Belfast Telegraph

Lingard and De Gea star as Man Utd win at Arsenal despite Pogba red card

Manchester United won a breathless bout with Arsenal 3-1 as Jesse Lingard scored twice, David De Gea demonstrated his brilliance and Paul Pogba was sent off.

Antonio Valencia and Lingard pounced on defensive mistakes by Laurent Koscielny and Shkodran Mustafi as Jose Mourinho's visitors took a 2-0 lead inside 11 minutes at the Emirates Stadium.

Arsenal refused to buckle. Alexandre Lacazette netted when United's defence stood still, but De Gea made a string of fine saves to deny the Gunners.

Lingard struck on the counter-attack following fine work from Pogba, who was then shown a straight red card for a studs-up challenge on Hector Bellerin.

The midfielder's offence carries an automatic three-match ban and rules Pogba out of next weekend's Manchester derby.

The win saw second-placed United move five points behind rivals City, the Premier League leaders playing West Ham on Sunday, while Arsenal are seven points further adrift in fifth.

Arsene Wenger secured a first Premier League win over Mourinho at the 13th attempt in May, when United's focus was on the Europa League.

That victory was part of a 12-game winning run at home for the Gunners in the league, their best since leaving Highbury.

And it was also part of United's winless streak of 11 away to established top-six rivals.

Mourinho's men had scored just once in eight of those games, but they had surpassed that tally after 11 minutes here, punishing two Arsenal aberrations.

A dreadful pass from Koscielny towards Sead Kolasinac was intercepted by Valencia.

The United captain played a one-two with Pogba, who sucked in defenders for Valencia to overlap and fire a shot between Petr Cech's legs.

The sin was repeated. Mustafi hesitated on the ball and Lingard nipped at his heels, sending the ball to Romelu Lukaku. The Belgium striker, now with one goal in 12, found Anthony Martial.

Martial showed great dexterity to pirouette and present the ball to Lingard to shoot inside the far post.

Mustafi collapsed in a heap, perhaps as much in embarrassment as pain, before limping down the tunnel for attention on his right ankle.

Alex Iwobi replaced him, giving Arsenal more of an attacking threat.

That left them vulnerable at the back. At times they were defending two on two and United looked as likely to score a third as Arsenal did to net in the remainder of the first half.

Lacazette was the Gunners' greatest threat. The France striker, who shrugged off a groin injury to start, delayed over a shot which hit De Gea's chest and struck the bar. Granit Xhaka fired the loose ball just wide.

Arsenal had further chances but De Gea saved from Bellerin, Kolasinac and Lukaku, after the striker had diverted a cross towards his own goal.

Arsenal did have a goal back within four minutes of the restart. Alexis Sanchez clipped the ball through for the on-rushing Aaron Ramsey.

The Welshman showed brilliant composure to cushion the ball for Lacazette to finish.

The intensity ramped up a notch. Lingard went through only to see his shot brush Cech's arm and loop on to a post.

Then De Gea denied Iwobi and made a double stop, first from Lacazette low to his right and then with his feet from Sanchez.

United had threatened to strike on the counter and did so when Lingard found Pogba, who danced around Koscielny and crossed for Lingard to tuck in the third unopposed.

Having shown his best, Pogba then showed his worst. A mis-timed, studs-up challenge on Bellerin saw the France international dismissed by referee Andre Marriner.

Mourinho felt Koscielny should have seen red for hauling back Lukaku on the halfway line with three minutes remaining, but the Gunners defender was only booked despite being last man.

And there was no penalty when Danny Welbeck went down under the challenge of fellow substitute Matteo Darmian, meaning there was no furious climax to a breathtaking contest.

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