Premier League

Premier League: Trossard fires Arsenal past Man Utd to take title race to the wire

Leandro Trossard (left) scored the winner as Arsenal beat Manchester United 1-0 © Paul ELLIS / AFP

Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) – Arsenal kept their Premier League title dreams alive by ending an Old Trafford hoodoo to grind out a 1-0 win at Manchester United on Sunday, moving back top of the table and taking the championship battle down to the last weekend.

Leandro Trossard scored the only goal on 20 minutes as Arsenal won for just the second time in 17 games away at United to go a point clear at the summit.

Manchester City still have the destiny of the title in their own hands as the defending champions have two matches left to Arsenal’s one.

However, the Gunners kept the pressure on Pep Guardiola’s men ahead of their tricky trip to Tottenham on Tuesday. “Our history wasn’t very optimistic (here) but we found a way to win it and that says a lot about how much the team wants it,” said Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta.

“We want to knock that door and open that box of dreams to have in front of our people the opportunity to win the Premier League.”

Arsenal host Everton on the final day next Sunday, while City entertain West Ham.

The defeat at Old Trafford further dented United’s chances of competing in Europe next season.

Erik ten Hag’s men showed more spirit than in a dismal 4-0 defeat to Crystal Palace on Monday, but have now won just one of their last eight Premier League games.

United remain eighth in the table, three points adrift of both Newcastle, (who they face on Wednesday), and Chelsea.

Spirited Arsenal

Arsenal have been in scintillating form in 2024 to remain in the race for their first league title in 20 years. Arteta’s men have won 15 and drawn one of their 17 league games since the turn of the year.

But Arsenal were far from their flowing best as the expected onslaught of an injury-ravaged United never materialised under unusually stifling heat in England’s north-west.

The manner of defeat at Palace had increased the scrutiny on United boss Ten Hag.

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The Dutchman’s options were again hamstrung by a lengthy list of absentees with captain Bruno Fernandes among those sidelined and a bench littered with youngsters.

Ten hag blames injury crisis

“It’s like trying to swim with your hands tied behind your back,” said Ten Hag of United’s injury crisis.

“You see the fans are behind us. They fought with us. Today we gave them (something) back but that should be the standard in every game.

“You see even when we miss seven starting players we are competitive with one of the best teams in the league.”

However, Ten Hag’s decision to retain Casemiro as a makeshift centre-back after his woeful showing against Palace will become another stick with which to beat the beleaguered coach.

After United had managed to keep the free-scoring visitors at bay for the opening 20 minutes, Casemiro was culpable for the goal.

The 32-year-old was laboured in pushing up from a United goal-kick to play Kai Havertz onside and Trossard then stole in on the blind side of Casemiro to tap in the German’s cross.

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United’s new co-owner Jim Ratcliffe was in attendance at Old Trafford rather than at Wembley to see the club’s women pick up their first-ever major trophy in the FA Cup final.

The work that lies ahead of Ratcliffe has been laid bare in recent weeks and he saw first-hand the improvements that are also required at Old Trafford as rain poured through a leaking roof once the sun turned to a thunderstorm late on.

Alejandro Garnacho was United’s one live wire but Arsenal were rarely seriously troubled as they held out for a sixth clean sheet in their last seven away league games.

The Gunners victory also set a club record of 27 wins in a Premier League season. Yet, even that may not be enough should City maintain their ruthless run.

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