MX23RW : Thursday, June 24 04:10:54| >> :120:20243:20243:
Mar 10, 2019 at 4.30pm UK at Emirates Stadium
Attendance: 60,000
Arsenal
2-0
Man UtdManchester United
Xhaka (12'), Aubameyang (69' pen.)
FT(HT: 1-0)

Live Commentary: Arsenal 2-0 Manchester United - as it happened

Relive Sports Mole's live text coverage of Arsenal's 2-0 win over Manchester United, as the Gunners ended their top-four rivals' unbeaten run.
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Granit Xhaka and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang registered as Arsenal beat top-four rivals Manchester United 2-0 at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

The Gunners edged in front through their only on-target attempt of the first half as Xhaka's swerving shot somehow got the better of a wrong-footed David de Gea.

Romelu Lukaku missed a couple of good chances either side of that strike, which would ultimately come back to haunt United thanks to Aubameyang's successfully-converted penalty after Fred shoved Alexander Lacazette in the box.

Relive how the 90 minutes of action unfolded with Sports Mole's live text coverage below.


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Hello and welcome to Sports Mole's live text coverage of the Premier League meeting between Arsenal and Manchester United at the Emirates Stadium. The Red Devils have been in terrific form since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer arrived in December, losing just one of 17 matches under their interim manager in all competitions, and they head into this match sitting a point better off than their historic rivals in the race for a top-four finish.

Arsenal have won two of their last three Premier League home games against Man United, as many as they had in their previous eight against them, but the visitors were victorious here in January's FA Cup fourth-round tie.


ARSENAL TEAM NEWS!

STARTING XI: Leno; Sokratis, Koscielny, Monreal; Maitland-Niles, Ramsey, Xhaka, Kolasinac; Ozil; Lacazette, Aubameyang

SUBS: Cech, Mustafi, Elneny, Guendouzi, Suarez, Iwobi, Nketiah


MANCHESTER UNITED TEAM NEWS!

STARTING XI: De Gea; Young, Smalling, Lindelof, Shaw; Dalot, Fred, Matic, Pogba; Lukaku, Rashford

SUBS: Romero, Bailly, Rojo, McTominay, Pereira, Martial, Greenwood


KICKOFF:  Manchester United, showing three changes from their most recent outing, get us underway in the pick of this weekend's Premier League matches!

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer watches on during his side's Champions League clash with PSG on February 12, 2019© Reuters


It looks as though the visitors will go with a 4-4-2 formation this afternoon, which includes a wing role for Pogba. It has caught many people by surprise, though not many would have predicted Arsenal's starting lineup, either...

Ozil is back involved from the off for the Gunners against a top-six rival for the first time since November. The German playmaker returns as one of four changes from last time out, in what appears to be a 3-4-1-2 formation.

CLOSE!  Kolasinac fizzes in a dangerous low cross from the left-hand side, but Lacazette - despite timing his run to perfection - cannot turn it in at the near post, with the ball going behind for a goal kick.

Maitland-Niles, back in the Arsenal side at right-back today, causes some panic in the United backline when getting forward. Xhaka wins his side a corner and United just about deal with this latest delivery into the box.

Smalling does well to keep pace with Aubameyang, who so nearly burst clean in behind. Arsenal have started by far the better of the two sides, looking more at ease with their system than United do.

The ball is fizzed into Aubameyang, who decides to go for goal with a half-volley from 25 yards. It is off target, but that is a promising sign from the Gunners' perspective - they look well up for this one.

OFF THE BAR!  United, having had to soak up a fair bit of pressure, should be in front. Shaw is given plenty of time and space out wide and manages to pick out Lukaku, who hits the ball into the ground and against the crossbar from no more than five yards out. Pogba latches on to the rebound but it is blocked in front of goal.

GOAL!  ARSENAL 1-0 MANCHESTER UNITED (GRANIT XHAKA)

Talk about fine margins! Moments after Lukaku missed a glorious chance at one end, Xhaka fires Arsenal in front at the other. It is a bizarre goal as Xhaka's long shot catches De Gea out. The ball swerves horribly in the air and a wrong-footed De Gea watches it fly past him, though he should have kept it out - it was nowhere near the corner.

Talk about fine margins! Moments after Lukaku missed a glorious chance at one end, Xhaka fires Arsenal in front at the other. It is a bizarre goal as Xhaka's long shot catches De Gea out. The ball swerves horribly in the air and a wrong-footed De Gea watches it fly past him, though he should have kept it out - it was nowhere near the corner.

Granit Xhaka celebrates after opening the scoring for Arsenal in their Premier League meeting with Manchester United on March 9, 2019© Reuters


Six of Xhaka's seven Premier League goals for Arsenal have come from outside the box, including both against Man Utd. This really was a strange one - as clean as the strike was, it was pretty central and questions will rightly be asked of De Gea.

Lacazette is picked out on the edge of the opposition box, but a brilliant challenge from Young stops him as he pulls the trigger. Arsenal are looking to add a second to their tally in what has been a pretty explosive opening 17 minutes.

OFF THE POST!  That strike from Xhaka 12 minutes in is the earliest United have conceded under Solskjaer in the Premier League. The visitors so nearly drag themselves back on level terms, as Fred's first-time shot from 25 yards clips the outside of the post.

Man United have hit the crossbar and the post, either side of Xhaka's strike, and will argue that they deserve to be level. Incidentally, De Gea has conceded six goals from outside the area in the Premier League this season - double the amount he conceded last season (three).

CHANCE!  Ozil is given far too much time and space in the final third. The playmaker spreads the ball to Maitland-Niles, whose cutback for Ramsey is fired over the crossbar by the Welshman. Solskjaer needs to change his system.

Shaw nods the ball down to Rashford. The ball bounces awkwardly but Rashford still has a go, miscuing his shot well wide of the target. Up the other end, Lacazette turns Lindelof inside out but hit shot is blocked by Smalling.

There is not exactly a gulf between the sides, but Arsenal are looking far more threatening than United, which is purely down to their system. That being said, the Red Devils have hit the frame of the goal twice and were undone by a freak goal.

CLOSE!  Lukaku curls the ball towards the back post but Rashford cannot quite make contact with it, beaten to the ball by the foot of Sokratis. The England international appeared to claim for a penalty, though there was no clear violation.

Kolasinac is enjoying himself down the left, sending in another dangerous cross that is crying out for a player in red and white to tap it in. Dalot is grateful that there was nobody behind him as the ball goes straight through the six-yard box.

Shaw wins a free-kick from Maitland-Niles, which is only half-cleared as far as Dalot. The versatile wideman, playing in midfield today, blasts the ball high over Leno's crossbar. This has been a gripping first half - fingers crossed it continues at this pace.

SHOT!  Danger for Arsenal as Lukaku takes Rashford's through-ball in his stride. Monreal does just about enough to force the striker wide and Leno blocks the shot. Lukaku has another go at it but cannot find the target from the follow-up.

YELLOW CARD!  Sokratis lunges in on Pogba and gets none of the ball. The referee shows the experienced centre-back, who was sent off against Rennes a few days ago, the game's first yellow card. Pogba deserved to be cautioned for waving an imaginary yellow, too.

Smalling heads wide of the target but he was grappling with Kolasinac in the process. The match has become a little niggly over the last five minutes or so as we edge ever closer to the half-time whistle.

Shaw and Rashford exchange passes down the left but the latter's cutback is blocked before it can reach a teammate. United are starting to build some momentum now as they win a corner, which Aubameyang heads straight back to Young. Before Young can think about sending it into the box he is dispossessed by Ramsey.

This is brilliant play from United. Pogba switches play and Lukaku kills the ball with his first touch, before playing in Dalot on the overlap. Rashford looked favourite to get to it seven yards from goal, but Xhaka produced a great block.

Rashford and Xhaka are in need of treatment following the Arsenal's midfielder's block on his opponent. It looked as though their knees clattered into each other - a nasty one.

Rashford and Xhaka look as though they will be fine to continue until half time at the very least. Two additional minutes are to be played at the end of this first half.

United are the side on top as we enter the final 60 seconds of the first half. Arsenal have gone off the boil, with Xhaka's goal proving to be their only shot on target in the opening 45 minutes.

HALF TIME:  ARSENAL 1-0 MANCHESTER UNITED

Arsenal take a one-goal lead into half time thanks to Xhaka's strike 12 minutes in. United had the better of the first half's other chances, however, twice hitting the frame of the goal. This one is far from over with 45 minutes to go.

The Gunners edged in front through their only on-target attempt of the first half as Granit Xhaka's swerving shot somehow found its way past David de Gea, who put too much weight on his left leg and was unable to get across to his right. Either side of that long-range opener United, 3-1 winners here on their last visit less than two months ago, came close as they hit both the crossbar and the post.

Romelu Lukaku was guilty of wasting a glorious chance just a couple of minutes before Xhaka made the breakthrough, sending a left-sided cross from Luke Shaw against the crossbar from less than six yards out. Arsenal goalkeeper Bernd Leno was then thankful that the frame of his goal kept out Fred's first-time shot 20 minutes in, with the ball spinning away from the target.

Presentable opportunities also came and went for Aaron Ramsey and Marcus Rashford at both ends of the field, the former sending a cutback from Ainsley Maitland-Niles over the crossbar. United were the side on top as the first half edged towards its conclusion as Romelu Lukaku forced Leno to make a save after being slotted through by Rashford.

This is superb goalkeeping from Leno, who races off his line to get the ball ahead of Lukaku. Up the other end, Arsenal want a penalty after Aubameyang went to the ground, but there is no real contact from closest defender Lindelof.

SAVE!  United have players over as they break forward. The ball is pulled back to Fred on the edge of the box and his shot is blocked by Koscielny's chest - not his arm, as Fred claimed. Seconds later it is played through to Lukaku, who is denied by the legs of Leno.

Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku is denied by Arsenal goalkeeper Bernd Leno on March 10, 2019© Reuters


That really was a massive save from Leno to keep out Lukaku. Arsenal as holding on a little - they have been second best since edging in front through their only shot on target. Koscielny is being treated so there is a brief stoppage in play.

Arsenal, a man light with Koscielny off the field, defend the corner when it is sent into the box. Fred heads the ball into the mix but Pogba is penalised for a high boot. The hosts try to break but Ramsey is dragged down by Pogba, who should have been booked.

The visiting side are looking far more likely to score the game's next goal. I wondered if Solskjaer might change things at the interval but it is Emery who will likely turn to his bench first. Arsenal are relying on the counter but are getting nowhere fast.

Maitland-Niles has picked up an injury, seemingly to his left leg, which requires some treatment. This latest stoppage in play gives Arsenal a chance to regather. Nearly an hour has been played - which manager will blink first?

Pogba is fouled by Aubameyang in a glorious shooting position, just outside the box. Young sprints over - one of a number of candidates in the frame to take it on. Rashford and Fred also put their case forward...

Fred and Pogba charge to the ball but leave it for Rashford - a routine from the training ground - but he sends it wide of the target. Not the worst technique, but it was never going to trouble Leno in the Arsenal goal.

Arsenal's attacking players are struggling to get involved in the match in this second half. United have had 62% of the ball and appear to be closing in on a goal. With less than a third of the game to go, we are still awaiting the first substitution.

Arsenal work the counter well but Aubameyang's shot at the end of it is blocked. Rashford, up the other end, breaks clear of his man and has options to his left, but he does not make the most of them as the Gunners defend the danger.

Ramsey's loose touch is pounced on by Pogba, who tries to slot it through for Rashford. Leno once again reads the danger, though, and he is quickly off his line to smother the ball. The Arsenal goalkeeper has had a very good game.

SHOT!  Ozil pulls the ball back for Xhaka who, in a near identical position to where he was positioned for his opening goal, guides the ball wide of the target. De Gea will still be having nightmares about the Swiss midfielder's earlier strike.

PENALTY!  Lacazette runs across Fred and the Brazilian midfielder makes slight contact. The contact may have been minimal but Lacazette had the knowhow to make the most of it, throwing himself to the ground to win his side a penalty.

GOAL!  ARSENAL 2-0 MANCHESTER UNITED (PIERRE-EMERICK AUBAMEYANG, PEN)

Aubameyang, just like he did in the North London derby last weekend, sends the ball pretty much right down the middle. Hugo Lloris kept that one out, but there is no such luck for De Gea as he guesses the wrong way. Arsenal have some breathing space!

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang converts from the penalty spot to put Arsenal two goals ahead against Manchester United on March 10, 2019© Reuters


CHANCE!  Aubameyang is the first player since Alexis Sanchez to reach 20 goals in a single campaign for Arsenal. Lacazette nearly adds to his tally, capitalising on some slack defending from Lindelof to get in behind but pulling his shot wide of the target.

A supporter ran onto the field when Arsenal's players were celebrating their goal. It looked as though he wanted to join in the celebrations though there are suggestions he shoved United defender Smalling. Updates on that one when replays emerge. Martial is now on for Dalot.

YELLOW CARD!  Lacazette cannot quite react quickly enough to convert after Sokratis flicked a cross into his path. Pogba has just been cautioned, following a couple of near misses, for clattering into Xhaka.

United's players look incredibly frustrated, sensing that this is simply one game too many for them on the back of that incredible win in Paris in midweek. Solskjaer looks as though he is about to make a change, as does Arsenal boss Emery.

Since his Premier League debut in February 2018, only Mohamed Salah (20) and Sergio Aguero (19) have scored more home goals in the competition than Aubameyang (18). Emery's decision to partner the Gabonese striker with Lacazette today has paid off.

ARSENAL SUB! Denis Suarez is on for Aubameyang, shortly after Ozil made way for Iwobi. Solskjaer has also turned to his bench by bringing on youngster Greenwood for Matic, who has done well to last this long.

Arsenal are looking comfortable at the back and are creating good openings on the counter. Iwobi is played in down the right and gets into the box, but a block at the last moment denies Koscielny a chance to convert.

ARSENAL SUB! Lacazette, who has put in another good shift today, makes way for fan favourite Nketiah. United are running out of time to find a response. This looks like being a first league defeat for Solskjaer.

The heavens have opened above the Emirates Stadium. United are probing away but they are getting nowhere fast. Lukaku's saved one-on-one up against Leno was a pivotal moment in the match - Arsenal went on to score a second soon after.

YELLOW CARD!  Kolasinac cynically prevents Martial from breaking clear to earn himself a deserved yellow card. Word is that five minutes are to be added on at the end of this entertaining match, so it is not quite all over just yet.

SAVE!  Young sends in a good cross that Rashford, under little pressure, can only head straight at Leno. United's forward players have been pretty poor today, which is in stark contrast to what we have seen over the past couple of months.

Arsenal supporters are making plenty of noise as we enter the final two minutes of the game. "Tottenham Hotspur, we're coming for you!" is the chant going around the Emirates - this result will leave the Gunners one point behind their rivals.

FULL TIME:  ARSENAL 2-0 MANCHESTER UNITED

Arsenal beat Manchester United 2-0 at the Emirates Stadium to move above their opponents in the Premier League. The Gunners edged in front through their only on-target attempt of the first half as Granit Xhaka's swerving shot somehow got the better of a wrong-footed David de Gea. Romelu Lukaku missed a couple of good chances either side of that strike, which would ultimately come back to haunt United thanks to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's successfully-converted penalty after Fred shoved Alexander Lacazette in the box.

That concludes Sports Mole's live text coverage of events from North London. An on-the-whistle report can be found by clicking here, and be sure to join us again in around an hour's time as we bring you updates from the La Liga clash between Real Valladolid and Real Madrid. See you then!

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Arsenal forward Alexandre Lacazette celebrates his goal against Southampton in the Premier League on February 24, 2019
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