The giants woke up, the duel revived / Premier League / J21 / Arsenal-Manchester United /

Arsenal and Manchester United, who recovered a while back, have suffered a major setback this season which has seen them miss out on the Champions League. And that was before it got back on the ice in spectacular fashion: two of the nation’s most in-form teams are ready to claim their prize when it comes time to throw the saber this Sunday.

December 2017. Fourth-placed Arsenal hosts second-placed Manchester United. Led by Jesse Lingard and Paul Pogba, MU handled the Emirates (1-3) to confirm their second place and take the AFC to seven points. Since then, Gunners and Red devils Both of them did not meet with their place in the top 4 anymore. Until this Sunday. The curves undulated, passed for a moment before they really came close. This time the hunter is a Mancunian, the hunted a Londoner. But more importantly, everyone is legally armed to hope to bring something to eat. From this year.

Emirates, your cruel universe

Five points (and a game in hand) ahead of Manchester City, Arsenal have bounced back from a high-stakes run marked by a visit to Brighton, a visit to Newcastle and a heated derby against Tottenham. Despite the dreaded absence of Gabriel Jesus, Mikel Arteta’s men have made a strong impression, taking seven points from nine behind boss-sized Martin Ødegaard (four goals and three assists in the last five days). On Sunday, they will once again be able to rely on the Emirates castle, where they remain with ten wins and a draw in the Premier League. We have to go back to April 9, 2022 to find traces of the last failure Gunners in their home league.

“Tactically, Arteta is ready for anythingHe praised Alan Shearer. On Sunday, he certainly got the better of Antonio Conte with his game plan, especially in the first half, when Arsenal seemed to have an extra man in every area of ​​the pitch. » the coach of Spurs bowed with fair play: “They have good balance and they hit when they have to. They suffered a lot in the second half and showed their resilience. When a team can do that, it means they are ready to compete for the title. » At the stake to catch a leaky timpani since 2004, Arsenal have been behind just three times this season: 8 minutes against Fulham, 26 minutes against West Ham and… 49 minutes on Manchester United’s turf. Arteta then pointed “lack of discipline” and the death of his men. Deficiencies confirmed by a 3-1 defeat, the only setback so far, well, well.

Red Devils Redemption

Manchester United, a Premier League red light in mid-August, didn’t have much to do with the listless side who were then humiliated at Brentford. Well established in the top 4, MU can aim to reconnect with the Champions League in September. To even look up a bit… “Looking at their recent games, the number of wins and the gaps, I think they can be in the hunt for the title.” , released Patrick Vieira on Tuesday. Defensively struggling after the restart, United kept clean sheets against Nottingham Forest, Wolverhampton and Bournemouth before putting the league’s best attack under the glass in the derby, limiting Erling Haaland’s streak to five shots in 90 minutes. If Red devils He got it back at Crystal Palace on Wednesday, only to succumb to a stratospheric free-kick by Michael Olise in added time.

United have 39 points midway through the season, boosted by four wins in five days since the restart. It is only the third time the club has reached this mark since the departure of Sir Alex Ferguson. With four races still in contention, the Mancunians held their heads against the rest above all else. The big five : has ten points in five games against City, Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal this season. Already better than the previous two years (five points in eight games in 2021-2022, eight in 2020-2021). “We look like a team nowHe met Bruno Fernandes on BT Sport’s microphone. Not long ago, sometimes each of us only focused on ourselves. Now we can see a team where we work hard for each other. » Even more will have to be done with the suspension of the crucial Casemiro. “We can achieve something this season, I’m sure, but Manchester United still have a long way to go.” , character Eric on Hag. In this regard, “Arsenal” still has a slight advantage. For the moment.

By Quentin Ballue

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