Declan Rice late strike earns Arsenal dramatic Manchester United victory


Despair to joy in the closing stages, this was some turnaround, some way for Arsenal to ignite their season. And some way for Manchester United’s away-day misery to continue.

As the Emirates Stadium bellowed the name of their team, United’s pain knew no bounds.

Alejandro Garnacho thought that he had won it for the visitors, thought he had landed the most perfect of sucker punches. On as a substitute, the winger accelerated on to a Bruno Fernandes pass in the 89th minute to finish past Aaron Ramsdale and into the Arsenal net.

Garnacho had struck late on at Fulham last season to secure Erik ten Hag’s only win in London. It continues to stand as such because of a wild sequence of events that had the Emirates Stadium rocking.

First, the VAR spotted that Garnacho had been fractionally offside when he began his run. On the replay it looked as if Gabriel Magalhães, the last Arsenal defender, had sucked in his stomach as he stepped up in the middle. Then Arsenal stole it.

Did they deserve to win? It was hard to say after a topsy-turvy game in which they were not convincing, their combinations lacking zip and precision. Not that United were any better. But the bulk of those present did not stop to ask the question. They simply let the emotions run over them after Declan Rice, unmarked beyond the far post on a corner in the sixth minute of stoppage-time, took a touch and his shot flicked off the United substitute Jonny Evans to beat André Onana. It was some way for Rice to score his first Arsenal goal after his £105m summer arrival from West Ham. Ten Hag wanted a foul against Evans by Gabriel. It was not there.