Arsenal and their hopes of finishing inside top four received major boost as the Gunners came all guns blazing to beat Manchester United on Sunday. Granit Xhaka and former Manchester United striker Danny Welbeck scored for Arsenal to give them a 2-0 victory at the Emirates. It was Red Devils' first defeat in 25 Premier League matches as well.
The first real chance of the match fell for Anthony Martial in the sixth minute. Henrik Mkhitaryan found Wayne Rooney with a first time pass and he passed the ball to Martial, who beat Laurent Koscielny but Petr Cech saved his shot.
It was all Manchester United in the early parts of the match but Arsenal responded really well after that chance from Martial. Alexis Sanchez did well to find Aaron Ramsey, but his cross-goal shot was saved by David De Gea.
Arsenal players slowly started to find their feet after the slow start and they started to see a lot more of the ball and started to keep Manchester United pinned inside their own half. Chances kept coming for Arsenal as the match progressed and Welbeck had two good chances to give the Gunners the lead.
The first chance came in the 27th minute as Welbeck collected the ball from an Arsenal corner and controlled it well but Phil Jones did well to block his shot. Three minute later, Welbeck had another chance. Sanchez once again did well to find Ramsey, who found Welbeck but his shot was blocked by Chris Smalling.
The final real chance of the first half fell to Rooney and the Manchester United captain should have given the Red Devils the lead in the 32nd minute. Rob Holding was pressured in the corner and decided to pass the ball into the box and Cech and Koscielny hesitated and Rooney pounced but Cech did well to keep the score line at 0-0.
The match slowed down after the initial 30 minutes but it was Arsenal who ended the first half as the stronger team as they controlled possession and started to create more chances as the match progressed.
Arsenal started the second half as they ended the first, dictating the play and Manchester United seemed content to sit back and break on the counter attack. Arsenal's continued pressure finally paid off in the 54th minute as Xhaka gave the home side the lead. The Swiss international tried his luck from 30 yards out and it deflected off Ander Herrera and past De Gea to give Arsenal the lead.
Three minutes later, Welbeck doubled Arsenal's lead from a perfect Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain cross. He got between Axel Tuanzebe and Smalling, and headed the ball straight into goal as De Gea had no chance of stopping his former teammate from scoring.
The match slowed down quite a bit after Arsenal grabbed their second goal and Arsene Wenger's men were happy to sit back a little and let Manchester United have the ball. Jose Mourinho got Jesse Lingard and Marcus Rashford to change their luck, but they did not have the desired effect.
Rooney had two of Manchester United's best chances in the second half. The Red Devils captain first chance came in the 74th minute as he tried to bend a shot into the top corner from 20 yards, but he put too much on it. His second chance came in the 81st minute. Holding cleared the ball and if fell straight to Rooney, who tried his luck from outside the box again but it was too high.
With this win, Arsenal remain in sixth place but they are now just two points behind Manchester United and also have a game in hand on the Red Devils as well as Manchester City. They have two games in hand on Liverpool and with Jurgen Klopp and his men just managing a draw against Southampton earlier today, the Gunners still have a really good chance of finishing in the top four if they can repeat this performance in their remaining fixtures.
Watch both the goals and complete match highlights right here.