London – Arteta gets first Arsenal win with a 2-0 win over Manchester United – who somewhat performed well in the second half.
Mikel Arteta earned his first win as Arsenal boss as the Gunners produced a powerful first-half performance to beat a jaded Manchester United boys.
The visitors were without the injured Paul Pogba. Having started the game blazingly, the game took a different turn on eight minutes when hosts’ record signing Nicolas Pepe steered in his fifth goal of the season after Sead Kolasinac’s cross was deflected to him.
In the first half the hosts were in control and Pepe hit the post again, before they doubled their lead when his corner was smashed in from close range by Sokratis Papastathopoulos.
Ole Gunnar Solskajer’s side came into the game with one loss in their previous nine games, and although they improved after the break, they rarely tested Arsenal goalkeeper, Bernd Leno.
Ole’s boys were seeking to win three Premier League games in a row but Arsenal resilient boys could not accept.
The rout leaves them fifth in the table, five points behind Chelsea, who drew with Brighton earlier in the day.
Victory for Arsenal ended a run of seven home games without a win in all competitions and lifted them to 10th place, four points behind United.
Arsenal has had a superior record when playing any team on a New Year day than any club in England – and the Wednesday’s night win was their tenth.
Rio Ferdinand who captained Manchester United during Sir Alex Ferguson reign, had this to say on Arsenal: “They look a different team. They are very intense and their structure looks very solid. All the players look like they have tuned into this.”
He added: “There’s structure and confidence starting to brew within this team. They were quicker, stronger and more aggressive.”
Before the game, Arsenal Head Coach, Mikel Arteta said: “Against any opponent we have to win. We are Arsenal and these are our demands.”
“In the end we are judged by results and that’s going to give them a massive lift in terms of confidence. They can play against any opponent in this league, be better than them and dominate them and compete against them – something that in my opinion for many weeks that haven’t been doing together,” Arsenal boss said after the game.
“But as well for what we’re trying to create that’s not just worked, it’s actually happening and you can see it happening which generates more belief.”
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer felt Arsenal showed their quality more than his Manchester United side as he lamented a losing start to 2020.
“You can say that [it’s two steps forward, one step back] because of course we have lost the game after two wins. Then again, it’s for me it was a game between two teams that do have loads of quality. Arsenal showed it more than us in the first half and they won the game through that. I thought we came out [of the blocks] okay, got two or three counter-attacks. But then they got into the game because we maybe took a few too many touches. They were really sharp in the regains and they won the ball back off us. We never managed to settle and the two goals were obviously disappointing to concede. [Pauses, looking at the TV monitor] I can just see them again there, sorry.”