By Williams ‘Bantu’ Irubor
Arsenal kept their top-four hopes alive and ended Manchester United’s 25-match unbeaten run in the Premier League with a 2-0 victory at the Emirates on Sunday.
United made eight changes from their Europa League semi-final first leg against Celta Vigo on Thursday, and they fell behind shortly after half-time as Granit Xhaka’s long-range shot deflected over David de George and into the net.
Danny Welbeck doubled the lead three minutes later and Arsenal comfortably held on to give Arsene Wenger his first competitive win over Jose Mourinho.
The victory also keeps Arsenal in the hunt for a top-four finish, although they still need either Liverpool or Manchester City to drop points.
The Gunners are seven points behind Liverpool with two games in hand, while this defeat is United’s first in the league since October 23 2016, and leaves them four points outside the top four with three games left to play.
United did have their top-four fate in their own hands after Liverpool draw with Southampton earlier in the day, but Mourinho, perhaps with one eye on the Europa League return leg with Celta Vigo on Thursday, opted to rotate his starting line-up at the Emirates.
Axel Tuanzebe was handed a first Premier League start while Phil Jones and Chris Smalling returned in defence and Eric Bailly, Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford dropped to the bench.
The Gunners made two changes from their defeat at Tottenham as Rob Holding started in place of Gabriel and Welbeck replaced Olivier Giraud up front.