‘1-0 to the Arsenal’ as Premier League title race goes to final day

Nervy Arsenal hold on to beat Man Utd and take title race into final day

If you were looking for an image to define the fortitude and defensive resilience of this Arsenal team, it arrived shortly before the hour mark at Old Trafford.

Alejandro Garnacho was hurtling into the penalty area and, as the Everton pairing of James Tarkowski and Ben Godfrey can attest from recent experience, that is not a particularly comfortable place to be as a defender.

Tarkowski and Godfrey both conceded penalties in the same game to Garnacho and William Saliba, similarly, had little margin for error here against the fleet-footed Argentine. Over extend a leg or put a foot out of place and the Manchester United winger would probably be taking a tumble; one misstep and Arsenal could also be conceding a penalty – and seeing their title hopes go up in smoke with it.

But Saliba timed his challenge perfectly, as clean a tackle as you will see all season that saw him drop momentarily to the floor, before the Arsenal centre-back – one half of the country’s most formidable double act with Gabriel – quickly got back up and came away with the ball.

1-0 to the Arsenal as Premier League title race goes to final day
William Saliba and Takehiro Tomiyasu celebrate after earning a precious clean sheet - Shutterstock/Peter Powell

On a day when Arsenal were far from their attacking best and, at times, a little nervy and no doubt slightly fearful of floundering at this late stage, it must have been greatly reassuring for Mikel Arteta to know his team have such a solid, robust defensive base.

This – after all – was all about the result, not the performance, and ensuring the title race at least went down to the final day and the foundations for it were an 11th away clean sheet of the campaign, the most by a Premier League team bar Chelsea in 2008-09.

“We wanted to open that box of dreams to live the last day of the season in front of our people with the opportunity to win the Premier League,” Arteta said, and they have certainly done that.

If United had found a way to cancel out Leandro Trossard’s 20th minute goal, Arsenal’s mostly cautious approach and occasional sloppiness in possession against Erik ten Hag’s severely depleted side might have come in for greater scrutiny. But, even if this will not have felt like a comfortable afternoon’s work for anyone of an Arsenal persuasion, the reality is United never really tested David Raya. Garnacho should have done better when presented with an inviting opening in the second half only to rush a shot which he ballooned wide but United were otherwise kept at arm’s length by the best defence in the country. “1-0, to the Arsenal”. It is a familiar refrain and as relevant this season as in any title winning campaigns of the past.

And so attention now turns to Tuesday night at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium when Arsenal will hope their North London rivals can do them an almighty favour against City. The reigning champions have only won once in six visits to the ground, and never in the league, so if there is a place at which Pep Guardiola’s winning machine might stumble Spurs seems as good a bet as any.

This was Arsenal’s 15th win in their past 17 matches and, when you think about that, it is remarkable the title still remains out of their hands. Perhaps come the final reckoning they will be left to rue that late collapse at home to Aston Villa last month but they have kept up the pressure on their rivals and Guardiola’s men will have to respond. One slip-up could open the door to Arsenal, who host Everton on Sunday while the champions welcome West Ham to the Etihad Stadium.

After a mostly glorious sunny day, the heavens had opened by the time referee Paul Tierney brought proceedings to a close but United never looked like raining on Arsenal’s parade and the game’s best opportunities still fell the way of Arteta’s side. Gabriel Martinelli and Declan Rice could have ensured a less stressful final 10 minutes for Arsenal but their efforts were repelled by Andre Onana in the United goal. And United? There was no better motif for a shambolic season than the sight of rain cascading through Old Trafford’s leaky roof by the end.

Erik ten Hag did get some form of response from Monday’s 4-0 capitulation at Crystal Palace but it tells you everything about where United currently are that the manager is having to scratch around for positives after a record 14th Premier League defeat of the campaign, their most in a season since 1989-90.

Amad Diallo showed flashes of promise, to the point where you wonder why he has not had more of a look in before now, and Garnacho was as willing as ever, even if the end product was not there. It is not the 19-year-old’s fault he has been overplayed to the point of exhaustion – he has started every game since Nov 1 totalling 35 matches in a row – and at times been left to carry the attacking burden on his own. He deserves better.

1-0 to the Arsenal as Premier League title race goes to final day
Manchester United's Alejandro Garnacho struggled to break down Arsenal's resilient defence - Reuters/Carl Recine

It has been a torrid week in the illustrious career of Casemiro and, after his horror showing at Palace, he was culpable in Arsenal’s goal. Ten Hag suggested afterwards that the reports back on Scott McTominay when he had played in central defence for Scotland were not overly favourable but it is hard to believe he could have been any worse than Casemiro as a makeshift centre-back in that moment.

When Onana hit one of those rather aimless punts upfield that was nodded down by Saliba into the path of Ben White, Casemiro made little attempt to push up quickly. So when White clipped a pass down the line, Kai Havertz was able to occupy a deep position knowing there was no risk of being flagged offside. The defending that followed from United was passive at best, Jonny Evans showing Havertz too much time and space to square the ball for Trossard, who darted into the gap left by Casemiro and from behind the napping Aaron Wan-Bissaka to tap home. Teams cannot hope to be competitive defending this way.

Arsenal, by contrast, know precisely how to defend - and it could still win them the league.

Arsenal beat Man Utd and put title pressure on Man City, as it happened...

07:20 PM BST

Towards the end of the match a biblical storm began

And it once again revealed what a poor state Old Trafford is in...

07:18 PM BST

Erik ten Hag speaks to Sky Sports – ‘We can face our fans after that match’

On the win...

“We can face the fans, on Monday we couldn’t face them.”

On what the difference between the performance today and Monday...

“Attitude, it always starts with the right attitude. We missed seven potential first-team players but we were competitive.”

On Casemiro’s mistake that led to the Arsenal winner...

“A midfielder playing in the position it’s a mistake and has consequences.”

On the fans...

“The fans understand where we are and where the club is. When you have so many injuries then fans understand this. We are united.”

07:04 PM BST

Mikel Arteta speaks to Sky Sports – ‘It’s football there are always possibilities’

On the win...

“We started the game really well, then went into protection mode, we didn’t create the threat we wanted. But we defended so well.”

On an 11th away clean sheet...

“The attitude of the whole team [was great]. It’s a collective thing.”

On whether it’s a case of points being far more important that performance now...

“Yes! We are happy to win but you want to play better. The difficultly today is that it was high stakes. It is hard, there are few margin for error, teams want to make it difficult for you.”

On taking the title battle to the final game of the season...

“Today we wanted to open that door, and hope [the final game] is one of the most beautiful days we’ve had together.”

On whether Spurs can do Arsenal a favour and beat Man City...

“We need that result. It’s football, there are always possibilities.”

06:48 PM BST

Kai Havertz and Leandro Trossard speak to Sky Sports – ‘I am going to be the biggest Tottenham fan ever’

Havertz on the win...

“Very important to play, here is always tough. We prepared well, it wasn’t our best game but we needed the three points and we [got them].”

On the pressure of maintaining their title challenge...

“It feels nice...we have to win every game and it’s nice to be in the title race and to have to play your best to win.”

On Casemiro playing him onside for the winner...

“I looked to my right and saw him on the six-yard line and called to Ben [White] to give me the ball.”

On how he’s going to approach watching Man City vs Spurs on Tuesday...

“I am going to be the biggest fan of Tottenham ever.”

Trossard on the victory...

“We only had one job today and that was winning. We were looking for the second goal, we knew it would be tough here, they are still a good team and can hurt you.”

On the title charge...

“We have done our job today and taken it to the last game. Hopefully we can celebrate something next week.”

On whether Arsenal will win the title...

“You never know.”

06:39 PM BST

Roy Keane on Man Utd

“I bet Arsenal couldn’t believe how bad United were...I think Arsenal will be thinking how lucky they were to play such a poor Manchester United team today.

The end product, the lack of quality, the decision making, people making mistakes and not putting demands on each other.

No one digging each other out for mistakes. That United team out there today, particularly in the last half an hour, were so bad..”

06:37 PM BST

Paul Merson on the win

“I thought [Arsenal] played in second gear, it was too easy for them.”

06:34 PM BST

How the table looks now

06:34 PM BST

No home comforts

06:25 PM BST

FULL-TIME: Manchester United 0 Arsenal 1

Arsenal weren’t at their best but this was all about getting the three points rather than the performance. This win means the title race will go down to the last day.

06:24 PM BST

95 mins: Manchester United 0 Arsenal 1

Havertz is brilliantly tackled by Kambwala only adding the anxiety Arsenal players and fans are doubtless feeling. One minute to go...

06:22 PM BST

94 mins: Manchester United 0 Arsenal 1

Nervy times for Arsenal as Garnacho again cuts inside from the left before hitting a weakish shot that is well wide.

Three minutes for the visitors to hold onto this slim lead.

06:21 PM BST

92 mins: Manchester United 0 Arsenal 1

More thunder above the stadium, it’s now pouring down as Arsenal make two changes - Partey and Odegaard make way for Jorginho and Kiwior.

06:19 PM BST

90 mins: Manchester United 0 Arsenal 1

There are six minutes of added time to play. Can Arsenal hold on?

06:18 PM BST

86 mins: Manchester United 0 Arsenal 1

Half a chance for Arsenal after Odegaard does well on the right. There’s a bit of confusion in the United box but ultimately the visitors are unable to get a shot away.

06:17 PM BST


A huge thunderclap over Old Trafford adds to the sense of ominousness. Arsenal are one careless error away from the skies darkening over their wonderful season.

06:16 PM BST

85 mins: Manchester United 0 Arsenal 1

There’s a rumble of thunder over Old Trafford and the weather is about to turn wild. Arsenal will hope they, however, can remain calm.

Changes for the hosts: Eriksen, Forson and Wheatley come on for Amrabat, Wan-Bissake and Hojlund.

06:13 PM BST

83 mins: Manchester United 0 Arsenal 1

Into the last 10 minutes and I imagine there are some nervous Arsenal fans out there...

06:12 PM BST

81 mins: Manchester United 0 Arsenal 1

Two chances for Arsenal in a matter of seconds. The first come from a corner, Wan-Bissaka flicking towards his own net, before Rice gets the ball from outside the box and lets fly, Onana saving well to his left.

06:10 PM BST

79 mins: Manchester United 0 Arsenal 1

United immediately go up the other end of the pitch with Garnacho, whose shot is deflected for a corner from which the hosts create nothing. Nervous times for the visitors these...

Meanwhile, Saka is down, he hasn’t looked fit since that Amrabat/McTominay challenge. He’s replaced by Jesus.

06:08 PM BST

78 mins: Manchester United 0 Arsenal 1

Martinelli cuts inside from the left as the United defences parts like the Red Sea. That allows him to get in a shot that is well saved by Onana. From the resulting corner Saka puts Amrabat under pressure before Onana claims the ball.

06:06 PM BST

77 mins: Manchester United 0 Arsenal 1

Arsenal lose the ball before McTominay drives forward. The Scot plays in Garnacho who gets the ball onto his left peg before shooting wide of the near post.

How are the nerves Arsenal fans?

06:05 PM BST

Squeaky-bum time

Signs of anxiety are developing for Arsenal. Bukayo Saka, usually a study in calm, did not take kindly to being dispossessed by Sofyan Amrabat, haring back to scythe the Moroccan down and receive a deserved yellow card. A more assured side than United would be punishing the prospective league leaders by now. You sense Mikel Arteta, slapping his hands in anguish each time his players lose the ball, is all too aware of the danger.

06:04 PM BST

73 mins: Manchester United 0 Arsenal 1

United have been the more dominant side since the break, as I typed that Garnacho again skips past his many before his cross is well blocked. That sort of sums up this match for the hosts, who’ve been half decent but lacked the killer ball in the final third.

There’s another change for United as Evans makes way for Kambwala.

06:01 PM BST

70 mins: Manchester United 0 Arsenal 1

Antony makes an instant impression as he wins the ball just inside the Arsenal half before driving at the box and unleashing a timid shot that Raya easily collects. Not bad from the Brazilian but you feel he should have played in a team-mate rather than go for glory.

05:59 PM BST

67 mins: Manchester United 0 Arsenal 1

Corner for Arsenal. They’ve looked dangerous from set-pieces today, can they create something from this? ‘Nope’ the long and short of it as they go short rather than put the ball in the box, which considering how dominant they’ve been at corners is a bit baffling.

Just before the corner Diallo makes way for Antony.

05:55 PM BST

65 mins: Manchester United 0 Arsenal 1

Change for Arsenal: Trossard, the goalscorer, makes way for Martinelli. One assumes that’s to inject a bit more pace into this Arsenal attack.

05:54 PM BST

64 mins: Manchester United 0 Arsenal 1

Chance for Arsenal as Trossard cuts in from the left before playing a square ball for Odegaard. The Norwegian hits a left-footed shot that Onana saves well. That’s more like it from the visitors who have been on the back foot for most of this half.

05:52 PM BST

63 mins: Manchester United 0 Arsenal 1

United are seeing more of the ball but are unable to create much with it. Arsenal are being a bit passive at the moment and are inviting this United pressure.

05:50 PM BST

61 mins: Manchester United 0 Arsenal 1

Garnacho is given the freedom of Manchester as he cuts inside before hitting an ambitious shot that goes well wide, rather than curls into the top corner as was intended. The United fans are now in good voice pleading with their players to get forward. The longer this goes on the more nervous the Arsenal fans will get.

05:49 PM BST

60 mins: Manchester United 0 Arsenal 1

As long as the score stays the same this match is still very much a game on edge. Arsenal fans will doubtless want another goal to calm those nerves.

Saliba has been impressive today
Saliba has been impressive today - AFP/Paul Ellis

05:47 PM BST

58 mins: Manchester United 0 Arsenal 1

Saliba makes a great tackle inside his own box against a rampaging Garncho. It’s brilliant, composed and helps explain why he’s one of the best defenders out there.

05:46 PM BST

57 mins: Manchester United 0 Arsenal 1

Corner for Arsenal and again Saliba wins the ball at the near post, this time, fortunately for the hosts, the ball goes over the bar rather than into a more dangerous area.

05:44 PM BST

55 mins: Manchester United 0 Arsenal 1

Chance for Arsenal as White plays a square ball to Rice whose first-time shot is well blocked by Wan-Bissaka. The visitors have just upped the tempo here and their fans are in loud voice.

05:43 PM BST

53 mins: Manchester United 0 Arsenal 1

Sky have just shown a touch map for Hojlund, it reveals that he’s only had one touch inside the Arsenal box. For all their possession United have lacked a cutting edge in the final third and it’s not hard to see why. To be fair to the Dane, however, he’s living off scraps.

05:39 PM BST

51 mins: Manchester United 0 Arsenal 1

United are having a fair bit of joy on the left. Moments after Dalot does well Garnacho follows suit. The Argentine delivers a good cross from the same flank, alas Hojlund is flat-footed and the chance goes begging.

05:38 PM BST

49 mins: Manchester United 0 Arsenal 1

Dalot has had a good game and he pulls away from Saka on the left before getting in a low ball towards the near post. There’s a slip but eventually Arsenal clear their lines.

05:36 PM BST

47 mins: Manchester United 0 Arsenal 1

Cagey opening to the second half, that won’t bother Arsenal who will be quite happy if the score stays the same.

05:34 PM BST

45 mins: Manchester United 0 Arsenal 1

They’re back under way at Old Trafford, any chance the hosts can get back into this match?

05:20 PM BST

HALF-TIME: Manchester United 0 Arsenal 1

Errors cost United again. For the most part they have played OK in the first 45 minutes but Casemiro’s stroll played Havertz onside and Arsenal made him and the hosts pay.

05:19 PM BST

47 mins: Manchester United 0 Arsenal 1

Diallo has looked United’s best player this half and he plays in Amrabat in the inside-right channel. The Moroccan crosses for Garnacho at the back post and his shot is blocked.

05:16 PM BST

45 mins: Manchester United 0 Arsenal 1

There will be three minutes of added time. Bar that Hojlund attempt early on, there have been few gilt-edged chances for the hosts.

05:15 PM BST

Correct decision not to give United a penalty

Referee Paul Tierney was well positioned to correctly turn down Manchester United’s penalty kick appeals. First view was that he had made the correct call when Amad Diallo tripped and fell after a challenge from Arsenal’s Thomas Partey, and replays confirmed my first opinion.

05:14 PM BST

40 mins: Manchester United 0 Arsenal 1

Garnacho is found on the left by a beautiful diagonal ball by Diallo, the Argentine then takes on his man before whipping a low ball that Raya deals with well.

United have played OK so far, the errors that led to the Arsenal goal apart...

05:10 PM BST

A goal full of errors by United

Just watching Arsenal’s goal back, it’s hard to be competitive playing that way from United. It starts with another aimless Andre Onana punt upfield that William Saliba nods into the path of Ben White but what follows is just risible from United. Casemiro, having wheeled wide to give Onana a short pass option, doesn’t make any real attempt to step up and so Kai Havertz is comfortably played on side when receiving White’s clipped ball down the right. Jonny Evans then shows Harvertz too much time and space. In the end, it’s an easy square pass for the Arsenal forward to Leandro Trossard given the space Evans affords and Casemiro’s failure to reduce the angle by tucking in a little nearer to Onana. Aaron Wan-Bissaka, ball watching as usual, does not seem to have any real awareness of Trossard’s presence as the Arsenal winger zooms in behind him to tap home Havertz’s pass. Absolutely clinical from Arsenal but almost an invitation to score from United.

Trossard celebrates his goal against Man Utd
Trossard made the most of the hosts' dire defending to open the scoring at Old Trafford - Getty Images/Simon Stacpoole

05:07 PM BST

36 mins: Manchester United 0 Arsenal 1

Diallo has looked lively so far and he once again drives into the box before falling under the challenge of Partey. He and the home fans are calling for a penalty but it looks as though he steps on the Arsenal man’s leg rather than any foul on Partey’s part.

05:05 PM BST

34 mins: Manchester United 0 Arsenal 1

The hosts looked a bit ragged in the minutes after the Trossard goal, but have looked more calm in the past five minutes. They’ve had 84 per cent possession during that period and although no chances have been created it will doubtless please Ten Hag.

05:03 PM BST

32 mins: Manchester United 0 Arsenal 1

The new United brains trust of Ratcliffe, Brailsford and Wilcox are shown by Sky cameras in the stand. It will shock none of you to learn that all three of them don’t look too happy.

05:02 PM BST

30 mins: Manchester United 0 Arsenal 1

Garnacho lifts the crowd with a run to the byline on the left, nothing ultimately comes of it but it does provide some respite for the defence.

04:59 PM BST

Gary Neville on Casemiro

“Casemiro has taken some criticism in recent weeks and he’s going to take some more. He goes to split wide, once Onana plays it, he has to get up. He has to get quicker than that. Once he doesn’t, he’s in trouble. Trossard does what every good forward does.”

04:59 PM BST

27 mins: Manchester United 0 Arsenal 1

Since the goal it’s been all Arsenal. White plays a one-two with Saka before putting his foot through it from an acute angle. It’s a decent strike and you get the feeling that the visitors can smell blood at Old Trafford.

04:57 PM BST

Easy as you like

Trossard scores after his good run to the near post.

Trossard scores
Trossard scores

04:56 PM BST

24 mins: Manchester United 0 Arsenal 1

United had looked compact and solid before that goal, Ten Hag looks annoyed on the touchline and it’s not hard to see why. Individual errors have hurt United this season, and that’s another one to add to the long list.

04:51 PM BST


Manchester United 0 Arsenal 1

Trossard opens the scoring for the visitors after good work from Havertz on the right.

Having just praised Casemiro the Brazilian messes up...United play the ball out from the back, but instead of racing out Casemiro dawdles as though he’s got all the time in the world. That means that when Havertz receives the ball he’s onside, the German then gets to the byline before playing a low ball into the danger zone where it is met by Trossard who slots home from all of three yards.

Casemiro got a fair bit of stick on Monday and more will be coming his way after that goal...

04:50 PM BST

19 mins: Manchester United 0 Arsenal 0

Tomiyasu is tackled by Casemiro on the left. The Brazilian has already looked more assured in this match compared to his horror show at Selhurst Park.

04:47 PM BST

17 mins: Manchester United 0 Arsenal 0

United have been so open in past weeks, but today they look a lot more compact. It’s very much even-stevens are the moment.

04:46 PM BST

15 mins: Manchester United 0 Arsenal 0

United attack again, this move ends with Dalot shooting from just outside the box. It’s over the bar but he’s getting into some useful positions and Saka will have to watch him carefully.

04:45 PM BST

13 mins: Manchester United 0 Arsenal 0

Arsenal look threatening when they attack, but as I type that it’s the hosts pouring forward with McTominay trying to find Diallo, an Arsenal leg intervenes for a corner from which United create nothing. Promising signs nonetheless from the hosts.

Saka protects the ball from Diallo
Saka protects the ball from Diallo - Getty Images/Stu Forster

04:42 PM BST

10 mins: Manchester United 0 Arsenal 0

United are settling into this match after Arsenal’s bright start. They’re seeing a fair bit of the ball and passing it around well, however, no chances come from this period of possession.

04:39 PM BST

8 mins: Manchester United 0 Arsenal 0

Another corner for the visitors sees Gabriel’s header go over the bar. That’s two corners for Arsenal and both of them have been poorly defended by United.

04:37 PM BST

6 mins: Manchester United 0 Arsenal 0

That Hojlund chance has lifted United and settled them down. Diallo dances a merry dance in the Arsenal box before linking with Garnacho whose shot is deflected over the bar for the hosts first corner. From that set piece Raya is unable to claim before the visitors clear their lines.

04:35 PM BST

4 mins: Manchester United 0 Arsenal 0

It’s all Arsenal at the moment. They aren’t letting the hosts out and there’s a half chance for Saka that Onana saves with ease. BUT at I type that United are in the final third and Hojlund has a good opportunity to score, alas the Dane slips as he shoots and the ball goes high, wide and not so handsome...

04:33 PM BST

2 mins: Manchester United 0 Arsenal 0

Bright start from the visitors as Saka finds Havertz in the box. The German leaves his marker for dead before dinking in a ball to the back post that is defended well by the hosts. However, the balls goes off the pitch for a corner. Early chance to put United under pressure. From the set-piece Saliba is unchallenged at the near post as the defender gets a flick on. Fortunately for the hosts nothing comes of it, but not a great sign early on for United.

04:30 PM BST

1 min: Manchester United 0 Arsenal 0

They’re under way at Old Trafford. The hosts are in their famous red, Arsenal are in their garish, can-be-seen-from-space yellow number.

There is widespread anticipation at Old Trafford that Manchester United’s injury-ravaged line-up will be lambs to the slaughter against Arsenal. But whenever these predictions have been raised this season, United have tended to respond. It is one quirk of their tormented campaign. In the three games that Liverpool were supposed to obliterate them, they held firm, including with an unforgettable 4-3 FA Cup win in extra time. How they will need to rediscover this wounded pride today.

04:25 PM BST

The teams are in the tunnel

And kick-off is moments away.

04:16 PM BST

Paul Merson is in confident mood

‘If Arsenal start well and score early I think they will run riot today.’

04:12 PM BST

The great and the good

Are out in force at Old Trafford today.

Lord Seb Coe
Lord Seb Coe arrives at the 'Theatre of Dreams', a venue he's in charge of changing - Getty Images/Ash Donelon
LaSir Keir Starmer and Andy Burnham
Labour United: Sir Keir Starmer and Andy Burnham will be part of the crowd today - Getty Images/Ash Donelon
Bryan Robson
The great Bryan Robson graced this fixture a fair few times in the 80s and 90s - Getty Images/Ash Donelon

04:06 PM BST

Are there any crumbs of comfort for Man Utd fans?

According to our very own Jamie Carragher, the answer to that poser is ‘no, not really’. While Mikel Arteta didn’t set the world alight during his first two years in north London there was at least a coherent strategy.

READ: Erik ten Hag and Mikel Arteta’s first two years may look similar, but they are not alike

Ten Hag and Arteta
Ten Hag and Arteta

04:02 PM BST

Warming up

04:00 PM BST

Yorke and Cole

A duo that terrorised defences across Europe in the late 90s, and for me, the best striking partnership of the Premier League era. Ahead of today, the pair spoke of their fear about the current state of Manchester United.

READ: Andy Cole and Dwight Yorke combine again: We used to laugh at Arsenal, now the joke is on Man Utd

While we’re talking about Cole and Yorke here’s a goal I will never tire of watching...

03:44 PM BST

For Arsenal, dull is good

Not what the neutral wants to hear, but here’s Dan Zeqiri’s take on what the north Londoners need to do today to maintain their title challenge.

To adapt Johan Cruyff’s view of Italian opposition, Manchester United cannot beat you but you can lose to them.

READ: Arsenal will beat Manchester United, as long as they make the match as boring as possible

03:41 PM BST

Casemiro stays in the XI

Ten Hag has made three changes to the team that imploded against Palace, with Antony and Christian Eriksen dropping to the bench and the injured Mason Mount replaced by fit again Scott McTominay, who also captains the side. Casemiro was a liability against Palace but, with Lisandro Martinez, Raphael Varane, Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof all injured and Willy Kambwala only fit enough for the bench, the Brazilian may again partner Jonny Evans in central defence unless Ten Hag opts to put McTominay in there.

Arsenal are unchanged for the fourth successive game and know there is simply no margin for error. Fail to beat United and Manchester City can clinch an unprecedented fourth consecutive title by defeating Tottenham in north London on Tuesday night.

03:40 PM BST

‘Stand and fight’

Erik ten Hag is demanding a response from his United players after Monday’s shambolic 4-0 defeat at Crystal Palace. “The performance we produced … was nowhere near good enough for the standards of Manchester United,” the United manager writes in his programme notes. “The display and the result were both unacceptable. When you have a setback like this in football, you only have two choices: you accept this situation and give up or you fight to make things right. Today, as we welcome Mikel Arteta and Arsenal to Old Trafford, we have only once choice: stand and fight.”

03:39 PM BST

Those teams in old-fashioned black and white

MANCHESTER UNITED XI TO FACE ARSENAL: Onana, Dalot, Casemiro, Evans, Wan-Bissaka, Mainoo, Amrabat, Diallo, McTominay, Garnacho, Hojlund. Subs: Bayindir, Eriksen, Antony, Kambwala, Forson, Collyer, Amass, Ogunneye, Wheatley.

Amad Diallo is given his first Premier League start of the season for the hosts and is joined in the starting XI by Sofyan Amrabat and Scott McTominay, who returns from injury. Bruno Fernandes, who returned to training this week after missing the 4-0 defeat by Crystal Palace, is still missing and Mason Mount is also ruled out with injury.

Amad Diallo starts for the hosts today
Amad Diallo starts for the hosts today - Getty Images/Matt McNulty

ARSENAL XI TO FACE MANCHESTER UNITED: Raya, White, Saliba, Gabriel, Tomiyasu, Odegaard, Partey, Rice, Saka, Havertz, Trossard. Subs: Ramsdale, Gabriel Jesus, Smith Rowe, Martinelli, Nketiah, Kiwior, Jorginho, Vieira, Zinchenko.

The visitors name an unchanged line-up for the fourth time in a row. Takehiro Tomiyasu and Bukayo Saka were both fitness doubts in midweek but are fine and start for the title chasers.

Bukayo Saka
Bukayo Saka has overcome an injury worry and will start for Arsenal today - Getty Images/Marc Atkins

03:31 PM BST

Here be Manchester United

03:30 PM BST

Here’s the Arsenal XI

03:27 PM BST

Take our Women’s Sport survey

Still an hour until kick-off, so you’ve got loads of time to settle into your lucky/favourite seat. Before you do, please take five minutes to complete our survey.

03:18 PM BST

Fancy a flutter?

Erik ten Hag’s days look numbered at Old Trafford, while it looks ever more likely that Mikel Arteta will see the fruits of his labour this season. The game has huge implication and you can back your predictions on these best betting sites.

03:10 PM BST

How times change...

Manchester United vs Arsenal is a match that always, whatever the context, excites even the most-hard-to-please neutral. Most of you will fondly remember the days of Fergie vs Wenger, flying pizzas and title-deciders, the days that, for United fans, increasingly seem distant. Today’s clash only accentuates that state of affairs.

The hosts suffered their latest post-Fergie low on Monday night with a 4-0 thrashing at the hands of Crystal Palace. A result that was only beaten by the performance in terms of incompetence and embarrassment. So United come into this match with expectations about as low as they can be. If Arsenal play anywhere near the level they can do, they will win. How often have you been able to say that regards this fixture?

The other bit of context is that the north Londoners need to win to maintain their title charge, anything other than three points today will all but gift the trophy to Manchester City.

So, as per usual, there is a lot riding on the outcome of this fixture, but not in the usual sense for United fans who will be desperate to see their side put in a good performance. Such is the low ebb the club finds itself in that’s all they really ask for today. How times change.

Ahead of the match Erik ten Hag hit out at his many critics saying:  “I think the fans have the patience – you’ve seen it on Monday.

“But when I see some comments, they don’t. And either they don’t have any knowledge about football, or they don’t have any knowledge about managing a football team. It’s possible, or they just are up to it.

“But I think there are many people that see the problems and they are patient.”

The United manager can only hope that his side come out swinging just as hard once the referee starts the match this afternoon.

Stay here for all the team news, build up and action with kick-off set for 4.30.

Broaden your horizons with award-winning British journalism. Try The Telegraph free for 3 months with unlimited access to our award-winning website, exclusive app, money-saving offers and more.