A vital VAR intervention for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's strike gave Arsenal a 1-1 draw at Manchester United in the Premier League on Monday Night Football.
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After a scrappy first 40 minutes, United took the lead through Scott McTominay's deflected strike from 22 yards following a United break (45), just moments after David de Gea had produced a double save to keep Arsenal out.
Arsenal were level through the help of VAR as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang lifted deftly over De Gea, played onside by Harry Maguire after Axel Tuanzebe's sloppy pass (58), giving the striker his seventh goal in seven Premier League games this season.
Man Utd: De Gea (7), Tuanzebe (6), Maguire (7), Lindelof (7), Young (6), McTominay (7), Pogba (5), Lingard (6), Pereira (7), James (7), Rashford (6).
Subs: Greenwood (6), Fred (5)
Arsenal: Leno (7), Chambers (5), Sokratis (7), Luiz (6), Kolasinac (6), Xhaka (5), Guendouzi (6), Torreira (5), Pepe (4), Aubameyang (7), Saka (7).
Subs: Ceballos (6), Nelson (NA), Willock (NA)
Man of the match: Scott McTominay
McTominay, Maguire and Marcus Rashford came close for United late on, but the draw means Arsenal are fourth with 12 points, while United are three points further back in 10th with just four wins in their last 16 Premier League games.
How VAR worked in Arsenal's favour
It was a messy opening, to say the least. After 35 minutes, there were more bookings (3) than shots (2), with the only chance falling to Andreas Pereira, who forced a good stop from Bernd Leno with a low left-footed effort. That, after 29 minutes, was the longest wait for a first attempt in a Premier League match this season.
Nicolas Pepe also struck over the bar in space in the box, while Arsenal's first half was epitomised by a short Granit Xhaka free kick from a good position which fooled everyone, including his team-mate and intended recipient Calum Chambers.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer made three changes from the 2-0 defeat by West Ham. Axel Tuanzebe, Jesse Lingard and Paul Pogba came in, replacing Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Nemanja Matic and Juan Mata. Wan-Bissaka was missing from the squad altogether.
Unai Emery made two changes for Arsenal from their 3-2 win over Aston Villa. Calum Chambers and Lucas Torreira replaced Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Dani Ceballos. Bukayo Saka became the youngest Arsenal player to start this fixture in Premier League history at 18 years and 25 days old.
The game then opened up; an Arsenal break saw Bukayo Saka force a good save by De Gea to his left, before the Spaniard got himself up to keep out Matteo Guendouzi's rebound, and moments later United had scored.
During a break of their own, Marcus Rashford kept the ball alive at the far post, and McTominay was found in space as Arsenal failed to reset properly. The Scot got the ball out of his feet quickly, finding the top left corner via the deftest of deflections off Sokratis Papastathopoulos.
Things continued to liven up in the second half as a United penalty appeal for a handball on Sead Kolasinac was rejected by Kevin Friend and VAR, but the technology was soon in use to give Arsenal a leveller.
Tuanzebe's loose pass allowed Saka to play Aubameyang through on goal, and the Gabon striker brilliantly lifted the ball over De Gea. The flag went up early for offside, but VAR showed that Maguire had just played Aubameyang onside.
Saka nearly completed the turnaround just a minute later as he was found in acres of space 12 yards out, but his fierce effort somehow hit Victor Lindelof and deflected over the bar.
United had two chances of their own to regain the lead; first Paul Pogba curled just wide from the edge of the box, before McTominay somehow headed over the bar from six yards out unmarked from an Ashley Young corner.
And with a last-gasp free-kick, Rashford forced Leno into a fine one-handed save, and by the final whistle it was the travelling support happier with the share of points.
For United, the draw means this is the first time they have won fewer than 10 points in their opening seven games in the Premier League era.
Keane: United lacking belief
In the Monday Night Football studio, Roy Keane didn't hold back in his assessment of the game and United's performance.
"I thought it was shocking. United lacked the belief to finish the game off - the game was there for the taking for United. I'm not sure what Ole will take from it. There's not too many positives.
"We had the belief and quality but this United are lacking in both. The effort was there but they were lacking in quality. I thought United should go on to win comfortably but it's a mix of belief, confidence and quality - a combination of all those things. They're not cutting teams open.
"It's all on the counter-attack but that's where the team is at. It's hard work watching them but I bet it's hard work for the player too. It's not happening but you've got to keep persevering - they have to get a big result soon just to get some confidence."
What the managers said
Manchester United's Ole Gunnar Solskjaer: "Effort is never a problem with these boys. Great attitude, desire, they're working hard every day in training to improve.
"The first 20 minutes we were a bit passive, we didn't go for it enough. Yeah, we pressed but when we got the ball we slowed the game down. We should have quickened things up. With the pace we've got and the conditions, we should take more risks going forward."
Arsenal's Unai Emery: "It wasn't the best result, but the draw is fair for both teams after 90 minutes. The first half, they started pressing a lot, but we controlled the match with good positioning, but at the end we let them have three transitions, the third was a goal.
"We spoke at half-time to be calm and try to score an equaliser, then find a moment to win the match. After our goal, they imposed themselves little by little with their fans behind them and we struggled."
'VAR at its best'
VAR was 'at its best' to allow Arsenal's equaliser, according to Jamie Carragher - but did an offside flag 'distract' the home side?
Aubameyang ran through to bring Arsenal level at Old Trafford after a raised flag from the assistant referee was ignored by referee Kevin Friend, who waited for the goal to be scored before a VAR review ruled the striker had been onside in the build-up to his strike.
Jamie Carragher told Sky Sports the decision had vindicated the use of VAR, which has come in for criticism this season for its reluctance to overturn a number of contentious decisions.
- Manchester United have won 49 points from their 28 Premier League games under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer - two fewer than they won in their final 28 games under Jose Mourinho.
- Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is the first Arsenal player to score as many as seven goals in their first seven Premier League games of a season since Dennis Bergkamp in 1997-98.
- Bukayo Saka has registered four goal involvements in just three starts for Arsenal in all competitions this season (1 goal, 3 assists).
United now go to AZ Alkmaar in their Europa League group-stage game on Thursday at 5.55pm, before going to Newcastle on Super Sunday at 4.30pm, live on Sky Sports Premier League. Arsenal host Standard Liege in the Europa League group stage on Thursday at 8pm, and then host Bournemouth in the Premier League on Sunday at 2pm.