Eddie Nketiah’s game-winning goal in the final seconds of regulation earned Arsenal a thrilling victory over Manchester United at Emirates Stadium, maintaining their lead in the Premier League title battle.
The Gunners were under pressure after Manchester City defeated Wolverhampton Wanderers earlier in the day, but they replied with class and bravery even after falling down to maintain their five-point lead with a game remaining.
Marcus Rashford, who is currently United’s star player, scored a brilliant 25-yard right-foot shot to put his team ahead in the 17th minute.
Seven minutes later, after a ferocious response from Arsenal, the score was tied when Nketiah headed in ahead of Aaron Wan-Bissaka at the far post in response to Granit Xhaka’s cross.
Eight minutes after the break, Bukayo Saka’s angled shot gave Arsenal the lead, but Lisandro Martinez headed in his first goal for the club six minutes later after goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale dropped a corner.
With Saka hitting the post and Nketiah being stopped by a fantastic save from David de Gea, Arsenal appeared to be the more likely winner in the waning moments.
When Nketiah, a striker who is doing a great job coming in for the injured Gabriel Jesus, turned in from close range in the final seconds, the pressure paid off and elicited raucous celebrations came off at the emirates.
The celebrations both on and off the field following the winning goal by Nketiah demonstrated its enormous significance.
Coming up against Erik ten Hag’s improved Manchester United, a draw would hardly have been awful for Arsenal. However, Nketiah’s last-second intervention raised the entire mood to the sky.
With Manchester City on their shoulders after defeating Wolves, Arsenal’s composure was further strained when Rashford extended United’s winning streak and gave them the lead.
Until Nketiah settled the situation, Arsenal continued to create opportunities with the same level of order and quality that has characterized their play on their way to the top of the table.
While Nketiah makes sure the absence of Gabriel Jesus, whom many anticipated would badly undermine the Gunners’ title campaign, is not preventing them from winning games, Saka and skipper Martin Odegaard are producing opportunities and posing a threat.
Manchester United believed they had finished the job as time ran down and their defense, led by Martinez, held strong.
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