New Manchester United interim manager Ralf Rangnick will be in the stands for the Premier League home game against Arsenal (caretaker Michael Carrick will be on the sideline), but it would make life a lot easier for him if the Red Devils can beat a direct competitor for a spot in the Premier League’s top four, which will guarantee a Champions League berth at season’s end.
After receiving his work permit, Rangnick will officially take over on Sunday, Dec. 5 against Crystal Palace. But it would take some of the pressure off if Man United (10th, 18 points) can cut down the gap with 5th-place Arsenal (23 points) to just two points. They’ve been heading in opposite directions of late with Arsenal winning seven of its last 10 Premier League matches, while Man United have just one win in its last eight.
Any positive results help buy time for the Red Devils’ new 63-year-old German manager who will definitely need it to implement his “rock-and-roll” football philosophy based on intense, coordinated pressing. A win for Arsenal would similarly prove a massive boost for the Gunners’ rebuild led by manager Mikel Arteta.
MORE: Ronaldo warned of changes under Rangnick
With Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City jumping out to a significant lead in the Premier League standings, that only leaves fourth place for the other top clubs vying to qualify for next season’s Champions League. Arsenal and Manchester United, both contenders for that berth, will have plenty of competition from others, and every direct showdown carries added significance.
Sporting News will be following the match live and providing score updates, commentary and highlights as they’re available.
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Manchester United vs. Arsenal live score
ARS — Emile Smith Rowe — 17th min.
MANU — Bruno Fernandes (Fred) — 44th min.
(All times Eastern)
Halftime Manchester United 1, Arsenal 1
47th min.: Penalty Arsenal? Replays seem to show Takehiro Tomiyasu pulled down in the box by Harry Maguire. Tomiyasu is beside himself, but no penalty given.
Maguire clearly pulls Tomiyasu back but no penalty given. The VAR official was probably scared to give Arsenal a second decision in their favor.
— AJ (@UFGoonerAJ) December 2, 2021
46th min.: CAUTION – Scott McTominay with the late, reckless foul on Thomas Partey and Martin Atkinson has no choice.
44th min.: Bruno Fernandes equalizes! Jadon Sancho feeds Fred in the box and he cuts it back to Fernandes who touches it home. Well taken. 1-1.
35th min.: Man United fans want a penalty kick, but Ben White put in a great tackle in the Arsenal box.
32nd min.: There’s a second ball change happening in this first half. Apparently not enough pressure in the ball and another ball is replaced.
19th min.: Man United’s response is a solo effort and shot by Ronaldo. But it’s easy for Arsenal goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale.
#mufc have conceded nine consecutive Premier League goals at Old Trafford without scoring themselves in between, their longest home league run of goals conceded without reply since November 1961 [ @OptaJoe ]
— United Zone (@ManUnitedZone_) December 2, 2021
14th min.: Goal? Emile Smith Rowe took the shot, but David De Gea was writhing on the ground with his back turned to play. The referee assumed that De Gea was fouled, but replays showed it was his teammate Fred who nicked De Gea’s ankle. The goal was wide open for Smith Rowe to score. And after the VAR looks at it, the goal is given!
13th min.: Arsenal corner kick after a deflected shot and it finishes in the goal, but referee Martin Atkinson doesn’t allow it.
11th min.: Another shot on goal for the home team. Fred wins the ball in midfield and Cristiano Ronaldo goes straight to goal. It wasn’t a convincing shot.
8th min.: Diogo Dalot with the first shot on goal for Man United. It came from distance, but it’s the most decisive move by United. It’s been tentative until that shot.
2nd min.: Three straight corner kicks to start the match for Arsenal.
1st min.: We’re off. And Arsenal with a shot in the box after just 35 seconds. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s shot is blocked by Harry Maguire for a corner. Not a great start for United.
3:14 p.m.: Fans love Ole:
3:13 p.m.: Teams are on the field. Rangnick is in the stands. All set to go at Old Trafford:
3:10 p.m.: This is extreme. But it tells you how fans are feeling about this game.
Biggest game of the season today. Man Utd vs Arsenal 2021.
If Arsenal win we come top 4, complete our rebuild and reestablish ourselves as a Champions League global club.
If Arsenal lose, we don’t see CL football for another 5 years.
Come back to this tweet in the future.
— The Arsenal Scout (@thearsenalscout) December 2, 2021
2:57 p.m.: A strong message from the Man United fans:
2:45 p.m.: He’ll be in his parka on the sideline in a bit:
Freezing cold up here, but Tierney obviously only player from either side warming up in shorts and t-shirts with socks rolled down.
— Simon Collings (@sr_collings) December 2, 2021
2:41 p.m.: Can you imagine the uproar if Ronaldo weren’t starting?
2:10 p.m.: You can be sure the camera will be locked on Rangnick all game:
Manchester United vs. Arsenal lineups
Captain Harry Maguire is available after serving a one-game suspension, though fellow center back Raphael Varane is not yet ready to return. Fellow defensive starter, left back Luke Shaw , is still a doubt after the head injury sustained three matches ago.
Right back Aaron Wan-Bissaka is the surprise exclusion from the matchday squad and Nemanja Matic is also out. Both started on Sunday against Chelsea. Paul Pogba is a long-term injury absence.
Manchester United starting lineup (4-3-3, left to right): 1-David de Gea-GK — 27-Alex Telles, 5-Harry Maguire, 2-Victor Lindelof, 20-Diogo Dalot — 17-Fred, 39-Scott McTominay, 18-Bruno Fernandes — 10-Marcus Rashford, 7-Cristiano Ronaldo, 25-Jadon Sancho
Manchester United subs (9): 26-Dean Henderson-GK, 4-Phil Jones, 3-Eric Bailly, 14-Jesse Lingard, 8-Juan Mata, 34-Donny van de Beek, 11-Mason Greenwood, 9-Anthony Martial, 16-Amad Diallo
The only real injury concern for the Gunners was right winger Bukayo Saka , who was forced to come out of last weekend’s win over Newcastle. He will start on the bench with Gabriel Martinelli taking his place in the XI. Mohamed El Neny also gets a turn in central midfield over Albert Sambi Lokonga . Granit Xhaka (knee) and Sead Kolasinac (ankle) are the long-term injury absences. Backup ‘keeper Bernd Leno is out with a tight groin, according to the club.
Arsenal starting lineup (4-2-3-1, left to right): 32-Aaron Ramsdale-GK — 20-Nuno Tavares, 6-Gabriel, 4-Ben White, 18-Takehiro Tomiyasu — 5-Thomas Partey, 25-Mohamed Elneny — 10-Emile Smith Rowe, 8-Martin Odegaard, 35-Gabriel Martinelli — 14-Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
Arsenal subs (9): 33-Arthur Okonwo-GK, 3-Kieran Tierney, 16-Rob Holding, 23-Albert Sambi Lokonga, 15-Ainsley Maitland-Niles, 9-Alexandre Lacazette, 19-Nicholas Pepe, 7-Bukayo Saka, 30-Eddie Nketiah
MORE: How Mikel Arteta has transformed Arsenal
How to watch Manchester United vs. Arsenal
- Date: Thursday, Dec. 2
- Time: 3:15 p.m. ET
- TV Channels: None
- Streaming: Peacock
The match is only available in the USA on NBC’s streaming platform Peacock.
In Canada, the Premier League is available exclusively, live and on-demand, on DAZN . And DAZN offers new customers a 30-day free trial period.