Early Sanchez brilliance helps Arsenal shell-shock Man Utd at Emirates


Arsenal had only beaten Manchester United once in the Premier League since 2008 prior to this game, but they certainly started in positive fashion and got two goals within seven minutes on their way to winning 3-0.

Alexis Sanchez, who recently hit a hat-trick against Leicester City, got the ball rolling with a wonderful flick through his legs from Mesut Ozil’s low cross. And the German managed to shock the visitors again almost from the restart after latching onto Theo Walcott’s pass.

The Red Devils seemingly settled after the initial shell-shock, but any hopes United fans had of catching up were soon diminished in the 19th minute. Sanchez found the net once again in fantastic fashion to smash another past David de Gea just inside the box.

Arsenal just wouldn’t give Louis van Gaal’s men a breather, and soon after Santi Cazorla had a decent effort from long range, but it was just wide of his Spanish compatriot’s goal.

With just over 10 minutes to go until the break, Aaron Ramsey had a great chance of bagging the Gunners a fourth, but his volley was high and wide from close range after a wonderful ball from Sanchez. A couple of seasons ago, you would’ve bet your house on the Welshman scoring that.

United captain Wayne Rooney finally had his team’s first shot on target after 28 minutes, although it was not clear whether it was a cross or not. His lobbed effort was straight into the hands of Petr Cech.

The visitors did manage to have the better possession towards the end of the half as they desperately searched a goal to give them some hope going into the break.

France teenager Martial nearly did so twice; the first being after a brilliant turn and shot that was saved so well by Cech, and second being unable to latch onto a cross across the keeper.

Arsenal held onto their 3-0 lead, though, which is the first time in 10 years United have been down by that deficit at half-time.

Van Gaal made two substitutions for the second-half, with Antonio Valencia and Marouane Fellaini the men tasked to change their side’s fortunes, in place of summer signings Matteo Darmian and Memphis Depay.

It was Young, though, who had the first effort, but the Englishman’s shot from far out didn’t trouble Cech.

At the other end, Ozil had a double chance to get a second strike of the day, first from a free-kick and second from the follow-up shot that was deflected wide.

Rooney, who’s been criticised this season for some sub-par performances, had a good effort on goal just after the hour mark, but again Cech had it covered to palm away.

Juan Mata, unusually quiet in this match after hitting top form this season so far, came close 10 minutes later, however his curling shot was just wide from the top corner.

United’s hearts were in mouths just minutes later, though, as Ozil had a clear chance to score. Luckily for the visitors De Gea picked it up with his trademark long-barrior cricket block.

With five minutes to go, sub Olivier Giroud had a shot in similar vein to Ozil’s, which was also saved by the Spaniard.

A tame and goalless second-half finally ended, just after Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain hit the bar, but Arsenal fans won’t mind as the result now puts them level on points with Man Utd, ahead on goal-difference, and up into second place behind only Manchester City.

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