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Manchester United 2-1 Arsenal: 3 key battles that decided the game

Shyam Kamal
ANALYST
Feature
4.87K   //    30 Apr 2018, 10:55 IST

End of an era
End of an era

It was a strange sight at Old Trafford - Sir Alex Ferguson presenting Arsene Wenger with a commemorative gift for his years of service to Arsenal - but once the football started, it was a familiar sight to Arsenal fans as they lost yet another away game this calendar year thanks to Marouane Fellaini's last minute heroics.

With the Europa second leg fixture looming, Wenger went back to his roots and played a very young team against a full-strength Manchester United. Considering these circumstances, it was a moral victory for the visitors as they weren't steamrolled and put up a brave fight against the Red Devils and only succumbed during injury time to a Marouane Fellaini header.

As usual, there were a few individual battles that went a long way in ultimately deciding the final result of the game. Here's a look at 3 such battles that had a say in the match:


#1 Henrikh Mkhitaryan vs Ashley Young

Mkhitaryan showed the Old Trafford faithful what he was still capable of
Mkhitaryan showed the Old Trafford faithful what he is capable of

After suffering an injury that threatened to keep him out of the team for the rest of the season, Henrikh Mkhitaryan made a return right in time for him to appear in front of his former team and as fate would have it, he scored a goal to show the Old Trafford faithful what they had lost.

The return of the prodigal season was not enough to put off the celebrations of the home side, but it was really a great evidence of how players can fit certain strategies and tactics better than others - the Armenian looked far more threatening in a depleted Arsenal line-up than he did at United.

Ashley Young, playing at left back, was tasked with taking care of his former teammate and if there was any love between the two during their days together, it wasn't shown on the pitch. The two repeatedly got in each other's way, pulled each other's shirt and matched each other every step of the way.

Young could not stop Mkhitaryan from scoring, as the Arsenal midfielder emerged out of the spaces United left and popped one to the far corner and beyond David de Gea, but for the most part, he defended well.

Mkhitaryan vs Young - stats
Mkhitaryan vs Young - stats

The English full-back put in a good cross for Fellaini during injury time and the Belgian managed to contort his body and just about head it in.

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Shyam Kamal
ANALYST
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