Arsenal holds Manchester United to goalless draw

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Manchester United were held to a 0-0 draw by a weakened Arsenal side at the Emirates Stadium as they lost ground to Manchester City, who now sit three points clear at the top of the Premier League.

The Gunners, who were without captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Bukayo Saka and Kieran Tierney, started brightly, but United created the best chance before the break.

Rob Holding’s poor defensive header was collected on the edge of the penalty area by Fred, whose placed effort was tipped around the post by the diving Leno.

Arsenal goalkeeper Bernd Leno makes vital save after Fred’s attempt on goal

However, Arsenal struggled for clear-cut opportunities as United built up a head of steam towards the half-time break. Bruno Fernandes was played in by Paul Pogba, but the midfielder’s right-footed shot drifted wide of the far post.

Smith Rowe was the player who looked to drag Arsenal forward and his pass released Pepe, who curled wide of De Gea’s upright.

Arsenal introduced Willian in place of Gabriel Martinelli for the second half, and they took the game to United. Willian and Pepe saw shots blocked by Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Harry Maguire respectively.

The game was starting to open up but Cavani was unable to convert Luke Shaw’s powerful drive across goal. Arsenal were looking the more likely to score, though, and Lacazette rattled the crossbar with a free-kick before Smith Rowe’s powerful drive was pushed clear by De Gea.

Arsenal winger Nicolas Pepe (L) and defender Rob Holding (R) mark Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba (C) in a Premier League match

Odegaard was handed 10 minutes to make an impact as he replaced the impressive Smith Rowe for the closing stages after United had brought on Mason Greenwood for Rashford.

Both sides were looking to win the game as Pepe curled wide and Cavani fired wide late on with the goal at his mercy, but they were forced to settle for the draw.

The point sees Arsenal stretch it’s unbeaten league run to seven games  while United stay second three points behind leaders Manchester City, who have a game in hand.

Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka (R) guards the ball against Manchester United Midfielder Bruno Fernandes (L)

“It was a big battle. Both teams wanted to win, and it was a really competitive match,” Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta said. “They had some moments in the first half and we had the biggest moments in the second half, but to make the difference you need to score when we had the big chances we had.”

“Considering the circumstances and all the players we don’t have; it was a big test for us and I think the team turned up and showed how much they wanted to win the game.”

Arsenal are back in action on Tuesday when they travel to Wolves in the Premier League, while Manchester United will host Southampton at Old Trafford.

Other Premier League results

Everton 0-2 Newcastle United

Crystal Palace 1-0 Wolverhampton Wanderers

Manchester City 1-0 Sheffield United

West Bromwich Albion 2-2 Fulham

Southampton 0-1 Aston Villa


Chidi Nwoke.

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