Mikel Arteta's side missed the chance to move four points clear at the top of the Premier League after suffering a frustrating defeat at Old Trafford, in which they dominated large periods of the game but were undone by defensive mistakes.
Arsenal trailed at the break after United's new signing Antony scored a dream goal on his debut for the club following his £85m move from Ajax.
The Gunners fought their way into the match and levelled on the hour mark when Bukayo Saka deservedly fired the visitors level.
But six minutes later, Arsenal conceded again.
Bruno Fernandes was afforded too much time in midfield and was able to pick out a brilliant through ball to Marcus Rashford, who beat Arsenal's offside trap to fire the home side back in front.
Ten minutes later, Arsenal were undone again after continuing to play a high defensive line.
MAN UTD ARE IN FRONT AGAIN! 🔴— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) September 4, 2022
Arsenal have gotten counter-punched 🥊 pic.twitter.com/LGiRT4xmmX
Christian Eriksen beat the offside trap after making a late run from midfield and had time and space to square the ball to Rashford, who had the simplest task to score his second of the match.
Arsenal pushed for a route back into the game but were kept out by United in the closing stages.
After full-time, Arsenal supporters expressed their frustration with their side's defending for the second and third goals.
"For all the good work Arsenal have done, the defending this half has been suicidal," wrote one fan on Twitter.
"United warned them 2 times before the goals came. High line with limited pressing.. strange to say the least."
Defending has been embarrassing, playing a high line against a team that’s just pace. Our lack of squad depth cost us in this match. Still top of the league. COYG ♥️— Mr H 𓃵 (@henry__wealth) September 4, 2022
Sloppy defending yet again cost us, you can’t dominate a game like that and gift the opposition goals like we did. Also Arteta’s subs absolutely killed us. #Arsenal— Tj (@TjGuyver) September 4, 2022
Arsenal playing a high defense line cost them this game. They're lucky it even ended 3-1, they should have conceded more— VICTOR (@SsonofMan) September 4, 2022
The defending for the 2nd and 3rd goals was suicidal pal, ridiculous and no need for it— john o shea (@osheaj77) September 4, 2022
These high lines are suicidal, I realize they're a part of pressing the issue offensively but there's got to be some balance/caution and Arsenal have gotten burned for showing none.— Arsenal Review USA (@ArsenalReviewUS) September 4, 2022
Another fan added: "The 'high line' strategy that Arsenal played today made the team lose the game.
"I don't understand why Arteta chose to play a high line. That strategy cost Arsenal the match."
While another added: "Poor defending from Arsenal and poor defensive midfield won you the game today.. Congrats but Arsenal lost this game themselves."
Despite the defeat, Arsenal remain top of the Premier League – one point ahead of closest rivals Manchester City.
United, meanwhile, move up to fifth after a fourth consecutive victory.
Featured Image Credit: Sky Sports
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