Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Manchester United passed another difficult test in North London tonight.
Despite their run of wins, a tie at Wembley versus Tottenham earlier this month was heralded as their first true test. They came through that with a victory, and did likewise tonight in the red half of North London.
Romelu Lukaku was back in the starting line-up, though he led the line alongside Alexis Sanchez.
The slight change in position, playing on the right, provided the Belgian with an opportunity to influence a game in a way he hasn’t done for a while.
He set up the two first half goals for the visitors, with Alexis Sanchez and Jesse Lingard striking in the space of three minutes just after the half-hour mark.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang got one back for the hosts right before the half-time whistle, but in truth they struggled to challenge stand-in Sergio Romero between the United sticks.
Alexandre Lacazette’s shot and Aaron Ramsey’s header were their only real chances to equalise, and a disciplined United with Eric Bailly and Victor Lindelof in central defence were full value for the win.
Arsenal lost all hope when Anthony Martial pounced on the rebound from a booming Paul Pogba run starting from his own half.
To compound the Gunners’ misery, Laurent Koscielny was forced off with an injury, adding to Unai Emery’s defensive woes, with Hector Bellerin recently ruled out for up to nine months.
Both Arsenal and United are back in action on Tuesday, facing Cardiff City and Burnley respectively.