Manchester United strike late to defeat Arsenal

Marouane Fellaini struck a stoppage-time winner as Manchester United defeated Arsenal 2-1.

The Gunners made eight changes to their starting line-up ahead of their Europa League semi-final second leg against Atletico Madrid on Thursday, but a young Arsenal team were minutes away from gaining a point on Arsene Wenger’s final visit to Old Trafford.

Paul Pogba’s opener was cancelled out by Henrikh Mkhitaryan but substitute Fellaini rose highest late on to head in the winner.

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After a cagey start, Pogba gave United the lead in the 17th minute when he finished from close range after Alexis Sanchez’s shot had been deflected onto the post.

Mkhitaryan could have equalised moments later but his shot went narrowly wide.

Ashley Young came inches away from doubling United’s lead shortly before halftime. His mishit cross wrongfooted David Ospina but hit the outside of the near post.

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Mkhitaryan scored against his former club shortly after the restart when he received the ball from Granit Xhaka before firing through the legs of Victor Lindelof.

Fellaini was introduced with 25 minutes remaining and caused problems for the Arsenal defence. He failed to test Ospina though, sending the ball over the bar.

Marcus Rashford thought he had scored the winning goal in the 88th minute when he got on the end of a cross, but the assistant referee’s flag was up and the forward was offside from a Fellaini flick-on.

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It was Fellaini who did hit the winner three minutes later. Young launched a ball into the box from deep and the target man rose highest to head in at the back post.

The victory guarantees Champions League football for Manchester United next season. Arsenal remain in sixth in the Premier League table.

Old Trafford, Manchester by Sean MacEntee used under license by CC BY 2.0.

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