Although they have yet to find their rhythm this season, Arsenal are still undefeated with just two points lost after four games thanks to a thrilling victory over Manchester United at the Emirates Stadium.
When regulation time expired tied at 1, Arsenal scored twice in the final eight minutes thanks to substitute Gabriel Jesus and regular starter Declan Rice to maintain pressure on early leaders Manchester City.
Arsenal’s victory was well deserved following their dominant performance against a sloppy United team, and their mental fortitude was on full display when Martin Odegaard scored 35 seconds into the second half to tie the game after Marcus Rashford had given United the lead against the run of play.
It’s obvious that Arsenal is full of heart and soul, which is crucial as Mikel Arteta’s revamped squad continues to find its footing.
Declan Rice had an outstanding outing on his Arsenal debut. / Getty Images
After Arteta thought they were overrun in games against Newcastle, Everton, and twice against Manchester City last season, Arsenal brought in Kai Havertz and Calum Rice to bolster their midfield.
While this win will go down as a major turning point for Rice, the Havertz can look back on yet another disappointing performance.
After United failed to clear a corner, substitute Declan Rice snuck a shot inside Andre Onana’s near post, suggesting he has the potential to be the game-changer that Roy Keane and Patrick Vieira were in the matchup’s heyday.
After joining the club for £105 million from West Ham, his first goal capped an intimidating performance that helped Arsenal prevail against Casemiro and Christian Eriksen in the middle of the field. A goal in front of his noisy home crowd may do wonders, but he still has room to improve his dominance.
Havertz, on the other hand, had another challenging outing, as he squandered a golden opportunity early on and gave the ball away in the buildup to United’s goal.
It’s becoming clear that midfielder Kai Havertz isn’t a good fit for the team / Action Images Through Reuters
The £65 million summer purchase from Chelsea had a disappointing afternoon made worse when he was awarded a penalty kick in the second half for a foul committed by Aaron Wan-Bissaka, but the referee overturned his judgment after consulting the pitch-side monitor and the VAR.
Havertz still seems out of place at Arsenal, as he squandered a golden opportunity to score the game’s first goal when the ball slipped into his path yards from goal, but he air-kicked the shot instead.
Rashford scored for United with a ferocious shot that hit the inside of the post, and it was all because Eriksen intercepted his ball and set him free.
When Havertz charged into the box and appeared to be caught, referee Taylor pointed to the penalty spot. However, the call was reversed after replays showed that the contact was slight.
Havertz was taken off for Fabio Vieira with 15 minutes left, and that was his final significant contribution.
The Portuguese sub was instrumental, setting up Jesus for the game-winning goal in the closing seconds of regulation. The Brazilian never lost his composure and won convincingly.
Arteta will celebrate a thrilling comeback victory that shows Arsenal has the grit to challenge City again this season, but the Spaniard may spend the international break thinking about how to get the most out of his midfield three, especially with Thomas Partey facing a lengthy spell on the sidelines.