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Lingard double sees Man United overcome Arsenal in the game of the season so far

United goalkeeper David de Gea was in top form but Paul Pogba saw red as they came away from the Emirates with three points.

The United players celebrate one of Lingard's two goals.
The United players celebrate one of Lingard's two goals.
Image: Tim Goode

MANCHESTER UNITED BLITZED Arsenal with two quick-fire goals in a breathless encounter to close the gap on Manchester City this evening.

With Pep Guardiola’s Premier League pace-setters not in action until Sunday, United’s 3-1 victory took them to within five points of the Premier League summit ahead of a meeting between the city rivals next weekend.

Jose Mourinho took his team to the Emirates with questions over how they would approach the fixture after a poor recent away record and a shortage of goals against fellow members of the ‘Big Six’.

But United quashed all thoughts of shutting up shop and were immediately on the front foot, taking the lead through captain Antonio Valencia in the fourth minute and doubling their lead just minutes later through in-form Jesse Lingard.

In a thrilling end-to-end contest United looked irresistible on the break but Arsenal, with Alexandre Lacazette a surprise inclusion after injury fears, enjoyed more than 70% of possession in the first half, hitting 15 shots as David de Gea’s goal led a charmed life.

Arsenal sent the decibel level soaring after a lightning-quick start to the second half as Lacazette lashed home Aaron Ramsey’s pass to pull a goal back, and the home side came forward in waves, forcing De Gea to pull off an astounding double save to maintain United’s lead.

Arsenal v Manchester United - Premier League - Emirates Stadium De Gea curses his luck as Lacazette celebrates his goal. The Spanish keeper had the last laugh though. Source: Tim Goode

But just as the home side threatened to overwhelm United, Paul Pogba burst into the box and squared for Lingard to net his second and silence the crowd.

As the match lost some of its high-octane momentum, referee Andre Marriner sent off Pogba for a studs-up tackle on Hector Bellerin to change the balance of the contest, but Arsenal could not take advantage.

The red card means Pogba will miss next week’s Manchester derby with the league leaders.

© AFP 2017

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