The Gunners claimed fourth spot in the Premier League table – having played one more game than Tottenham – with another morale-boosting victory on Saturday afternoon. Nuno Tavares opened the scoring just three minutes into the match and Bukayo Saka doubled the advantage from the penalty spot after Telles bundled him over in the box.
While Cristiano Ronaldo halved the deficit, Granit Xhaka made Bruno Fernandes pay for his penalty miss in the second half with a net-busting effort from range. The result is a major boost for Arsenal in their search for a top-four finish – and another crushing blow for United, who seemingly have no chance of playing Champions League football next season.
Speaking at half-time, Keown tore into Dalot for his role in Tavares’ opener, telling BT Sport: “Both sides are happy to attack but defensively, it has been poor. Tavares comes down in from the left-hand side and Dalot completely switches off and it is terrible defending, very lazy just swinging a foot at it. Tavares just ghosts in and Dalot has got to stay with him, it is just the basics.”
“It is about sensing danger and [United interim manager Ralf] Rangnick mentioned it in midweek about Burnley and not being as good as them defensively. They are basics that you work on there and it is all about concentration.” Arsenal earned their penalty under unusual circumstances after Eddie Nketiah was denied a goal for an offside infringement.
The VAR then checked for a potential foul in the build-up and ruled Telles was guilty of bundling Saka over in the area, presenting the Englishman with the chance to score his second penalty in as many games. “I think Telles is panicking because he knows that he is on the wrong side and I agree with the decision,” Keown added.
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“It is a great penalty from Bukayo Saka and we mentioned it before the game actually and what he has been through so it shows great mental strength to do that. He (Telles) nudges him and tries to get away with it but he doesn’t.”
United’s defeat in North London comes after a heavy 4-0 loss at Liverpool on Tuesday night and leaves them six points adrift of fourth-placed Arsenal having played one game fewer.