Lisandro Martinez timed his sliding tackle perfectly to take the ball off Xhaka’s toes.

But the Gunners were in front just seconds later, Saka cut inside on to his left foot and fired an arrowing shot from outside the box into the bottom left-hand corner.

United came back, Rashford’s fierce shot from the left superbly palmed away by Ramsdale – the save made all the harder after a deflection off an Arsenal boot.

And it was 2-2 within the blink of an eye. Ramsdale only managed to palm a Christian Eriksen corner as far as the head of Martinez, whose scooped header found its way into the roof of the net.

Then it was Arsenal’s turn to attack, Odegaard seeing a shot blocked then Saka’s shot from a similar angle from which he scored was deflected on to the post.

Leandro Trossard then entered the field for his debut, but Nketiah showed how determined he is to hang on to his position by slamming home the winner.

That’s two massive wins in a week for the Gunners – and the title may well now be down to a two-horse race once again.

Teams: Arsenal: Ramsdale, White (Tomiyasu h/t), Partey, Gabriel, Saka, Odegaard (Holding90+2), Martinelli (Trossard, 82), Saliba, Nketiah, Xhaka, Zinchenko

Manchester United: de Gea, Martinez, Fernandes, Rashford, Eriksen, Varane, Antony (Fred, 71), Shaw, Weghorst, Wan-Bissaka, McTominay

Referee: Anthony Taylor


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