Patched-up Man United recovers to draw 2-2 with Arsenal
MANCHESTER, England (AP) — Manchester United’s patched-up side twice came from behind to draw 2-2 with Arsenal in the Premier League on Wednesday after Jose Mourinho made a statement by dropping Paul Pogba.
Mourinho made seven changes to his United team, including demoting Pogba to the bench, and had to rely on some players who were struggling for full fitness amid injury problems in his squad.
United had to twice respond to conceding bizarre goals. Shkodran Mustafi put fifth-place Arsenal ahead with a header that was fumbled over the line by United goalkeeper David De Gea, while an own goal by Marcos Rojo allowed the visitors to lead 2-1 later in the game.
Arsenal was 1-0 up for four minutes at Old Trafford. Anthony Martial, who later went off injured, grabbed United’s first equalizer and Jesse Lingard earned United a point by scoring 75 seconds after his team went behind for the second time.
British boxer Tyson Fury, who drew his world heavyweight title bout with Deontay Wilder on Saturday, was in the crowd for a match regarded as among the biggest in English soccer.
Both teams showed lots of fight in a frantic and often feisty encounter which saw Unai Emery’s Arsenal rack up a 20th unbeaten game in all competitions.
United is now 18 points behind first-place Manchester City and, perhaps more significantly, eight points off the Champions League qualification places.
“As always we made mistakes and we paid for the mistakes,” Mourinho said. “Today was more of the same, but with great spirit and people ready to have a go and fight hard.”
It was the first United-Arsenal game since 1986 that didn’t have either United manager Alex Ferguson or ex-Arsenal coach Arsene Wenger in the dugout. Ferguson was in the stands, however.
Arsenal hasn’t won at Old Trafford in the league since 2006.