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Scorers: Sanchez 6, 20, Ozil 7 | 4 October 2015 | Emirates
Stadium | Att: 64,084
It was a day to forget for Manchester United in North
London on Sunday as three goals in the opening 20
minutes sealed a 3-0 win for Arsenal.
The hosts raced in a two-goal lead through Alexis Sanchez
and Mesut Ozil in the first 10 minutes, before Sanchez
netted another soon after.
Having been outplayed for most of the first period, United
improved after the break and forced Petr Cech into a
couple of good stops, but the damage had already been
Louis van Gaal made two changes to the side that came
from behind to beat Wolfsburg, with Michael Carrick and
Ashley Young coming in for Morgan Schneiderlin and
Antonio Valencia. Young came on at right full-back in
midweek, but having impressed so much down the left last
term, as a winger and wing-back, he returned to a more
familiar role, with Matteo Darmian, a starter at left-back for
the last two games, back in the right-back slot.
The teams came into the game on the back of contrasting
Champions League results – United a 2-1 victory over
Wolfsburg and Arsenal a surprise 3-2 defeat at home to
Olympiacos. Many pundits wondered how Arsene Wenger’s
side, who had been heavily criticised along with their
manager, would respond. The answer in the opening 10
minutes was emphatically.
The Gunners came flying out of the blocks and within seven
minutes were two goals to the good, without some Reds
even having touched the ball. The first came on six minutes,
when Ozil worked space down the right and slid a cross in
for Sanchez to cleverly flick past David De Gea. Sixty
seconds later, Ozil got himself on the scoresheet with a cool
side-footed finish after being found by Theo Walcott in a
sweeping Arsenal move.
Just as the Reds attempted to get some sort of foothold in
the game with a bit of possession and pressure on Arsenal’s
defence, the Gunners made it three. Walcott was involved
again, finding Sanchez on the edge of the box and, after
tricking his way past a clutch of defenders, he blasted the
ball into the top corner to leave the Reds stunned.
It could have been four just after the half-hour mark when
Sanchez turned provider for Aaron Ramsey, coming in at
the back post on the right, but he volleyed wide with the
goal at his mercy.
As half-time approached, the Reds were given a glimmer of
hope with a first opening of the game. Darmian’s ball into
the area eventually came to Anthony Martial, who
controlled it and shot on the turn brilliantly, but Cech stuck
out a leg to block it.
Possession: Arsenal 47% United 53%
Shots: Arsenal 7 United 2
Shots on target: Arsenal 3 United 2
Corners: Arsenal 2 United 2
Van Gaal opted to make a double substitution at the start of
the second period with Antonio Valencia and Marouane
Fellaini replacing Darmian and Memphis; the changes saw
Wayne Rooney switch to the left as Fellaini slotted in behind
The Reds knew a response was needed… and fast. Young
almost provided it four minutes in when he cut in from the
left and fired goalwards, but Cech leapt to his right to claim
the ball. He was called on again just after the hour mark
when Rooney guided a shot towards the target from the
edge of the box, but the Arsenal stopper tipped it clear.
A neat move from the Reds on 68 minutes, involving
Carrick, Juan Mata and Rooney, led to Bastian
Schweinsteiger getting through, but Cech was there again to
block bravely from close-range.
Arsenal had not been the attacking force they were in the
first period and seemed content to sit on their lead, but
they still had the ability to up the tempo when it was
needed and Ozil almost made it four after another attack of
pace and precision, only for De Gea to save.
Substitute Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain clipped the bar in
injury-time as the Arsenal fans celebrated what they
already had. The Reds, meanwhile, will be keen to move on
from this match as quickly as possible.
Arsenal: Cech, Bellerin, Mertesacker, Gabriel, Monreal;
Coquelin, Cazorla; Ramsey, Ozil (Oxlade-Chamberlain 74),
Sanchez (Gibbs 81); Walcott (Giroud 74).
Subs not used: Ospina, Debuchy, Chambers, Campbell.
United: De Gea, Young, Smalling, Blind, Darmian (Valencia
46), Carrick, Schweinsteiger, Mata (Wilson 82), Rooney,
Memphis (Fellaini 46), Martial.
Subs not used: Romero, Jones, McNair, Schneiderlin.

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