Somehow Arsenal lost this with 74 per cent of the possession and 100 per cent of the defensive mistakes, but for all their failings they made it a great game just as soon as they had gifted Antonio Valenica and Jesse Lingard a goal apiece in the first 11 minutes. By the end Lingard, in one of the performances of his life, had scored another and Paul Pogba had been dismissed for an atrocious foul on Hector Bellerin.
Yes, this was a game to evoke the days when these two teams divided the league title between them in the most bad-tempered fashion possible. Alexandre Lacazette scored Arsenal’s goal to get them back into it at 2-1 but unfortunately for the home side they ran into David De Gea in the kind of form where his shot-stopping is so exceptional the United goalkeeper almost feels like an unfair advantage.
By the end, referee Andre Marriner seemed to lose the plot a little. He might have sent off Laurent Koscielny for a foul on Romelu Lukaku when the Frenchman was the last defender, and outside the penalty area, but decided not to do so.