As I sit in front of my laptop with a glass of whiskey and a belly filled with butterflies, I honestly can't think of a better way to start the week. We finally broke the jinx of sorts, by winning an away match against the so-called top six for the first time since January of 2015 in this courageous and fiercely contested match.
The game started with both teams feeling each other out but you could tell that Arsenal had more impetus. We edged in ball possession and regularly got the ball into dangerous positions but just lacked that final touch. Despite our forward thrust, the home side was the first to have a shot from Greenwood on target from a narrow angle that was blocked.
After the shot, the game continued in a similar tempo, with Arsenal dictating proceeding and regularly dominating the midfield. I must admit, I'm not one of Elneny's biggest fan but his combination with Thomas Partey in holding midfield today was near perfect.
It was a joy to watch Partey coasting through midfield with the ball in moves that gave me the Yaya Toure vibe. The Ghanaian midfielder was immense in creation and distribution but all that was as a result of Elneny's support. Owing to the fact that both midfielders have a defensive side to their game, the opposition had little joy in midfield, evident in the fact that Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandes spent large spells in their pockets.
The boys at the back were also sensational on a day we needed them the most. In Gabriel, we've signed a sensational young defender that isn't afraid to get stuck in the challenge and generally plays like a seasoned veteran. The Brazillian, along with Holding and Tierney marshalled the backline with aplomb and restricted Leno to only simple saves.
Yet again, the forward line couldn't combine to score but you could tell that Arteta has been working on them. Unlike previous matches against top sides, we looked threatening. The front three of Auba, Willian and Laca combined a couple of times inside the opposition 18-yard box, but alas, the final ball was always found wanting.
On the flanks, we had Saka and Hector running the show. The only goal of the game came from a penalty that Auba tucked away quite nicely. However, the interesting thing about this game was the response from the team after we scored.
You could tell that the boys really wanted this victory and everyone was down with the plan. Mikel Arteta has drilled a never say die mentality into the boys and it was evident in the way we defended after getting ahead. United pushed for the equaliser but never looked like scoring.
Much like the Leicester City game we lost, our defence was largely untroubled for the match but unlike that game, we delivered the sucker punch. It was a joy to watch everyone giving 110% for the cause and if we keep this up, we're going to have a successful season.
We won today but there's no time to rest. The games are coming fast and the manager has to rotate the squad. Extra praise has to go to Mikel for putting this squad together and managing the players well. Until we meet again, up the Arsenal.