Jesse Lingard’s Sucker-Punch Equalizer Spares Man United Blushes Against Arsenal

Manchester United and Arsenal fought out to a frenetic draw at Old Trafford, with Jesse Lingard scoring a sucker-punch equaliser for the hosts 74 seconds after the Gunners had regained the lead.

Lingard nipped in to exploit a mix-up between Sead Kolasinac and goalkeeper Bernd Leno straight from the kick-off after Alexandre Lacazette bundled in following Marcos Rojo’s mistake.

Before the break, Shkodran Mustafi’s header had squirmed through David de Gea’s gloves to open the scoring for the Gunners, via goal-line technology.

That early lead lasted only four minutes, with Anthony Martial sweeping home Ander Herrera’s cross.

Both team had chances in the final 20 minutes but, with heavyweight boxer Tyson Fury in the crowd, neither could land a knockout punch.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s brilliant volley from an acute angle was rightly ruled out for offside as the visitors came closest to a winner.

The ‘virus’ Paul Pogba was dropped to the bench by Manchester United but it was ever more feverish as they slugged it out to a bruising draw against Arsenal.

A draw, for once though, is something for United to cling onto while Arsenal extended their unbeaten run to 20 matches in all competitions and will come away feeling they should have done so with a first win here since 2006. Still, in the cold light of day, United remain eight points off the top four.

Speaking to BT Sport after the match, United’s midfileder Nemanja Matic admitted that both teams had a good game and that United really deserved the 1 point.

“Both teams attacked. It was a great game for the supporters but I thought we deserved a point. Everyone knows the confidence is not high, but this is the fight that we have to show. Everyone is ready to play wherever the manager asks,” he said

United Defender Chris Smalling on the other hand admitted that the team is in a tough path of form.

“All of us know we are in a tough path of form and everyone is giving everything to help us through. Everyone is digging in. We were on the front foot and pressing them because we know they like to play and I thought we were unlucky not to get the third goal,” said Smalling.

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