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Dublin: 13ยฐC Friday 23 April 2021
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Arsenal 0-0 Man United

Hello, and welcome to today’s liveblog.

Both these sides have certainly had turbulent moments in their respective seasons, but have similarly looked somewhat rejuvenated of late.

United currently sit second on 40 points, with the Gunners 10 points behind them in ninth.

Mikel Arteta’s side, who won the reverse fixture earlier in the season, will be determined to repeat that feat, as they look to boost their top-four hopes.

And with table toppers Man City looking in formidable form of late, it’s also vital for United to pick up three points in order to keep the pressure on their neighbours.

Confirmation of today’s teams…

We’re underway…

It’s been a fairly scrappy, low-key start to this game.

Neither side has created a chance yet.

With the exception of the Tottenham thrashing, United’s Premier League games against the big Premier League sides this season have generally been quite tight and cagey.

Cedric has just been booked for a flying elbow as he jumps up for a header with Fernandes.

It continues to be a pretty tepid start, with neither side looking particularly threatening.

Arsenal counter and Lacazette suddenly finds himself with plenty of space ahead of him.

However, the striker’s shot from the edge of the area is straight at De Gea.

This game is livening up now.

A corner falls to Fred, whose shot from the edge of the area is tipped wide thanks to a decent save by Leno.

Partey drives through the midfield all too easily before firing wide.

Meanwhile, McTominay is moving gingerly after picking up a knock and may have to come off.

Xhaka gets a free header from a corner that forces De Gea into a save.

Moments later, Pepe is taken down as he goes by Luke Shaw.

After a decent United spell, Arsenal are coming more into this game now.

Pogba tries to play in Rashford with a lofted through ball, but Martinelli gets back well to make an interception and head the ball out for a corner.

Down the other end, Smith-Rowe plays through Pepe, whose curled low shot goes just wide.

Very close for United!

Pogba plays through Fernandes, who beats David Luiz, before curling a shot just wide from the edge of the area.

McTominay is still feeling the effects of that injury from earlier and is taken off.

Solskjaer makes an attacking change, with Martial coming on in his place.

Maguire gets his head to a corner, but it’s a fairly tame effort and Leno saves it comfortably.

United have probably edged this first half in terms of possession and chances created, but there hasn’t been much between the teams.

A cross falls to Rashford, but he can’t get a shot away quickly enough and is crowded out.

Moments later, Fernades is fouled on the edge of the area by Partey.

Fernandes’ free kick on the edge of the area is deflected over via the head of Luiz.

The ensuing corner from Shaw is easily cleared.

So half-time, and it’s been a fairly underwhelming opening 45.

Both sides have been cautious, though United have looked slightly more dangerous.

Arsenal have had a couple of encouraging moments on the counter-attack, but defences have been on top overall.

Arsenal are making a change at half-time.

Willian replaces Martinelli.

The second half has begun…

A low Bellerin cross falls to Willian.

However, the midfielder is hesitant, allowing Wan-Bissaka to sprint across and make a last-ditch block.

Moments later, Willian finds Pepe with a pull back, but Maguire does really well to block the first-time goal-bound effort.

Close again for United!

Shaw bursts down the left and fires across to Cavani, who diverts it wide from close range under pressure from Cedric.

It came at the Uruguayan pretty quickly there, so he couldn’t adjust his feet to turn it goalwards.

arsenal-v-manchester-united-premier-league-emirates-stadium Manchester United's Marcus Rashford (centre) battles for the ball with Arsenal's Granit Xhaka. Source: PA

Some nervy defending from Maguire sees him bring down Lacazette on the edge of the area.

From the ensuing free kick, Lacazette hits the cross bar.

Moments later, Maguire can only head a cross into the path of Smith-Rowe, who tests De Gea with a powerful strike.

Just under 20 minutes remaining.

This game remains finely balanced, and it feels like anyone’s guess who can win it, though a stalemate is perhaps the most likely outcome.

Maguire is the latest player to be booked for a late challenge on Lacazette.

Pogba went into the referee’s notebook a few minutes earlier.

David Luiz’s subsequent free kick deflects out for a corner, which is easily cleared.

Lacazette and Pogba are both down after colliding during an aerial challenge.

Both should be okay to continue.

This game remains frustratingly stop start.

As I type though, Partey loses possession sloppily, before Rashford’s powerful strike from the edge of the area finds the side netting.

It’s the England international’s last act, as he’s replaced by Greenwood.

Arsenal make a change that sees a debut for Real Madrid loanee Ødegaard.

He replaces Smith Rowe.

Cedric curls a free kick from distance well over.

It looks like this game will end in a stalemate.

Wan-Bissaka’s cross finds an unmarked Cavani, who volleys inches wide.

That’s a big moment, and arguably the best chance of the match.

There will be three minutes of stoppage time.

There hasn’t been many contenders, but Sky Sports’ Gary Neville has named David Luiz as the man of the match.

Lacazette has picked up a knock and is being replaced by Nketiah.

We’re now into added time of added time, as Fred fires a shot wide.

So that’s that.

Arsenal will probably be happier with that outcome, as United had the better chances to win it.

However, there wasn’t much between the teams and so a draw is probably a fair result.

Right, that’s all from me.

Thanks for reading and commenting.

We’ll have more reaction to follow and you can read our match report here.

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About the author:

Paul Fennessy

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