After a mixed start to the Premier League season, Erik ten Hag’s side have found some form with three straight wins.
Next up for Manchester United is Arsenal at the Theatre of Dreams this Sunday. After a disastrous start with back-to-back losses against Brighton and Brentford, United have bounced back well with three straight wins.
Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal side have made a perfect start to the season, winning all five games in relatively comfortable fashion.
The two sides come head to head in what will prove to be an even fixture if the form guide is anything to go by. Here’s how the two teams have fared so far.
Last five results: L, L, W, W, W
Erik ten Hag’s reign as Manchester United boss started with a disappointing defeat to Brighton at Old Trafford. In a game where The Reds were outplayed, supporters would be forgiven for thinking it couldn’t get much worse. And then Brentford happened. The entire team capitulated and found themselves 4-0 down in 35 minutes to a team tipped by many to be involved in a relegation battle this season. United would go on to create very little in a second half that fizzled out and saw the home side see out a victory. A victory which will no doubt go down in Brentford history.
With Liverpool up next, many feared the worst but Manchester United looked like a completely different team when Jurgen Klopp’s men visited Old Trafford last month. A new look backline gave the rest of the team a base to perform and Ten Hag’s men ran out 2-1 winners, perhaps unfortunate not to keep a clean sheet.
The next two games on the road would see United record back-to-back 1-0 victories against Southampton and then Leicester. The team has been unchanged since the win against Liverpool two weeks ago and Ten Hag has found a winning formula. The defence looks set but there are still glaring issues to solve in midfield and attack. Perhaps the introduction of Casemiro will go a long way to solving that dilemma whilst Cristiano Ronaldo will also be in contention to start to freshen up the attack. The latter hasn’t started since the 4-0 defeat to Brentford and Casemiro is still awaiting his full debut.
Last five results: W, W, W, W, W
Mikel Arteta has overseen a flawless start for The Gunners. After a 100% record in pre-season, Arsenal have carried that form into the Premier League.
A successful transfer window is already bearing fruits, in particular Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko who have impressed since making the switch from the blue side of Manchester this summer.
William Saliba has also added much-needed steel to Arteta’s backline after two years away from the Emirates on loan.
On paper, Arsenal have had a relatively easy beginning to the campaign, with Manchester United their first ‘big six’ opponent, but nothing can be taken away from the start they’ve made.
Arsenal began the season with an away trip to Crystal Palace on Friday Night Football. Selhurst Park under the lights isn’t the easiest of fixtures but Arteta’s men navigated it with relative ease thanks to Gabriel Martinelli and a late own goal from Marc Guehi.
A 4-2 victory at home to Leicester was followed up with a 3-0 away win to Bournemouth where Martin Odegaard’s double had the visitors 2-0 up inside just 11 minutes.
Back-to-back 2-1 home wins would follow against Fulham and Aston Villa to give Arsenal a perfect record going into the game on Sunday.
Arsenal top the league with maximum points whilst Ten Hag’s men sit fifth on nine points. A win for United would move them just 3 points behind the early pace-setters and the table will make for much better reading than just three weeks ago after the 4-0 loss to Brentford.
Manchester United welcome Real Sociedad to Old Trafford on Thursday before an away trip to Crystal Palace to take on Patrick Vieira’s Crystal Palace.
Source: Michael Tunstall