Manchester United forgot one of Alex Ferguson's key lessons in losing to Arsenal, says Gary Neville
Neville reckons Arsenal strikeforce made the difference by physically imposing themselves on United's defenders
Arsenal beat Manchester United on Sunday thanks to a key battleground going the Gunners' way that Sir Alex Ferguson always paid particular attention to, according to Gary Neville.
Goals from Granit Xhaka and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang sealed the 2-0 win that involved big performances from the Gabonese striker and partner Alexandre Lacazette. In getting the better of Victor Lindelof and Chris Smalling, the forwards were praised for leading their side from the front.
"They won the game," Neville said of the duo's performance after the match.
"Lacazette and Aubameyang being on the pitch won the game for Arsenal. You point towards that first half an hour, Lacazette and Aubameyang got the better of Smalling and Lindelof.
“I point back to my experience under Sir Alex Ferguson. He used to say: if your centre-halves haven’t got hold of the opposition centre-forwards, you’ve always got a real problem in a game.
“It was a case of which goalkeeper played best and which strikers took their chances, and Arsenal won that."
The defeat counted as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's first in the league since taking over at Manchester United and the manager admitted afterwards that finishing was key to the victory.
"We started slowly, maybe a backlash from Wednesday night, but we created chances and when they get the first goal it becomes a different game," he said.
"We created so many more chances today than when we beat them in the FA Cup. Sometimes it happens, we hit the woodwork twice and had five very big chances ourselves."