By James Agberebi:
Arsenal gave their top four finish hope a big boost following a 2-0 win against Manchester United in the Premier League at the Emirates on Sunday.
A deflected strike from Granit Xhaka and a goal by former Manchester United forward Danny Welbeck gave Arsenal the win which ended United’s 25-match unbeaten run.
Super Eagles forward Alex Iwobi was an unused substitute for Arsenal.
Iwobi’s last game for Arsenal was when he came on as a 77th minute substitute in the Gunners’ 2-2 draw against Manchester City at the Emirates on April 2.
He has made 24 league appearances for Arsenal this season, scoring four goals.
United made eight changes from their Europa League side which beat Celta Vigo last Thursday with skipper Wayne Rooney and Anthony Martial starting while 19-year-old Axel Tuanzebe made his EPL debut for the Red Devils.
The win was Arsenal’s first under Arsene Wenger against a team managed by Jose Mourinho in the league after 12 attempts.
Arsenal remain sixth in the league table on 63 points and six points away from a top four position, although they have a game in hand.
United had the first attempt on goal in the third minute through Rooney but his header from Juan Mata’s cross went over the bar.
In the fifth minute Arsenal also went close but David De Gea got down well to grab Alexis Sanchez’s low cross.
A minute later Martial almost gave United the lead after he was played through on goal by Rooney only to see his toe poked shot parried away for a corner by Petr Cech.
Aaron Ramsey had a very good chance to put Arsenal ahead on nine minutes after being played through on goal but De Gea pulled off a brilliant save to palm the low shot away for a corner.
Arsenal almost profited from a goal mouth scramble from a corner on 27 minutes but Phil Jones made a timely block off Welbeck’s goal-bound shot.
De Gea was called to action again on 30 minutes as he punched away Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s long range shot.
In the 31st minute Rooney was presented with a golden chance following a mistake in the Arsenal defence but he hit his shot against Cech which went away for a corner.
Arsenal finished the half stronger but the United defence held firm to go into the break goalless.
In the start of the second half Arsenal started on the front foot but United continued to stay strong.
Arsenal’s persistence finally paid off in the 54th minute thanks to Xhaka whose long range strike came off Ander Herrera and sailed over De Gea.
Arsenal went 2-0 up in the 57th minute through Welbeck who headed in Chamberlain’s well taken cross.
Rooney almost reduced the deficit on 65 minutes but his well struck free-kick was palmed away for a corner by Cech.
Rooney went close again on 76 minutes but his strike went just over the bar.