Arsenal started the match knowing that a win against the Old Trafford side will put them within touching distance of league leaders Leicester City, but were not helped by the damning statistic of having won just once in the last thirteen visits to Old Trafford.
Arsenal had a full strength team to choose from with the core of Mesut Ozil, Alexis Sanchez, Welbeck, Coquelin and Walcott too much for comparison with Man Utd’s youngsters Varela, Lingard, Depay and Rashford.
Arsenal with more to fight for, pressurized Man U from the start while Man U were happy to concede possession and counter attack on the break, De Gea made an important save to keep Man U in the game.
An early counter attack just before the halfway point of the first half resulted in a superb strike from 18 year old rookie Marcus Rashford who was just making his second start for the club.
Two minutes later , the same Rashford surprised the Arsenal defence and his header gave Man U a two goal lead. Arsenal were stunned . It was a huge shock for Arsene Wenger’s men.
His two goals came in the space of 2minutes, 25 seconds, such was his alertness and sharp taste for goal mouth action which officially made him one of the youngest Man U players to score on his Man U debut behind James Wilson ,Anthony Macheda and Wayne Rooney.
Arsenal continued to pressurize albeit spells of confidence from Man U before the home team gave away a free kick close to the 18 yard area. The resulting free kick was headed by former Man U academy product Danny Welbeck resulting in a goal for the away team.
As at half time the score was Man U. 2- 1 Arsenal. The Gunners had 7 attempts while Man U had 4 attempts. United had 44% possession, while Arsenal had 56% possession.
The second half began with new hero Marcus Rashford picking up a slight injury at kick off but he still continued playing after shaking off the injury scare much to the delight of the Man U faithfuls.
After some inter-play, Marcos Rojo just back from an injury lay off, fractured his ankle and was replaced by another new youngster Fosu-Mensah .Depay’s shot was well saved by Cech ,whose defence tried to tame United’s forwards.
Walcott ineffective for most of the match was substituted for tall man Olivier Giroud as Wenger opted for a more physical approach to the game.
Man U just over the hour mark, counter attacked and man of the moment Rashfor confused the Arsenal defence with a pass to Herrera which entered the net via a Koschielny deflection.
Arsenal retaliated with a left footed strike from Mesut Ozil after De Gea punched out Welbeck’s effort. At this point with 25 minutes to go it was 3-2 to Man U’s favour.
Van Gaal , Man U’s coached produced what could be dubbed ‘entertainment piece’ of the season after he theatrically fell on the floor to signal to the fourth referee about an Arsenal player’s possible simulation. The crowd at the stadium went hysterical.
At the 80th minute , the 79,000 people at the stadium gave match hero Rashford a standing ovation as he was replaced by Adnan Januzaj.
Nigerian player Iwobi replaced Welbeck with ten minutes to go as Wenger looked for more attacking options. Arsenal tried to rally late and save their EPL title dreams, but Man u came out top on the day with 18 year old Rashford voted man of the match.