So, it happened: Mourinho’s unbeaten run against Arsene Wenger in competitive matches has ended. Prior to kick-off, Mourinho’s record stood at 15-0 (an Arsenal win in a Community Shield notwithstanding) but now Wenger can take a considerable sigh of relief, that record now reads 15-1 after Arsenal comprehensively took apart Manchester United in 2-0 win at The Emirates.
The first half was a dull and uneventful affair, United seemingly content to let Arsenal play and sit back. Though things livened up in the 54th minute, when Granit Xhaka burst into a pocket of space and had a crack from 30 yards which; via a deflection from Ander Herrera, beat David De Gea.
Arsenal kept up this new-found energy and attacked with relentless pace leading to Danny Welbeck adding a second 3 minutes later. Oxlade-Chamberlain burst down the right wing, pinging a cross in and Welbeck leapt between two United defenders to smash home a gorgeous header.
After this the game fizzled out into nothing but Arsenal knew they had done enough. Mourinho tried to bring it to life with the introductions of Rashford and Lingard but ultimately it wasn’t enough.
This game leaves Arsenal in sixth, two points of United in fifth and six points off City in fourth, but crucially having a game in hand over both teams. However, now it is out of their hands.
Despite this win there remains question marks over the future of Arsene Wenger. Arsenal are still in with a chance of qualifying for the Champions League for the 21st consecutive season, whilst also having an FA Cup Final against Chelsea to look forward to, yet there is a large group of fans who remain sceptical about the direction in which Arsene is leading them.
As for Mourinho, losing that record against Wenger will hurt him personally and their unbeaten streak; albeit comprising of 12 draws, is now over. United sit just outside the top four as they have done all season, but it appears that to overhaul Manchester City could prove out of reach for Mourinho’s men.
The Europa League now appears to be the priority, seen by United’s 8 changes from their semi-final against Celta Vigo, but this season may well still have a twist in it.
Written by Olly Norman.
Stay tuned to www.90maat.com and like us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/90MAAT/
for all of 90MAAT’s coverage of the remainder of the Premier League season in 2017.