- Arsenal scored a trio of goals in the first 20 minutes
- Alexis Sanchez picked up 2 of those, the second a stunner
- Gunners move level with United into 2nd place
The Emirates faithful saw Arsenal give away multiple leads midweek on its way to a disappointing Champions League defeat.
That seems like months away now.
A three-goal explosion in the opening 20 minutes, capped by an absolute stunner from Alexis Sanchez, set the tone as the Gunners cruised to a 3-0 victory over Manchester United, who were top of the table heading into this weekend.
It took no time for Arsenal to go ahead as the visiting defense capitulated early. Just five minutes had gone by when Hector Bellerin burst down the right and while the initial cross was cleared, it came back to Ozil who served up a ball for Alexis Sanchez to tap in after beating Matteo Darmian to the near post.
It would get much worse for Manchester United. First, Arsenal doubled its lead just a minute later to stun the visitors. A beautiful Sanchez touch found Walcott on the break bursting forward. With the United defense out of sorts, Walcott sliced up the back line with a pass in to Ozil, and he buried the chance into the bottom corner for a 2-0 lead inside seven minutes.
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Before the clock hit the 20 minute mark, the Gunners would get a third, and it was a stunner. Alexis Sanchez powered forward into the final third, and he skipped past Darmian with ease to find space at the top of the box before crashing an absolute howitzer into the top corner for his second and Arsenal’s third.
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Manchester United finally unlocked the Gunners defense just a minute before the break, but young Anthony Martial saw his first shot saved brilliantly by Petr Cech on the turn, and he whiffed on his second chance from a Wayne Rooney cross moments later.
The second half plodded along in much less exciting fashion than the first, with the Gunners more and more content to sit back and easily absorb pressure as it went along. By the hour mark, Manchester United dominated possession but had little to show for it as Arsenal stayed compact.
There were few moments to remember in the second 45, and the home side eased their way to victory, with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain hitting the bar just before the final whistle. The three points moves the Gunners to 16 points, level with today’s opponents on points and just below them into third place on goal differential. Manchester United miss the opportunity to regain their top spot, leaving cross-town rivals Manchester City two points clear at the summit.