Manchester United struck late to record a 2-1 victory over Arsenal at Old Trafford on Sunday, courtesy of a Marouane Fellaini header.
Despite Arsenal making a number of changes, United didn’t have it all their own way in the Premier League encounter, with Jose Mourinho‘s men having to wait until injury-time to seal the three points.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan proved his worth
The Armenian international did not have much playing time at United under Mourinho, but he’s been in fantastic form for Arsenal since his swap deal with Alexis Sanchez in January.
Mkhitaryan has looked an upgrade on the player that spent 18 miserable months at Old Trafford. He’s thrived being afforded more creative freedom and impressed against his old employers.
The former Borussia Dortmund playmaker was returning from a knee injury on Sunday and was outstanding in his 76 minutes on the pitch.
Mkhi could now have a key role to play for Arsenal in Thursday’s Europa League semi-final second leg clash with Atletico Madrid.
Marouane Fellaini nearing an extension
Marouane Fellaini‘s future has been uncertain all season, having been tipped to leave the club at the end of his contract this summer as there’d been no progress on a new deal, but the Belgian could yet remain at Old Trafford.
His match-winning goal against Arsenal proved he’s still useful to Mourinho, who hinted after the game that Fellaini could have a future beyond the summer. Contract talks are said to be at an advanced stage.
The midfielder is criticised by United fans because of his lack of movement and composure in possession, but he’s proved a useful backup from the bench when United are in need of a goal.
Arsenal’s Champions League future to be determined
Arsene Wenger admitted he would be making multiple changes to his starting lineup against United so there were no surprises his side fell short at Old Trafford.
There were a lot of positives, however, with youthful duo Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Konstantinos Mavropanos putting in very impressive performances.
Arsenal now have an Europa League semi-final clash to come against Atleti on Thursday and need to find a way of scoring against Diego Simeone’s side who have kept 11 consecutive clean sheets at home.
If they reach the final, Arsenal will be 90 minutes from sealing Champions League football for next season. As the Gunners are out of top-four contention, lifting the Europa League crown is now their only hope.