Arsenal rang in the new year by giving boss Mikel Arteta his first victory as lacklustre Manchester United crashed to a 2-0 defeat on Wednesday.
Arteta had watched Arsenal take only one point from his first two matches, with last weekend’s 2-1 defeat against Chelsea especially painful after the Blues scored twice in the final minutes.
But Arsenal had played well for long periods in that London derby and they produced an even more sparkling display to put United to the sword at the Emirates Stadium.
The Gunners took the lead in the eighth minute when Sead Kolasinac’s cross ran through to Nicolas Pepe at the far post and the Ivory Coast winger beat David De Gea from close-range.
Arsenal, who last won in the league at West Ham on December 9, got a deserved second goal in the 43rd minute when De Gea kept out Alexandre Lacazette’s flick and Sokratis reacted quickest to lash home.
Arteta’s team are nine points adrift of the top four, but their second win in 16 matches in all competitions offers hope of a brighter future under the former Arsenal midfielder’s management.
United are fifth, five points behind fourth placed Chelsea, after the latest in a long list of underwhelming performances in a troubled campaign.
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