Manchester United and Arsenal played out an entertaining 0-0 draw in the Premier League at the Emirates on Saturday night.
United were aiming to cut the four-point lead that Manchester City had established over them, while for Arsenal a win could have taken them as high as six in the league.
New signing Martin Odegaard started the game on the bench, and Buyako Saka was forced to sit out the game as a precaution due to a sore hip.
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It was Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men who had the best chances, with Bruno Fernandes going close, but at the other end Nicolas Pepe sent a dangerous effort just wide.
United were forced to withdraw Scott McTominay with an upset stomach in the first half, which helped them add numbers to their attacks.
In the second half, Edinson Cavani went close after United had suffered an early period of sustained pressure, but Arsenal came back and had two excellent chances - one for Alexandre Lacazette that hit the bar and an Emile Smith Rowe shot that forced a smart David de Gea save - to go ahead themselves.
Arsenal introduced Odegaard with less than 10 minutes of normal time remaining, but neither side could force their way through. The result leaves United in second while the result left Arsenal in eighth.
TALKING POINT - Manchester United are still well short of a title challenge
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has certainly improved Manchester United over the past couple of seasons, but their weaknesses are obvious. Aaron Wan-Bissaka is now a weakness at the back positionally, and both Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial are not clinical enough in front of goal - nor, really, is the experienced Edinson Cavani.
The failure to take more than one point from the last six available should put paid to their Premier League title, now that Manchester City have a decent lead at the top of the table, and United have failed to strengthen their defence in the transfer window. The best the club's fans can hope for now is a second place finish.
MAN OF THE MATCH - Bernd Leno (Arsenal)
Arsenal were certainly not under pressure throughout, but Leno pulled off an important save against Fred when United were on top. There were hardly any standout performances in the game, but the German made perhaps the most important intervention at the most decisive period of the game. Given Arsenal's shaky confidence it was vital moment.
Arsenal: Leno 7, Bellerin 6, Holding 6, Luiz 7, Soares 6, Partey 5, Xhaka 6, Martinelli 6, Smith Rowe 7, Pepe 6, Lacazette 6. Subs: Willian 6, Nketiah 6.
Manchester United: De Gea 6, Shaw 6, Wan-Bissaka 6, Lindelof 6, Maguire 6, Pogba 6, Fernandes 6, Fred 7, McTominay 6, Rashford 6, Cavani 6. Subs: Martial 6, Greenwood 6.
30’ - PEP SHOT - Pepe drives at goal, teasing defenders with stepovers, and he stands him up before skidding a shot just wide of the far post.
33’ - WAN-BISSAKA HEADER - Wan-Bissaka rises at the back post to meet a cross from the left, but he aims the effort down and wide of the near post.
34’ - FERNANDES CHANCE - Fernandes races into the box, checks onto his right, and he scoops a shot after being set free by Pogba over the top corner, just slightly mishit
58’ - CAVANI MISS - Luke Shaw turns on a pass along the six-yard box and Cavani clips it, with the goal begging, wide of goal and somehow wins a corner.
65’ - LACAZETTE HITS THE BAR! He lifts his free kick over the wall and De Gea can only watch as it strikes the crossbar before bouncing down and away. Less than a minute later Smith Rowe has the ball in the box and drills low to the near corner, and De Gea dives down to beat it away.
80’ - RASHFORD SHOT - Rashford drives towards goal and rattles a shot from the edge of the box, and smashes the side netting.
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