Manchester United have been defeated for the first time in 2023 and it was another late blow for Erik ten Hag’s men, having also dropped points earlier this week at Crystal Palace in the dying moments.
Ten Hag’s men were under pressure for large parts of the second half and in truth, Arsenal were deserving of all three points but with just minutes remaining, the Reds will be feeling unlucky to not be travelling home with at least one point.
Speaking after the game, Ten Hag has praised the intensity of a game between two top sides but has admitted his disappointment at leaving the game empty-handed.
“It was a great game with a lot of tempo and the audience is the big winner. Two top teams but of course we are disappointed when you lose this game at a late stage. All the goals we conceded today are mistakes – it can’t happen,” Ten Hag told the BBC.
“Even last week, we were so hard to beat in such situations. Today we were not. All three goals, we could have avoided.
“They are very good on the ball but we are a good defending team. There were not a lot of open chances. We made mistakes which we cannot make. This game was decided by small details but also the decision making. That is hard to accept and we have to learn from it.
“I want to win. It is not good enough. We want to be the number one but not if we make mistakes. That is clear and what I told them.”
The defeat almost certainly removed United from any talk of a title race and the focus will now be on regaining that momentum that earned them a place in that conversation in the first place.
United will now be aiming to get back to winning ways in just four days when they face Nottingham Forest in the Carabao Cup – the first of two semi-final legs.
Should United win and reach their first Carabao Cup final since 2017, the year they last won it, Ten Hag will have the chance to put an end to the Reds’ six-year wait for silverware.