Our 4️⃣ points as Man Utd and Arsenal have contrasting EL fortunes

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OneFootball

Alex Mott

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Manchester United and Arsenal had contrasting fortunes in the Europa League this evening as the Red Devils breezed to a 2-0 win while the Gunners drew 1-1 in heartbreaking fashion.

Granada 0
Manchester United 2
Full time

Goals from Marcus Rashford and Bruno Fernandes were enough for United in their trip to souther Spain while Mikel Arteta’s men conceded in stoppage time to heap more pressure on Mikel Arteta.

 

Arsenal 1
Slavia 1
Full time

Here’s what we thought of both matches.


How soon is now?

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Just how much longer is Mikel Arteta going to get as Arsenal boss?

It’s a question that the board at the Emirates are going to have to ask themselves because, on recent evidence, things just aren’t good enough on the red side of north London.

The Gunners got themselves into a brilliant position here, scoring with four minutes to go through Nicolas Pépé and having to just see out the game for a poor, but ultimately welcome, win.

But that was too much for this side, who capitulated with virtually the last kick of the game and conceded thanks to some sloppy defending from a corner.

That the match even got to that position was shocking, with Alexandre Lacazette missing a golden chance in the second half and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang doing the same.

This is an Arsenal side without creativity, without invention, with tempo, without drive.

And surely part of that is down to the manager?


Class on and off the pitch

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Marcus Rashford equalled some history tonight as he joined United legend Bobby Charlton on eight goal for a European campaign.

Not since the great man has a United player scored that many on the continent in one season, but with his 30th minute finish, the 23-year-old did just that.

It’s a remarkable statistic and shows just how crucial Rashford has been to the club in both their Champions League and Europa League raids.

Bruno Fernandes has, quite rightly, been getting all the headlines this season but it’s gone under the radar just how exceptional Rashford has been for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side from day one of this truncated campaign.

And all while bashing the Tories, feeding hungry children and holding social media companies to account – what a man, what a footballer.


The boy done good

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It was Pep Guardiola who infamously called Tottenham “the Harry Kane team” during his first season as Manchester City manager.

But it’s no exaggeration to say that we’re at a point now where Arsenal are ‘the Bukayo Saka team’.

The north London outfit really are nothing without him as was proved this evening.

Everything the Gunners did well went through the 19-year-old, all their good chances, all their control of the ball, all their attempts at a counter-attack.

It says everything about how brilliant the teenager is, but it also says everything about where Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal are as a team.

The senior player who cost millions in transfer fees and wages were nowhere to be seen tonight.

Willian offered precisely nothing here tonight, Lacazette looked unfit and out of confidence, Aubameyang shanked his one opportunity wide.

Arsenal really are relying on a teenager to save their season.


Professional to the end

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Manchester United went to Granada for the Spanish side’s biggest night in their history and played about as well as could be expected.

This was a victory with very little to write home about but a victory that virtually secured their passage to the Europa League semi-finals.

Rashford’s first half finish was capped off by Bruno Fernandes’ stoppage time penalty and gave Ole Gunner Solskjaer’s men a comfortable lead going back to Manchester next week.

United have been inconsistent, to say the least, this campaign with excellent wins one week and then dreadful performances the next.

But this was a professional and solid away win in Europe, one from a previous Manchester United era.