Jesse Lingard strikes twice as Manchester United beat Arsenal, Pogba sent off for horror tackle
Premier League, Emirates Stadium - Arsenal 1 (Lacazette 49') Manchester United 3 (Valencia 4', Lingard 11', 63')
Manchester United produced a counter-attacking masterclass to beat Arsenal in a match full of chances and controversies.
The Gunners started strong and dominated possession in the opening movements, but were caught out after just four minutes when Laurent Koscielny’s poor cross-field pass was pounced upon by Antonio Valencia. The Ecuadorian drilled the ball through Petr Cech's legs after a smart one-two with Paul Pogba.
United doubled their lead when another defensive error saw Shkodran Mustafi needlessly give possession to Jesse Lingard. The England forward slotted home after a superb flicked assist from Anthony Martial.
Mourinho’s men sat back on their lead and invited wave after wave of Arsenal pressure. Aaron Ramsey and Alexandre Lacazette came close to reducing the deficit, while a Romelu Lukaku clearance from an Alexis free-kick was only kept out by a wonderful David De Sea save.
Lacazette brought the home side back into the game shortly after half-time, blasting in a close-range shot after Aaron Ramsey cleverly beat the United offside trap.
Ten minutes later, Arsenal had a golden chance to draw level, but Lacazette and Alexis were denied by a stunning double save from De Gea. The Spaniard put in a world-class performance, producing 14 saves in total.
Just past the hour mark, Lingard put the game beyond reach with his third goal in two games, capitalising on some fantastic build-up work from Pogba.
The Frenchman put in an exquisite shift, but blotted his copybook with around 15 minutes to go when his cynical studs-up challenge on Hector Bellerin earned a straight red card.
Pogba will now miss the Manchester derby next weekend.
TALKING POINT: Can Manchester United offer a title challenge to their noisy neighbours?
Mourinho’s men are now just five points behind their local rivals, who face West Ham tomorrow, and play them next weekend. Will this title race run closer than is currently expected? That match will reveal so much – will City buckle under the pressure or potentially go 11 points clear? Can United perform without Pogba?
MAN OF THE MATCH: David De Gea
The Spaniard made 14 saves in this game – a joint record for a Premier League match. Without him between the sticks, it is likely Arsenal would have gained a meaningful result.
Arsenal: Cech 6, Koscielny 6, Mustafi 4, Monreal 6, Bellerin 6, Ramsey 7, Xhaka 7, Kolasinac 5, Ozil 7, Sanchez 6, Lacazette 6. Subs: Iwobi 7, Welbeck 6, Giroud 6.
Manchester United: De Gea 9, Valencia 8, Lindelof 6, Smalling 8, Rojo 7, Young 8, Matic 8, Pogba 8, Lingard 8, Martial 8, Lukaku 5. Subs: Darmian 6, Herrera 6, Rashford 6.
4 - GOAL! That came from nowhere! Antonio Valencia dispossesses Kolasinac after a poor pass from Koscielny. He plays a one-two with Pogba on the edge of the area and drills a low shot past Petr Cech.
11 - GOAL! Another goal from another defensive mistake. Mustafi gives up possession to Lingard, who picks out Lukaku. The striker passes to Martial on the edge of the area, and he beautifully puts the ball in Lingard's path. Lingard sidefoots it past Cech.
42 - CHANCE: Ramsey has a golden chance to pull one back with a shot from eight yards but it deflects for yet another corner!
Manchester United secured back-to-back away wins for the first time since April.
Jose Mourinho has only lost two of eighteen encounters with Arsene Wenger (W9, D7).
Arsenal have won four of their last six Saturday evening kick-offs. Both losses were to Manchester United.