Scott McTominay on the ball during Manchester United v Arsenal.

United v Arsenal: The main talking points

Manchester United and Arsenal played out a hotly contested 1-1 draw at Old Trafford on Monday night.

The Reds took the lead through Scott McTominay just before half-time in the Premier League encounter, but Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang netted an equaliser in the second period.

As always when these two teams lock horns, there were plenty of talking points after the game and we’ve picked out a few of the major ones…

GOAL-OF-THE-SEASON CONTENDER

McTominay opened the scoring just in the 45th minute with his first goal of the season, and his maiden senior strike at Old Trafford, and it was well worth the wait. After a powerful United counter-attack was kept alive by Marcus Rashford, the ball ended up at the feet of McTominay before the no.39 unleashed a bullet of a shot from around 25 yards. Bernd Leno, in the opposition goal, was left absolutely helpless and the German didn’t even make an attempt to get to the ball, it was struck with such venom. No doubt a candidate for our Goal of the Season at this early stage of the campaign.

VAR MAKES THE DIFFERENCE

VAR might not be for everyone’s liking and it certainly wasn’t for the majority inside the Theatre of Dreams after 59 minutes, when the technology awarded the visitors their only goal of the game. Aubameyang had originally been flagged offside by the officials, but VAR correctly ruled that the former Borussia Dortmund man was onside and, after a short delay, Kevin Friend pointed to the centre circle. It is one of the first times the newly implemented system has had a direct impact on a goal at Old Trafford in the Premier League, in just its fourth time in use at the stadium in the division.

TON-UP FOR PAUL

Paul Pogba made his 100th Premier League appearance on Monday night for the Reds. The Frenchman was a doubt ahead of kick-off but recovered from an ankle knock in time for the clash with the Gunners. Pogba was also instrumental in the Reds’ best period of the game, which came just before the break. He slid an inch-perfect pass to Rashford after 42 minutes and, moments later, began a fast-paced break that ultimately resulted in McTominay putting the ball in the back of the net.

Paul Pogba playing for Manchester United against Arsenal in the Premier League.
Paul Pogba played his 100th game in England's top flight on Monday.

JAMES SHINES AGAIN

Daniel James was one of the Reds stand-out performers and proved to be a constant nuisance for the Arsenal defence with his direct and pacy dribbling. On several occasions, he earned a corner for United and repeatedly got the better of his opponent Calum Chambers. In fact, so dangerous were James’s attacks, Chambers was booked early in the first half for a rough tackle on the Wales international.

Daniel James on the ball during Manchester United v Arsenal.
Daniel James spent the majority of Monday night flying down the left wing.

TUANZEBE FILLS IN AT LEFT-BACK

Ole shocked everyone by selecting Axel Tuanzebe at left-back for the encounter with the Gunners, with captain Ashley Young starting on the other flank. Despite playing in an unnatural position, the defender looked more than comfortable on the left flank and even enjoyed a few skilful touches on the ball. With Luke Shaw currently out, the boss will no doubt have taken heart from such a positive showing from the youngster, even if his stray pass proved costly for Aubameyang's equaliser.

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