Jesse Lingard scored twice for Manchester United and goalkeeper David de Gea pulled off a string of stunning saves in a 3-1 win over Arsenal to keep pace in the English Premier League race on Saturday. The result left United in second place behind Manchester City before both teams meet next week. De Gea made 14 saves, equaling the record for the most stops in a Premier League match.
It was a pulsating contest from start to finish at Emirates Stadium, with a glut of shots on goal, amazing goalkeeping, a sending off, and textbook counterattacks.
"The game was fantastic," United manager Jose Mourinho said. "If I was in the stands, or if I was at home watching, I would be sad to see the game finish. In my case, it's different because I want to win. I wanted to see the game finish."
United's first two goals came early on from sloppy play in possession by Arsenal.
Antonio Valencia intercepted a poor pass from defender Laurent Koscielny that was meant for wing back Sead Kolasinac. The Ecuadorean quickly drove forward and exchanged passes with Paul Pogba. Valencia struck a low shot that went in between goalkeeper Petr Cech's legs in the fourth minute.
Lingard doubled the lead in the 11th after Arsenal defender Shkodran Mustafi gave the ball away in United's half. Anthony Martial flicked on to Lingard in the area and the latter's effort careened in off a post.
"The concentration at the back wasn't sharp enough at the start," Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said.
Arsenal got back into the match in the 49th when United defender Marcos Rojo tried and failed to play Alexandre Lacazette offside. Midfielder Aaron Ramsey was onside when he touched the ball back to Lacazette who fired it past De Gea.
But it was the Spaniard's quick reflexes that kept his team in the match, especially when he denied Arsenal an equalizer with a double save in the 57th from Lacazette and Alexis Sanchez.
Mourinho sarcastically referred to Lacazette's presence on the pitch, because before the match Wenger said the forward would most definitely not be available because of a groin injury on Wednesday.
"I congratulate Arsenal's medical department for taking a player that was a 'no' to a full 90 minutes," Mourinho said. "Amazing."
But the home side's optimism for a comeback was then snuffed out in the 63rd when United hit Arsenal on the break.
Pogba drove forward into the box and held off Koscielny to pull back a pass for Lingard, who converted an easy tap-in.
Pogba was sent off for stamping on Hector Bellerin's leg which means the Frenchman will miss the Manchester derby.
The scoreline flattered United with Arsenal playing with verve and pummeling De Gea's goal. Arsenal had 33 shots on goal, with 15 on target, while United had eight shots with four on target.
It was a statistic that upset Wenger, who lamented missed chances.
"I'm just disappointed and angry that with the quality of that performance we have nothing to show for it," he said, attributing his team's loss to a lack of efficiency in finishing and De Gea's "outstanding game."
It was Mourinho's first away victory in 11 games against the "Big Six" and the first home loss for the Gunners after winning their last 12. Arsenal slipped a place to fifth.