A late Marouane Fellaini goal denied Arsenal a hard-fought draw in Arsène Wenger’s final trip to Old Trafford, as Manchester United snatched a 2-1 victory.
The Gunners had fallen behind early in the first half through Paul Pogba’s opener but were able to cancel out the Frenchman’s finish in the second period, as Henrikh Mkhitaryan found the back of the net against his former club to make it 1-1.
Man United would end up prolonging the north Londoners’ poor form away from home, however, courtesy of Fellaini’s late header in the 92nd minute.
Arsène Wenger’s men, with an eye on next week’s Europa League clash with Atlético Madrid, came into the contest with a total of seven changes, headlined by a debut for 21-year-old Konstantinos Mavropanos.
In a tight start to the affair, Man United were able to break the ice through Pogba’s close-range-volley in the 17th minute, following up on Alexis Sanchez’s header that was deflected onto the post.
The Gunners replied through Mkhitaryan, who was able to strike well across goal after being fed by Ainsley Maitland-Niles’ flick, but the ball roam just wide of the mark.
Arsenal continued to search for solutions, with the next chance falling to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang from Héctor Bellerín’s cross, but the ex-Borussia Dortmund man would lack the power behind his header to trouble David De Gea in the 35th minute.
The half ended with a scare for the visitors, as Ashley Young found the outside of David Ospina’s near post, with the two sides walking off to a 1-0 score line.
The inclination of the game renewed itself in the second half and Arsenal were able to make their momentum count in the 52nd minute, as Granit Xhaka won the ball higher up the pitch to set Mkhitaryan on his way before the Armenian could find the bottom corner, making it 1-1.
Arsenal’s equaliser provoked a reaction out of United, but both sides would fail to conjure up anything of note for the majority of the second period.
United sought Fellaini’s aerial prowess late on and it was through the Belgian that the hosts had the Gunners staring at defeat in the 92nd minute, as he glanced a header past Ospina to secure a 2-1 victory just two minutes from time.
By Patrick Ribeiro
Player Ratings: David Ospina (6) – Héctor Bellerín (6), Calum Chambers (6), Konstantinos Mavropanos (7), Sead Kolasinac (6) – Ainsley Maitland-Niles (7), Granit Xhaka (6) – Henrikh Mkhitaryan (7), Alex Iwobi (5), Reiss Nelson (6) – Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (5)
Subs: Danny Welbeck (6), Nacho Monreal (6), Joe Willock (-)