No stopping Nketiah! Winners & losers as Premier League leaders Arsenal edge Man Utd in Emirates thriller

Eddie Nketiah Arsenal Man Utd 2022-23 HIC 16:9
Many pundits thought that Arsenal would struggle without star summer signing Gabriel Jesus up front. They thought wrong...

Pressure? What pressure!

Arsenal once again opened up a five-point lead at the top of the Premier League with a thrilling 3-2 win against Manchester United, with Eddie Nketiah flicking in a last-minute winner to spark chaotic scenes at the Emirates.

The Gunners striker was on hand to turn in Martin Odegaard's shot from close range to seal a crucial three points for Mikel Arteta's title contenders and deliver the perfect response to Manchester City's win earlier in the afternoon.

It was a deserved victory for Arsenal, who as well as restoring their five-point advantage over City having played one game fewer, have also opened up an 11-point lead over fourth-placed United.

It was far from plain sailing for the league leaders, who went behind early on to an excellent goal from Marcus Rashford, who drilled a thumping finish past Aaron Ramsdale from 25 yards.

Nketiah drew Arsenal level soon after with a fine back-post header from Granit Xhaka's cross and Bukayo Saka's spectacular shot then saw the hosts in front after the interval.

The lead didn't last long, however, with Lisandro Martinez heading in an equaliser which looked to have earned United a point.

But then, with just a minute remaining, Nketiah popped up with the all-important winner to give a thrilling contest the blockbuster ending it deserved...

  1. Winner: Eddie Nketiah

    Winner: Eddie Nketiah

    What an afternoon for Arsenal's young striker, the biggest performance of his career to date. This was his sixth appearance in all competitions since coming into the side following Gabriel Jesus' injury, and he's now scored six times during that run.

    There was so much to like about his goal which cancelled out Rashford's early opener. Granit Xhaka's cross from the left may have been begging to be put away, but Nketiah's clever back-post run and header were a clear sign of the confidence he is playing with right now.

    And his second goal, the crucial winner, was the type of clever, close-range finish we've come to expect from Arsenal's master predator.

    There was plenty of concern amongst the Arsenal fanbase when Jesus got his injury, but Nketiah has proven – just as he did at the end of last season – that he has what it takes to make a big impact at the top level. He's now Arsenal's top scorer this season, with nine, and you wouldn't back against him adding plenty to that tally in the coming weeks.

  2. Loser: Ben White

    Loser: Ben White

    He's not had many of them this season, but this was a difficult afternoon for the Arsenal right-back. An early booking did not help his cause, nor did having to come against Rashford playing the way he is right now.

    But with the threat of that early yellow card hanging over him, White looked unusually nervy whenever United ran at him and it was clear that the visitors were looking to target him as much as possible. It was no surprise when the Arsenal man failed to reappear for the second half, with Mikel Arteta opting to replace him with Takehiro Tomiyasu.

  3. Winner: Marcus Rashford

    Winner: Marcus Rashford

    A player operating at the top of his game. Rashford's stunning strike to open the scoring was his ninth goal in his last 10 appearances and was a finish of a player brimming with self belief.

    White has been exceptional for Arsenal at right-back this season, but this was undoubtedly the toughest opponent he has faced this season. Rashford was quick, direct and looked to run at him at every opportunity during the first half. He was a threat whenever he got on the ball.

  4. Loser: Wout Weghorst

    Loser: Wout Weghorst

    There's not much to say about United's new striker. He was totally anonymous. If he is going to make a difference to Erik ten Hag's side between now and the end of the season, then he is going to have far more than he did at the Emirates. He was way off the pace.

  5. Winner: Lisandro Martinez

    Winner: Lisandro Martinez

    This could have been either of the United centre-backs as both were equally as impressive as each other. The visitors were put under lots of pressure throughout the absorbing contest, but both Martinez and Raphael Varane were exceptional and soaked it up well whenever the ball came into the central areas.

    The timing of the challenges were excellent and Martinez put his head in bravely to clear dangerous situations on more than one occasion. He of course also popped up with a massive equaliser for United just after Saka had made it 2-1.

  6. Loser: Luke Shaw

    Loser: Luke Shaw

    The Manchester United left-back was given all sorts of problems by Saka. To his credit, he kept going throughout the 90 minutes and never tried to hide away from the challenge, but he would have been delighted to have get off the pitch at the end of the 90 minutes.

    The England international had been brought crashing down to earth after his recent resurgence.

  7. Winner: Oleksandr Zinchenko

    Winner: Oleksandr Zinchenko

    Zinchenko was exceptional against Tottenham last weekend, but he was even better here. He might be listed as a left-back on the team-sheet, but Arsenal’s summer signing from Manchester City is so much more than that.

    United just couldn’t get hold of him as he constantly drifted into the midfield positions to create an overload in the central areas. Zinchenko’s ability to split the lines with his passing is such a weapon for Arsenal. It consistently sees them escape from tricky looking situations to get on the front foot.

    His leadership qualities can’t be underestimated either. He was seen leading the pre-match huddle before kick-off and he continued pushing his team-mates forward throughout the contest.

    It was a top-tier performance from a player who is going to be so key to Arsenal’s hopes of going on to seal the title this season.