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Three Takeaways From The 2023 Arsenal vs. Manchester United Game

On Sunday, January 23, the Premier Leauge leaders Arsenal defeated Manchester United in a close 3-2 game.

Arsenal

Arsenal’s Eddie Nketiah scored a goal in the 90th minute to secure a 3-2 victory against Manchester United, bringing Arsenal closer to winning their first Premier League title in 17 years.

The game between Arsenal and Manchester United was a thrilling encounter that kept both teams and the fans on the edge of their seats. Throughout the match, both sides had their moments of dominance, with each team taking the lead at different points in the game.

United seemed to have secured a draw with Lisandro Martinez’s equalizer in the second half, but Nketiah’s last-minute winner sealed the win for Arsenal and kept them in the lead with a 5-point gap over Manchester City in the Premier League table.

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Arsenal On Their Way To The Tital

January was expected to be a challenging month for Arsenal as they compete for the Premier League title, but the team, led by Mikel Arteta, continues to defy expectations with strong performances. Their most notable win was the 3-2 victory against Manchester United.

Despite a draw against Newcastle at the beginning of the month, Arsenal won at Tottenham and avenged their only loss of the season against United. The win against United demonstrated the qualities of a champion team, as they came back from an early goal, took the lead, and scored a late winner after United had tied the game at 2-2.

This victory was the toughest test for Arsenal so far, as they have yet to face current champions Manchester City this season.

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At the halfway point of the season, Arsenal has accumulated 50 points from 19 games. Even if they slow down in the second half, they will still end the season with a significant number of points, putting pressure on Manchester City to catch up. The team is currently playing without any fear or nerves, reminiscent of Leicester City’s championship-winning team in 2016. Unless Manchester City can defeat them in their first league meeting next month, it will be increasingly difficult to see anyone preventing Arsenal from winning the title.

United’s New Defender Not Enough

Wout Weghorst may not be the ultimate fix for Manchester United’s scoring dilemmas, however, he’s bringing something unique to the front line of Erik ten Hag’s squad. The Dutchman, who’s on loan from Burnley until the end of the season, was brought in to enhance United’s attacking options following Cristiano Ronaldo’s mutual departure in November. With Anthony Martial still out with a hamstring injury, the 6-foot-6 Weghorst started his second consecutive match at the Emirates and, just as on his debut at Crystal Palace, he didn’t threaten the opposition’s goal. But Weghorst has made United more direct and given them the choice to play the ball long when necessary. It would be unjust to suggest that he’s merely a target man, however.

Weghorst is adroit with his feet and he linked up well with his attacking teammates and also drew players to mark him whenever the ball was in the air, freeing space for the likes of Marcus Rashford and Antony. He also has a much greater work ethic than Martial and is willing to press the opposition’s defense endlessly. But ultimately, he is restricted in his ability to beat his marker and opponents know that they can keep Weghorst at bay fairly easily.

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United have the lowest goal tally in the top six and right now, they’re being rescued by Rashford’s goals time and time again. That won’t continue forever, so they need to be more potent. Weghorst gives them another option, but he won’t score enough goals to make United serious title contenders.

Right back Problem Further Exposed

Mikel Arteta has done an exceptional job of transforming Arsenal into title contenders, however, there are still areas where his team needs improvement, particularly at the right-back position. Ben White had a poor first half and was unable to contain Rashford’s attack. He was also outmatched multiple times by Bruno Fernandes as United frequently attacked down the left side.

White, who is primarily a center-back, has been playing at right-back this season due to the strong performances of Gabriel and William Saliba in the center of Arsenal’s defense. However, White does not possess the skills and mindset required to play at right-back, often making the wrong decisions.

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Arteta replaced White at half-time, with Takehiro Tomiyasu coming in, but he was no better than White and in some cases even worse. Defending against Rashford in his current form is no easy task for any player, but there are other elite wide players in the Premier League and Arsenal will have to face them as they compete for the title.

Arteta needs to quickly find a solution to this weakness before it’s targeted again by their opponents.


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