Manchester United Lose A Top-Four Showdown To Arsenal After Fernandes Misses A Penalty

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Arsenal won an action-packed battle in North London in a game that was critical for both teams. Both teams made defensive changes, and it showed early on, with neither side appearing comfortable at the back. After De Gea couldn’t hold on to Bukayo Saka’s shot, Arsenal took the lead after just a couple of minutes, but Rangnick’s team responded effectively.

The first half was rough, with neither team able to establish themselves as the game’s dominant force. Cedric, in particular, struggled at times, while Aaron Ramsdale and Gabriel both had minor issues.

Despite this, Arsenal increased their lead to two goals. Saka was at the center of it all again, with his 1-2 with Odegaard earning Arsenal a penalty and a goal by Nketiah being disallowed.

Saka took the penalty kick, just like he did at Stamford Bridge. He went the opposite way as De Gea and doubled Arsenal’s advantage. It seemed to be a symbol of his increasing responsibilities on the side. United, on the other hand, quickly cut its deficit in half. Ronaldo was excellent in getting on the end of a Matic cross at the far post, finding space between Gabriel and Nuno Tavares.

The Portuguese left-back had a wild game full of highs and lows, and it was Tavares who gave away a penalty after Matic headed the ball against his raised arm in the second half as United continued to apply pressure.

Bruno Fernandes, who had a bad game, waited for Ramsdale to make a mistake before passing the ball wide of the open half of the goal, clipping the post. The second half had been quieter than the first, but it erupted when the midfielder missed the penalty kick. United pressed for an equalizer, but Arsenal scored the game’s winning goal.

On the edge of his own area, Bruno Fernandes lost possession, allowing Elneny to feed the ball to Xhaka, who slammed the ball home from long range. Arsenal saw out the final twenty minutes with relative ease, controlling possession of the ball and tormenting United. Tomiyasu’s reappearance in the final stages would have been a welcome sight.

With fifteen minutes remaining, Bukayo Saka went down injured and was replaced by Rob Holding. Gunners fans will be hoping that this isn’t a major issue. Saka will be crucial to Arsenal finishing in the top four if this week is any indication. Arsenal’s chances appear to be still alive. If Manchester United is to compete in the Champions League next season, a lot of things will have to go their way.