(Football News) Arsenal’s investment in Declan Rice is proving to be a wise investment. In the Premier League match on Sunday, the midfielder scored his first goal for Arsenal deep into injury time, and Gabriel Jesus added another goal well past the 100th minute, securing a 3-1 victory over Manchester United.
Arsenal captain Martin Odegaard expressed his elation regarding the late victory, stating, “It’s the best feeling in the world. This is what we play for.”
The match appeared to be heading for a 1-1 draw when the ball found its way to Rice after a corner. The midfielder expertly controlled it on his chest before unleashing a right-footed shot that beat Andre Onana inside the near post in the sixth minute of stoppage time. This dramatic turn of events led to exuberant celebrations at the Emirates Stadium, just moments after the away fans believed they were leaving with a late victory. In the 89th minute, United substitute Alejandro Garnacho had sprinted through on goal during a quick counterattack and successfully beat Aaron Ramsdale with a low shot. However, the goal was disallowed following a VAR review for offside. Instead, it was Rice who delivered the decisive blow at the other end.
Arsenal invested over £100 million ($125 million) to acquire the services of the England international from West Ham. His goal played a significant role in justifying the substantial investment, as the Gunners secured three crucial points against a top-four rival. With United pushing forward in search of a last-minute equalizer, Arsenal capitalized on a counterattack in the 11th minute of stoppage time, with Gabriel Jesus calmly slotting the ball past Onana to seal the victory.
The teams had exchanged quick goals in the first half, with Marcus Rashford giving United the lead against the run of play in the 27th minute, and Odegaard leveling shortly after the restart.
There were limited quality chances between Odegaard’s goal and the frantic final minutes of the game. However, Kai Havertz believed he had earned a penalty in the second half when he dribbled into the area between Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Casemiro and went to the ground. Referee Anthony Taylor initially pointed to the spot, but the decision was overturned after replays revealed minimal, if any, contact. It was another challenging outing for Havertz, who was signed from Chelsea in the summer to form a midfield partnership with Rice. In the 13th minute, the German had a golden opportunity to put Arsenal ahead but missed his shot from six yards out. He also gave away the ball with a sloppy pass that led to United’s goal.
Striker Rasmus Hojlund made his debut for United in the second half after transferring from Atalanta for £72 million ($90 million) during the summer. Additionally, center-back Jonny Evans came on as a late substitute for his first appearance with United since 2015.
As the international break approaches, Arsenal boasts 10 points from the first four rounds of matches, while United has accumulated six points after suffering their second away defeat, following a 2-0 loss to Tottenham.
United’s manager, Erik ten Hag, expressed strong frustration with the refereeing decisions made towards the end of the match. He argued that Garnacho’s goal should have been allowed as the VAR officials had used the “wrong angle” during the review, and that Arsenal’s winning goal should have been disallowed due to a “clear foul” committed by Arsenal center-back Gabriel on Evans as Rice took the shot. Ten Hag lamented, “Everything went against us. It was not our day.”