Fortune favours the brave. Or, maybe, luck evens itself out. Arsenal were rewarded for a bold attacking line-up, with Unai Emery going all in with his creative players for the first time in more than five months, but were still indebted to a fortuitous strike and a dubious penalty call.
Manchester United had gained their own controversial penalty in midweek to knock Paris St-Germain out of the Champions League, but were left feeling aggrieved at the soft award of a penalty by referee Jon Moss just as they were pushing hard for an equaliser. A bit like United goalkeeper David de Gea – for Arsenal’s first goal – Alexandre Lacazette appeared to simply lose his footing.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s kick – a week after missing in the north London derby – took the air out of United and allowed Arsenal to leapfrog them into fourth place, a point behind Tottenham Hotspur. Had Aubameyang scored at Spurs, Arsenal would be two points ahead of their bitterest rivals, but their fans gleefully sang “Tottenham Hotspur, we’re coming for you”.