News Matches
Winners & Losers

The run ends: Arsenal winners, losers and ratings as Man Utd end winning start

19:56 BST 04/09/2022
Gabriel Jesus Casemiro Arsenal Man Utd 2022-23
A Marcus Rashford brace condemned the Gunners to their first Premier League defeat of the season

Arsenal's unbeaten start to the season came to an end as they fell to a 3-1 defeat at Manchester United on Sunday. The Gunners dominated for large periods at Old Trafford, but were picked off by three counterattacking goals - including two from Marcus Rashford.

There will have been much for Mikel Arteta to like about his team's performance, with the visitors controlling things for the majority of the contest with some slick attacking play. But some wasteful finishing and slack defending cost them dear, with their lead at the top of the table now cut to just one point.

Arsenal were left infuriated early on when VAR ruled out Gabriel Martinelli's early goal for a foul in the build up by Martin Odegaard.

And their frustration deepened when United's new signing Antony was left all alone to open the scoring on his debut before the break.

Bukayo Saka deservedly hauled Arsenal level on the hour mark, but just as they looked likely to go on and win the match, a quick fire brace from Rashford earned the hosts a fourth win in a row.

  • Bukayo Saka Arsenal 2022-23

    The Winners

    Gabriel Martinelli:

    He may well have been frustrated when his first-half goal was ruled out by VAR, but this was another excellent performance from Martinelli.

    Up against a club that rejected him as a youngster, the Brazilian was a constant menace down the left-hand side and didn't deserve to be on the losing team.

    Martinelli has gone up a level with his performances so far this season and this was yet more evidence as to why he is viewed as one of the brightest young talents playing in Europe.

    Bukayo Saka

    Saka desperately needed a goal just to get himself up and running this season.

    It may not have been the best goal he will ever score, but it could be an important one in terms of his campaign as a whole.

    His equaliser was his first goal in open play since the 1-0 win at Aston Villa on March 19.

    Liverpool and Chelsea

    No-one was thinking Arsenal were going to suddenly run away with the Premier League after their bright start to the season, but the likes of Liverpool and Chelsea will have enjoyed this result.

    A win for Arsenal would have taken them nine points clear of Liverpool and eight points clear of the Blues.

    Even at this early stage of the season, that is quite a large gap - so a United victory certainly suited them and it bunches things up nicely ahead of next weekend's round of fixtures.

  • Sambi Lokonga Arsenal 2022-23

    The Losers

    Gabriel Maghalhas

    Arsenal's centre-back got away with an error last weekend against Fulham when he went down the other end of the pitch and scored the winner, but this time he couldn't repeat his goalscoring heroics, which makes it harder to ignore another rash piece of play that led to Arsenal conceding a goal.

    Gabriel has a habit of diving in when he shouldn't and he did exactly that late on in the first half when he decided to lunge at Bruno Fernandes.

    He mistimed the challenge, Fernandes poked the ball past him and Antony ended up scoring, with Arsenal finding themselves stretched at the back.

    Gabriel is an excellent defender, but he has to improve his decision making if he wants to become top, top class.

    Sambi Lokonga

    This was a tough afternoon for the young Arsenal midfielder.

    He wasn't awful by any means, but there's no doubt he struggled at times to control things at the base of the Arsenal midfield.

    It was his poor pass that put Arsenal in trouble for United's second goal, although he certainly wasn't solely to blame for United restoring their lead.

    With Thomas Partey and Mohamed Elneny both out, a lot of responsibility now falls on Lokonga's relatively untried shoulders.

    He played very well in the win against Aston Villa, but found things far more difficult amid the intensity of Old Trafford.

    Football fans:

    Another day, another VAR controversy.

    There is certainly an argument that referee Paul Tierney and VAR official Lee Mason were correct to rule out Gabriel Martinelli's first-half goal by the letter of the law, but it was no surprise to see Arsenal angered by the incident.

    There was contact between Martin Odegaard and Christian Eriksen, but it's hard for there not to be when two players are challenging for the ball in the middle of the pitch.

    The fact that Tierney, who was just a few yards away on the pitch, didn't give it in real time really should have been enough for the goal to have stood.

    Of course, things are going to look worse when they are slowed down and watched over and over again on a replay.

    It's hard enough to score a goal at this level, that it just seems a real shame that fans are seeing some many goals being ruled out nowadays for the smallest little things which are spotted on a TV screen.

  • Ben White Arsenal 2022-23

    Arsenal Ratings: Defence

    Aaron Ramsdale (6/10):

    Couldn't blame him for any of the goals. Made one good stop to deny Fernandes.

    Ben White (6/10):

    Solid enough again, but offered little going forward.

    William Saliba (6/10):

    A mixed afternoon. Looked excellent at times, but was always worried by Rashford's pace. Booked.

    Gabriel Maghalhas (5/10):

    Another rash moment which led to United's opener.

    Oleksandr Zinchenko (6/10):

    Got sucked out of position for the first goal. Looked good when he was on the ball.

  • Martin Odegaard Arsenal 2022-23

    Midfield

    Sambi Lokonga (5/10):

    A tough afternoon. Struggled when the intensity.

    Granit Xhaka (7/10):

    Good performance, always wanted the ball.

    Martin Odegaard (7/10):

    Guilty of overplaying at times. Lovely pass which led to Saka's equaliser, but also wasted a glorious chance himself.

  • Gabriel Jesus Arsenal 2022-23

    Attack

    Gabriel Martinelli (8/10):

    Arsenal's stand out player. So unlucky to see his excellent finish ruled out.

    Gabriel Jesus (7/10):

    Caused United lots of problems with his strength and movement.

    Bukayo Saka (7/10):

    Not at his best, but finally got his first goal of the season.

  • Mikel Arteta Arsenal 2022-23

    Subs & Manager

    Eddie Nketiah (5/10):

    Couldn't really get into the game

    Fabio Vieira (6/10):

    Showed some nice touches. One excellent pass late on.

    Emile Smith Rowe (5/10):

    Blazed one shot over in the final seconds.

    Takehiro Tomiyasu (5/10):

    No real impact.

    Mikel Arteta (5/10):

    The triple sub he made when he introduced Vieira, Smith Rowe and Nketiah just after United made it 2-1 left Arsenal unbalanced at a time when they had been playing well.