Arsene Wenger eases to victory against old foe Jose Mourinho as Arsenal beat Manchester United 2-0

PUBLISHED: 17:56 07 May 2017 | UPDATED: 18:00 07 May 2017

Arsenal's Laurent Koscielny (right) and Manchester United's Anthony Martial (centre) battle for the ball at the Emirates Stadium (pic Adam Davy/PA)

Arsenal's Laurent Koscielny (right) and Manchester United's Anthony Martial (centre) battle for the ball at the Emirates Stadium (pic Adam Davy/PA)

PA Wire/PA Images

Arsene Wenger and his Arsenal team inflicted a 2-0 defeat on old foes Jose Mourinho and Manchester United at the Emirates today.

Arsenal's Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (left) and Manchester United's Henrikh Mkhitaryan (right) battle for the ball at the Emirates Stadium (pic Adam Davy/PA) Arsenal's Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (left) and Manchester United's Henrikh Mkhitaryan (right) battle for the ball at the Emirates Stadium (pic Adam Davy/PA)

Second half goals from Granit Xhaka and a Danny Welbeck header sealed a satisfying win against the Old Trafford side who clearly have prioritised the UEFA Cup over the Premier League as the best way to qualify for next season’s Champions League.

The Gunners simply had to win today to keep up their faint hopes of finishing in the top four – and that they did quite convincingly as they made two changes to the side which lost 2-0 to Tottenham in the North London derby last Sunday.

Gabriel and Olivier Giroud made way for Danny Welbeck and the highly-rated Rob Holding as Wenger stuck with a back three.

United for their part played only three players from their 1-0 win over Celta Vigo in Galicia during Thursday’s Europa League semi-final first leg - Matteo Darmian, Ander Herrera and Henrikh Mkhitaryan

The eight changes included Paul Pogba, Marcus Rashford, Daley Blind and Jesse Lingard dropping to the bench – with Axel Tuanzebe, 19, making his Premier League debut at right-back.

It was intriguing to know 19-year-old Congo born Tuanzebe arrived into this world five days after Arsenal beat United 3-2 in November 1997. It was even more fascinating to know how much the promising defender knows about those long-lost battles – when the whole world stopped to watch this fixture.

The opening to the match was played in an attacking spirit with Aaron Ramsey having a shot saved early on by an alert David De Gea as his angled shot was palmed away to safety.

There was plenty of endeavour and intent even if the end product was not always evident. Wayne Rooney should have scored 12 minutes before half time but Petr Cech – following on from his good form in the North London derby – blocked the England forward’s effort.

The second half started slowly in the spring sunshine – before two quick fire Arsenal goals changed the entire afternoon.

Firstly, Granit Xhaka’s long shot on 55 minutes took a deflection off Ander’s Herrera’s back to loop into De Gea’s net to make it 1-0 to Arsenal.

Then two minutes later former United star Welbeck powered home an excellent cross from right wing-back Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain after excellent work from Holding won the ball to prompt the move.

Prior to this afternoon Arsene Wenger and Jose Mourinho had met 16 times - with Wenger winning just once when Arsenal beat Chelsea in the Community Shield in 2015.

This afternoon’s result was surely going to add a second win to that dismal total.

As Arsenal threatened more in the spring sunshine the crowd savoured watching old foe Mourinho suffer embarrassment as his team looked a pale imitation of a Manchester United side.

But as the game petered out Wenger, despite all the criticism heaped on him – a lot of it deserved purely in football terms if not the disgusting personal abuse – had the last laugh against his old foe.

Whether this satisfying win will be enough to change his critics viewpoint even slightly is another matter entirely.


Cech, Gibbs, Koscielny, Sanchez, Ramsey, Ozil, Oxlade-Chamberlain (Bellerin), Holding, Monreal, Welbeck (Giroud), Xhaka (Coquelin)

Manchester United:

De Gea, Jones, Mata, Rooney, Martial, Smalling, Carrick, Herrera (Rashford), Mkhitarayan (Lingard), Darmian, Tuanzebe

Latest Islington Sports News


France marked their 20th anniversary since winning the World Cup by being crowned once again after sealing a 4-2 victory against Croatia.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

So, England finished fourth at the World Cup finals in Russia.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Boreham Wood hosted Unai Emery’s Arsenal’s at Meadow Park on Saturday afternoon. Read on for Layth Yousif’s report.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

More children than ever across Islington and the surrounding areas are getting the chance to take part in the Lawn Tennis Association’s (LTA) hugely successful Tennis for Kids programme and pick up a tennis racket for the first time, thanks to an increase in the number of places available for children in London and the South East.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Saturday’s battle will be the first of two games between the clubs over the next month

Friday, July 13, 2018

Islington youngster Jack Gentili-Walsh was crowned under-12 world champion at 30kg at the 11th WKF Youth Championships in Croatia at the weekend.

Friday, July 13, 2018

The Calthorpe club have enjoyed a fantastic 2018 season to date, but want to maintain their success

Friday, July 13, 2018

A fine display from captain Sam Bardon helped his team win at Harrow Town last weekend


Fostering older teenagers means giving them the skills for life as an adult. Here, a supportive lodgings carer with Islington Council and young adult who has left care share their stories

Newsletter Sign Up

Islington Gazette twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read sport

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Islington Gazette
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now