Manchester United survived the second-half dismissal of Paul Pogba to end Arsenal’s 12-game winning run at home in the Premier League with a 3-1 victory at Emirates Stadium – but only thanks to the brilliance of David de Gea.
The Premier League heavyweights took part in a slugfest in the English capital, with Jose Mourinho’s side somehow surviving some seriously heavy punishment to run out victors and close the gap on leaders Manchester City to five points.
United capitalised on some poor defending to race out to a 2-0 lead, Antonio Valencia and Jesse Lingard punishing early Arsenal mistakes, before Alexandre Lacazette – a surprise selection after Arsene Wenger had said he would be sidelined for the fixture – halved the deficit early in the second half.
However, Arsenal’s bid for a third straight home win over their rivals ran aground against the rock-like De Gea, who produced a string of outstanding saves either side of the break to keep his team in front.
Lingard’s second of the game in the 63rd minute restored a two-goal cushion and, while Pogba saw red for a stamp on Hector Bellerin that will rule him out of next weekend’s Manchester derby, United held firm to triumph on their travels.
Arsenal will wonder quite how they ended up with nothing from a pulsating encounter, albeit their problems were all of their own making when a side who had previously only conceded four league goals at home in the season gifted their opponents a 2-0 lead inside 11 minutes.