Why were there penalties in pre-season game between Man Utd and Arsenal despite 2-0 win
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Manchester United emerged 2-0 victors over rivals Arsenal in a pre-season friendly at the MetLife stadium in New York, but the game had more action beyond the usual 90 minutes.
Erik Ten Hag's side followed up on positive results against Lyon and Leeds United with a win against the Gunners to maintain their perfect start to the pre-season tour of the US.
Newly appointed club captain Bruno Fernandes was naturally at the centre of action and broke the deadlock around the half-hour mark from range,with his weaker left foot. Confidence is high for the Portuguese international after he replaced Harry Maguire as the captain, so appointed by Ten Hag.
Little time was wasted in doubling the lead, Jadon Sancho pouncing on an error by Arsenal defenders in collecting a loose ball, Sancho raced into space and blasted the ball past Aaron Ramsdale in the opposition goal.
Though the result would normally be a win in 90 minutes for the Red Devils, this time around, the match continued beyond normal time and went into a penalty shootout to decide the winner.
According to James Ducker from the Telegraph, this was a mutually agreed upon move by both clubs before the match had started.
The reason for the penalty shootout taking place was to ensure that the players had the practise of the shootout, especially in front of an approximate crowd of 82,000 at the MetLife stadium.
There will be penalties at full time regardless of result between #MUFC & #AFC. It was agreed between the two teams that it was a good opportunity to practise a penalty shootout in front of a large crowd & both Ten Hag & Arteta regard it as part of their pre-season preparations— James Ducker (@TelegraphDucker) July 22, 2023
Both managers Mikel Arteta and Ten Hag felt this was a necessary experience as part of their pre-season preparations for the season ahead.
In fact, the last time the Gunners faced a penalty shootout was in the UEFA Europa League against Sporting Club, where they eventually lost 5-3 at the Emirates.
As for United, their last shootout was a success against Brighton and Hove Albion in the FA Cup semi-finals last season. A similar outcome this time around against Arsenal will have pleased Ten Hag as he continues to mould this team for the upcoming season