Former Arsenal player Paul Merson believes that Denmark international Christian Eriksen was the difference for Manchester United as they won 3-1 against Arsenal at Old Trafford.
A brace from Marcus Rashford, and a debut goal for new signing Antony, saw United get their fourth win in a row, and at the same time end their opponents’ perfect start to the season.
Eriksen was named the player of the match and speaking afterwards on Sky Sports, Merson explained why he was the key factor.
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“The first 15 minutes of the second half they got ripped to shreds. Arsenal should have gone on and won it,” Merson said.
A better team would have gone on and won it. It should have been changed - it was so one sided, the football match.
“I know they’ve come back, and they have, and he was probably the difference Eriksen.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 04: Marcus Rashford of Manchester United celebrates scoring their second goal during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Arsenal FC at Old Trafford on September 04, 2022 in Manchester, England. (Photo by

Image credit: Getty Images

“I thought he got run ragged by [Martin] Odegaard at times. Odegaard was getting him, and he was turning him and squaring up. And he was running the show, Odegaard.
But the thing with Eriksen that Arsenal have not got is that ball through the lines. He did it in the first half with [Bruno] Fernandes, with the first goal, and he did it for that goal to Fernandes again.
“Arsenal haven’t got that. They’ve got [Bukayo] Saka, [Albert Sambi] Lokonga - them two - they’re not going to put the ball through the lines, and that was the difference for me between the two teams. That was it. It was [Eriksen’s] passing. It’s the same old story. You come away from here and you’re like - we’ve done well today.”
Former Manchester United defender Gary Neville joined the discussion after being on commentary and said he couldn’t understand why Arsenal became so frantic.
“At 2-1 there was no need to go so desperate so early," Neville said. "With 20 minutes to go I thought this could be 4-1, 5-1 or it could be absolute mayhem at the other end. [But] United actually went more solid. Fred came on, Casemiro came on, and they just countered off the back of that. I don’t think they needed to go so desperately. They were dominating the game.”
Neville also added that the addition of Oleksandr Zinchenko over Kieran Tierney caused a loss of shape.
“When Zinchenko came on they lost their shape in possession," Neville said. "Tierney could have come on. I just think when you lose your shape - you look at the way in which Pep Guardiola chases a game of football and how all these managers now chase a game of football. They chase it in a very methodical way.
“I remember here we used to chase games sometimes [with the] kitchen sink, gung ho, [with] five minutes to go. Not 20. At 20 you still play. You still try to play the extra pass. I just thought they got so desperate so early.”
Merson agreed, adding that it wasn’t as if Arsenal were under constant pressure from United.
“Ramsdale hadn’t made a save," Merson said. "It’s not like he was man of the match and they were getting... So just keep it tight and they will get a chance in the game. They’ll cause havoc. You know what it’s like in the last 15 minutes [of a game], people will get nervous here, players would get nervous and for me it was a knee-jerk reaction, too quickly, with 20 minutes to go.”
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