Monday 18 December 2017 / 03:55 PM

Five thoughts from Arsenal v Man United

The match of the weekend rather failed to live up to its billing this time around as the Gunners put their visitors from Manchester to the sword, chalking up three points in a scoring spree during the first quarter of the match. Such a one-sided contest was something of a surprise, so let’s take a look at the five talking points from Sunday’s game.

Arsenal have to be considered as title contenders

Whether you think they’re good enough or not, the fact remains that Arsene Wenger’s side must now be treated as title contenders. With Manchester United sitting in the upper reaches of the league before the fixture, many were expecting a close match, but the reality is that it was anything but. A fearsome attacking display inside the first 20 minutes effectively ended the contest, and Arsenal have now shown what they are truly capable of. With Man City looking rather unpredictable and Chelsea experiencing a lamentable start to life as Premier League holders, the Gunners have to be in the mix; especially if they can continue to put in performances like this.

Walcott, Ozil and Sanchez are a trio to be feared

As with many of the best teams, Arsenal owe a lot to their three best offensive players, and Walcott, Ozil and Sanchez have formed a scintillating trio. Walcott’s pace, Ozil’s guile and Sanchez’s power and trickery all combine to produce something that is not only extremely exciting to watch, but is also demonstrably effective. Many will argue that the most fearsome attacking trio in the Premier League is Manchester City’s, but it’s difficult to put these three much lower.

Manchester United have a lot of work to do

After another season of transition last year, and a whole heap of money spent in the summer, it is arguable that United fans are entitled to expect better than performances like this. Yes, Arsenal were good, but they were allowed to be good by some diabolical performances all over the United side. Standoffish, seemingly demotivated and at times cripplingly lazy, van Gaal’s side allowed Arsenal to come at them, and the results were catastrophic.

Whether van Gaal is the man required to bring United back into title-winning form remains to be seen. Their early season results have papered over the cracks once more, but this game outed them as what they truly are – a team in transition with very little hope of winning the Premier League crown.

Memphis Depay needs to start putting some performances in

This might sound a tad harsh, especially as the Dutchman is embarking upon his maiden Premier League season, but the reality is that in English football, Depay’s performances have left a lot to be desired. Off the pace, uninvolved and like a rabbit in the headlights when the ball arrives at his feet, Depay looks average at best, and considering the substantial investment made in him, must know that he needs to buck his ideas up, sharpish, if he wishes to remain in the United side.

Alexis Sanchez is one of the Premier League’s very best

After Sergio Aguero, I believe that Alexis Sanchez is the best player in the Premier League. Similar in style to Aguero, the Chilean has it all, and it is a pleasure to see him play in England. Explosive, powerful, skilful and passionate, Sanchez is one of those players that you can’t help enjoy watching; even whilst he ghosts past your team’s defenders and rifles a goal into the top corner.

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About the author

Seb Greenwood

CBS’s longest-serving contributor, Englishman Seb is our leading football correspondent, pulling no punches with his opinions on the Premier League and the international scene.

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