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Arsenal’s title dream dented by Manchester United defeat

Arsenal’s title dream dented by United defeat

28/02/2016 at 16:56Updated 29/02/2016 at 09:43

Premier League, Old Trafford - Manchester United 3 (Rashford 29, 32, Herrera 65) Arsenal 2 (Welbeck 40, Ozil 69)

Teenage striker Marcus Rashford scored twice as Manchester United put a serious dent in Arsenal's Premier League title hopes with a 3-2 win at Old Trafford.

The 18-year-old from Manchester netted twice inside the first 32 minutes of the match to stun Arsene Wenger's side, who were hoping to close the gap on leaders Leicester City.

Video - Van Gaal: It was great for the fans to be at Old Trafford again

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He opened the scoring with a wonderful finish from a Guillermo Varela cross, then nodded in Jesse Lingard’s ball a couple of minutes later.

Danny Welbeck reduced the deficit against his former club before half-time, getting his head to Mesut Ozil's free kick, but Ander Herrera's deflected strike ensured United took all three points despite Ozil grabbing a second for the visitors with a mis-hit that bounced beyond David de Gea.

Rashford's memorable Premier League debut ended with a standing ovation after 80 minutes on a day Arsenal will want to quickly forget.

Manchester United's Marcus Rashford celebrates scoring their first goal with Juan Mata

Manchester United's Marcus Rashford celebrates scoring their first goal with Juan MataReuters

TALKING POINT

Have Arsenal bottled it? It seems almost cliché to suggest it, but to be so comprehensively outplayed by what was, let’s face it, a makeshift United side does not bode well for their title credentials.

MAN OF THE MATCH

Marcus Rashford (Manchester United): Obviously. What a wonderful week for the young man – showing United fans that there is still hope for this season.

PLAYER RATINGS

Manchester United: De Gea 7, Varela 7, Carrick 7, Blind 7, Rojo 6, Schneiderlin 6, Herrera 7, Lingard 8, Mata 6, Memphis 8, Rashford 9. Subs: Fosu-Mensah 6, Weir 6, Januzaj 6.

Arsenal: Cech 7, Bellerin 6, Gabriel 6, Koscielny 5, Monreal 6, Coquelin 6, Ramsey 7, Walcott 6, Ozil 7, Alexis 7, Welbeck 7. Subs: Giroud 6, Elneny 5, Iwobi 5.

KEY MOMENTS

29’ - GOAL! United 1-0 Arsenal. What a beautifully taken goal from young Rashford! Walcott was dispossessed and a cross from Varela bounced past Gabriel, allowing Rashford to lash that home.

32’ - GOAL! United 2-0 Arsenal. I was just picking out some more tweets enthusing about Rashford, and he goes and scores again! Nice little ball dinked in by Lingard and Rashford nods that home!

Manchester United's Marcus Rashford celebrates scoring their second goal

Manchester United's Marcus Rashford celebrates scoring their second goalReuters

40’ - GOAL! United 2-1 Arsenal. Free kick swung in by Ozil, which pings off Welbeck's head, despite two men standing next to him attempting to move their heads in the general direction of the ball.

65’ - GOAL! United 3-1 Arsenal. And another terrific goal, this time from Herrera! Rashford holds the ball up well after a brave run into the box, and Herrera strikes - it takes a nasty deflection off Koscielny and nobody can do anything about that.

69’ - GOAL! United 3-2 Arsenal. Arsenal aren't quite out of it. Great ball in bounces around for ages before Ozil mis-hits it into the ground - it bounces then into the net.

74’ - MIME! This is getting ridiculous now, Van Gaal is berating the fourth official for what he perceives to be Arsenal playacting, and throws himself dramatically to the floor to illustrate exactly what he means.

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal lies on the side of the pitch to demonstrate a foul to the fourth official Mike Dean

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal lies on the side of the pitch to demonstrate a foul to the fourth official Mike DeanReuters

KEY STATS

Manchester United have now won back-to-back Premier League home games for the first time since September.

Mesut Ozil now has 18 PL assists this season - the only player with more in a Premier League campaign is Thierry Henry (20) in 2002-03.

Marcus Rashford is exactly the same age that Wayne Rooney was (18y 120d) when he scored his first Premier League brace. Statistics courtesy of @OptaJoe

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