Arsenal keeper Bernd Leno also produced two crucial saves to keep out Lukaku, before Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang doubled the hosts’ lead from the penalty spot after Fred’s foul on Alexandre Lacazette.Soon after Arsenal’s second goal, a fan ran on to the pitch and shoved United defender Chris Smalling before being removed by stewards.The Gunners have won seven out of 10 top-flight games in 2019 and are one point behind north London rivals Tottenham, who sit third in the table, with eight games remaining.United, who started the weekend in fourth, drop to fifth in the race for a Champions League spot next season.“Tottenham Hotspur, we’re coming for you” chants filled Emirates Stadium at the final whistle as Arsenal fans celebrated a crucial win.Last weekend, Aubameyang left Wembley dejected after his last-minute penalty was saved by Spurs keeper Hugo Lloris to deny Arsenal victory in the North London derby.Against United, he stepped forward and beat De Gea from the spot to seal a first victory over United in six league and cup meetings.It was awarded after Fred’s forearm nudged into Lacazette, sending the French forward tumbling inside the box.Lacazette inspired one of Arsenal’s finest days under Unai Emery’s command.The Gunners were sharp, lively and industrious as they made amends after United eliminated them from the FA Cup six weeks ago.Emery named six players who started Thursday’s Europa League defeat by Rennes in his starting line-up, but there was little sign of fatigue as the hosts came flying out of traps.They opened the scoring with their only shot on target in the first half, Xhaka deceiving De Gea with a shot that left the United keeper rooted to his line.Leno was also key for Gunners.The German did well to frustrate Lukaku as the Belgium forward threatened to go around and equalise, before denying the same player with an outstretched leg after half-time.Arsenal have now played all their Champions League chasing rivals – a place in Europe’s most prestigious competition next season is very much in their own hands.United have got used to winning under Solskjaer and it will be interesting to see how they respond to a first domestic setback under the Norwegian.After their incredible midweek exploits against Paris St-Germain, they started slowly – although Lukaku will wonder how he did not score from United’s first serious attack.The visitors paid the price when they conceded their earliest league goal under Solskjaer and, despite creating chances, were not clinical enough in the final third.Paul Pogba was disappointing on his return to the side but he was by no means United’s only player who struggled to reach their recent heights.This was only United’s second defeat in 18 league and cup games under Solskjaer.A place in the top four remains in their sight, although they will need to produce an immediate reaction when they return to league action after the international break.Arsenal will attempt to overturn a 3-1 deficit when they entertain Ligue 1 side Rennes in the Europa League last-16 on Thursday while United are in FA Cup quarter-final action next Saturday at Wolves .Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram Ole Gunnar Solskjaer suffered his first Premier League defeat since being appointed Manchester United’s interim manager as Arsenal leapfrogged their opponents to move into the top four.Switzerland midfielder Granit Xhaka beat David de Gea with a swerving shot from outside the penalty area, which the United keeper was expected to stop.Romelu Lukaku hit the bar while the game was goalless, when it appeared easier to score, and Brazilian midfielder Fred struck a post for United.
Published on March 24, 2016 at 12:26 am Related Stories How Dajuan Coleman can provide an added bonus for SyracuseBlum: Syracuse playing rest of NCAA Tournament on borrowed timeWhy Tyler Roberson can be a consistently dominant rebounder for SyracuseSyracuse basketball opponent preview: What to know about GonzagaSyracuse basketball roundtable: How to handle Gonzaga’s threats and how SU can improve No. 10 seed Syracuse (21-13, 9-9 Atlantic Coast) takes on No. 11 seed Gonzaga (28-7, 15-3 West Coast) in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament on Friday night at 9:40 p.m. in Chicago. The Orange is coming off back-to-back wins over Dayton and Middle Tennessee State this past weekend to keep its season alive.Here’s how beat writers Sam Blum, Jesse Dougherty and Matt Schneidman predict the matchup to unfold.Sam Blum (21-13)Gonzaga 68, Syracuse 65Tried your bestSyracuse’s season will always be remembered for the Sweet 16 run. Or maybe it will be for Boeheim’s suspension. Or maybe even how close the Orange came from beating Gonzaga. This has been an eventful five months for SU. We’ll never forget it. Unfortunately, the ride that was meets its demise when Syracuse can’t beat the red hot Bulldogs. The Windy City will blow the Orange all the way back to campus as a crazy year ends with a loss.Jesse Dougherty (22-12)Syracuse 64, Gonzaga 60Hard to guardAdvertisementThis is placeholder textIt’s arguable that Gonzaga’s defense has been nearly as impressive as the Syracuse zone so far in this Tournament, and both teams will go up against the most diverse offense they’ve seen on Friday. With that, this comes down to the two offenses even if the final score doesn’t indicate a shootout. Wiltjer, Sabonis and the Bulldogs’ cast of slashers gives the zone fits in flashes, but it’s the Orange’s big slashing shooters — Michael Gbinije and Malachi Richardson — that steal the show and a chance to play for the Final Four in Houston.Matt Schneidman (25-9)Gonzaga 71, Syracuse 64BittersweetThe 2-3 zone has been unsolvable for Dayton and Middle Tennessee State, but unfortunately for the Orange Gonzaga has two players tailor-made to solve it. Six-foot-10 Kyle Wiltjer and 6-foot-11 Damontas Sabonis are two of the best perimeter big men in the country and they will find the cracks and crevices in the zone to exploit the Orange down low, from the free-throw line and at the short corner. This time Syracuse in unable to pull away from a team in the second half to continue its unlikely tear through the Big Dance, and the Bulldogs leave Syracuse with a bittersweet taste in its mouth. Comments Facebook Twitter Google+