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05th Sep 2022

Roy Keane’s debatable pre-match prediction about Arsenal eventually rang true

Patrick McCarry

The former United captain may have been having second thoughts after 60 minutes

Manchester United are up to fifth in the Premier League and now just three points off the lead after they defeated leaders Arsenal 3-1 at Old Trafford.

For Roy Keane, and a few others leaning United’s way, there were some shaky moments.

United went 1-0 up through Antony but were tagged back by Bukayo Saka’s equaliser just before the hour mark. Arsenal were on the front-foot at that stage but Erik ten Hag’s side rallied to score twice through Marcus Rashford and settle the tie.

Ahead of the game, the confidence that Roy Keane had in United’s chances would have been debatable to some, considering how the hosts had lost their opening two league games and the Gunners were five from five and playing with authority.

“I fancy United strongly, I really do. Arsenal have had a brilliant start, but United have recovered well. More of a settled team. They’ve obviously built on the momentum they’ve got from the Liverpool game.”

“I don’t see United losing,” Keane added. “There’s a bit of belief now, they’ve a settled back four, a bit of pace in the side and, most importantly, a bit of hunger there.”

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Roy Keane on Man United’s ‘statement win’

The 3-1 Manchester United victory was “hugely important” to Roy Keane. The Sky Sports pundit commented:

“I think what I like about this team I’ve seen over the last few weeks is the spirit and the personality.

“In the second half on the counter-attack they were excellent and could have scored a few more goals. I think the momentum is coming back to the club, the feel-good factor is there.”

The former United captain praised match-winner Marcus Rashford as ‘a real handful’ and admitted he had been ‘tough on him in the last year or two’. Now that the England international seems to be back on it, Keane said, it made such a difference to United’s attack.

“It’s another big statement,” Keane added. “This is what you want Manchester United to do.

“They beat Liverpool a few weeks ago and we said, ‘Can they back it up’, and that’s what they’ve done. You look at the table now and, all of a sudden, everyone’s feeling better about themselves.

“The transfer market’s over so there’s no hassle about Ronaldo leaving. They’re just getting on with it. It’s very, very good.”

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