Erik Ten Hag grabbed another convincing win over a hard-fighting Arsenal at Old Trafford on Sunday, September 4, 2022; can the Dutch tactician join the Premier League title race on his debut season?
It was another masterclass performance by Manchester United in their Premier League matchday six fixture under new manager Erik Ten Hag. A stunning 3-1 win over high-flying Mikel Arteta’s side was enough to smack off an iota of doubt in Erik Ten Hag’s Man United rebuild.
The match began at a rip-soaring pace as both sides tried to neutralize the other’s tactical moves with classic maneuvers that saw some early chances created.
The Gunners thought they had found a breakthrough in the 12th minute. Saka threaded a perfect pass, setting up Martinelli, who sped goalwards and beat David De Gea to score.
Paul Tierney had to reverse his on-field decision after VAR called for a foul check by Odegaard on Christian Eriksen. It was confirmed a foul, and the goal was ruled out.
Arsenal continued to take charge of the first half, with Martinelli posing significant threats. He had forced De Gea to two quick saves which denied the Gunners the lead.
Against the run of play, Manchester United went ahead in the 35th minute when £85m new signing, Antony, scored his debut goal for the Red Devils. Rashford had slid in a neat pass. The former Ajax winger beats Aaron Ramsdale with his right-footed shot.
Arsenal equalized a few minutes into the second half. Martinelli won the ball in the midfield and locates Saka, who sends it to Odegaard. Odegaard played a pass intended for Jesus. Martinez clears it into Saka’s path, who effortlessly slotted it into the net to level the scores.
The parity was short-lived after six minutes. Fernandes had played a great pass to Rashford, who fired into the bottom corner.
Rashford wrapped up the win for Manchester United in the 75th minute. Christian Eriksen squared it for Rashford, who completed his brace as he tapped home to make it 3-1 for Erik Ten Hag
Mikel Arteta Reacts After Defeat
Mikel Arteta praised his boys for the personality and the quality they brought to bear on the pitch though he was disappointed with the result.
He said: “Yeah difficult to see it now because we are all disappointed, we put so much into this game and are really pleased with the effort and the quality the boys showed today but we need to move on to the next one.”
Erik Ten Hag Reacts After Fourth Consecutive Win
Ten Hag heaped praises on the team for a classic performance against Arsenal. He had attributed it to the improved attitude of the players but maintains there is a need for more improvement in the team
He said: “We are not as long together as Arsenal is. And when we get that in, we will be even more comfortable in the game, and that is what we have to work for. And that is hard work. So, still a lot of room for improvement.”
Can Erik Ten Hag Challenge for EPL Title?
A lot has been said about Ten Hag’s Premier League chances. Emerging from two opening defeats to a masterclass performance against Arteta is a remarkable feat. Bringing down the Gunners’ 100 percent record from preseason to the Premier League attests to Erik Ten Hag’s readiness for the Premier League challenge.
However, it is too early to count the team amidst title contenders. Arsenal pulled far superior performance indicating a well-blended team. They posed threats upfront and dominated the midfield. The Red Devils still need more improvement to rank among teams set for the title challenge this season.