Arsenal leapfrogged Manchester United into fourth-place in the Premier League after a devastating 2-0 victory in north London.

With the Emirates Stadium lights aglow, the match started with a blistering intensity before Granit Xhaka opened the scoring in the 11th minute with a long-range effort, deceiving David de Gea with a swerving strike that left the Spaniard wrong-footed.

The Gunners doubled their advantage in the second half after Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang made amends for his previous penalty miss against Spurs and coolly converted a spot-kick.

It was an enthralling encounter in the capital, but how did the players rate?

Arsenal

Bernd Leno – 8 – A crowning performance from the German goalkeeper who was quick off his line, dexterous in his saves and commanding of his area.

Sokratis Papastathopoulos – 8 – Apart from a mistimed challenge on Pogba in the first half, the Greek bulwark was a brick wall, standing up to the physical battle against Romelu Lukaku exceptionally well, while providing Leno expert protection.

Laurent Koscielny – 8 – Formed a formidable centre-back trident with Nacho Monreal and Sokratis, stifling the attacking threat of United and keeping them at bay – a resilient performance.

Nacho Monreal – 7 – After his underwhelming midweek exploits against Rennes, the Spaniard bounced back with a strong defensive display, driving his side forward when the ball was played out by Leno, while standing up to the danger of United’s attack.

Ainsley Maitland-Niles – 8 – Still honing his craft, the young versatile defender was a portrait of composure when his side came under pressure, standing up to the challenge of Marcus Rashford, and later Anthony Martial, with maturity above his years.

Sead Kolasinac – 8 – A sensational display from the adventurous full-back who never hesitated from driving his side forward and running at Ashley Young, the Bosnian was one of the main fulcrums of Arsenal’s tenacious and disciplined display this afternoon.

Aaron Ramsey – 7 – A solid performance from the Welshman, Ramsey played with his heart on his sleeve, incredibly making more successful tackles than any player on the pitch – showing he possesses so much more than just technical brilliance.

Granit Xhaka – 7 – Scored the decisive opening goal in perhaps fortuitous circumstances, but held his own in midfield after that, combining well with Ramsey while keeping his nerve in the middle of the park.

Mesut Ozil – 6 – A better performance from the Arsenal playmaker, who didn’t exactly set the match on fire but played a solid role in the final third, linking up with his attacking teammates well, without producing anything overly spectacular.

Alexandre Lacazette – 7 – A willing runner, Lacazette’s movement was brilliant this afternoon, causing a number of problems for the United defence, while ultimately winning the penalty that sealed the match for his side.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – 7 – Formed a strong partnership with Lacazette, with the Gunners strikeforce giving Chris Smalling and Victor Lindelof plenty of food for thought. The Gabon international took his penalty expertly given the pressurised circumstances.

Substitutes: 

Alex Iwobi (for Ozil 77) – 6 – Brought a vibrancy to his side when they needed it in the closing stages.

Denis Suarez (for Aubameyang 80) – N/A – Showed some neat touches and intensity but did not have enough time to showcase his worth.

Eddie Nketiah (for Lacazette 87) – N/A – Came on in the final few minutes.

Man Utd

David De Gea – 4 – Produced an absolute clanger for Xhaka’s opening goal, which immediately put the pressure on his side, and he failed to keep out a penalty from Aubameyang later on.

Ashley Young – 6 – One of United’s better players, the seasoned full-back was dogged in the challenge and never shied away from getting forward in his typical fashion.

Chris Smalling – 6 – A tentative display from the England international who failed to provide De Gea to requisite protection, though he was the better of the two centre-backs in United’s defence.

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Victor Lindelof – 5 – A very hesitant showing from the Swede who seemed to evoke memories of his early United form this season, often looking shaky and lacking composure.

Diogo Dalot – 6 – Playing unnaturally on the wing, Dalot occupied the byline well, getting forward with energy and delivering a number of teasing crosses.

Fred – 5 – The Brazilian had a mixed evening, often looking brilliant at times with crunching tackles and relentless pressing, but, there were simply too many rash moments, not least conceding a penalty.

Nemanja Matic – 5 – A tepid performance from the seasoned anchorman who lacked the pace and energy of that brilliant United triumvirate in Paris last week. The Serb had a few flurries of defensive decency but was largely disappointing.

Luke Shaw – 7 – Another strong performance from the left-back despite the end result, Shaw is continuing to shine in this United side and proving why he is in contention for the Player of the Season award.

Paul Pogba – 6 – With added rest, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer would have been hoping for an authoritative performance from the Frenchman, unfortunately Pogba failed to really stamp his mark on the occasion, apart from one or two sensational cross-field passes.

Romelu Lukaku – 7 – A strong No.9 display from the mountainous Belgian who picked up where he left off in Paris, in terms of performance. Despite a strong showing, he should have scored at least two this afternoon, which ultimately cost his side.

Marcus Rashford – 6 – The England forward demonstrated moments of brilliance but also moments of hot-headedness – this was not his finest 90 minutes as he failed to truly challenge Leno between the sticks.

Substitutes:

Anthony Martial (for Dalot 71) – 6 – Injected energy and a fresh impetus but failed to really leave a lasting impression.

Mason Greenwood (for Matic 80) – N/A – Came on for the closing stages but had few moments to impress.

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