Neville pinpoints ‘strange’ Arteta decision which cost Arsenal against Manchester United

Gary Neville thinks one decision from Mikel Arteta cost Arsenal in their 3-1 defeat against Man Utd on Sunday.

Bukayo Saka got a deserved equaliser in the 60th minute to cancel out a debut goal from Antony but Marcus Rashford hit Arsenal on the break twice to kill the game in United’s favour.

Arteta decided to introduce Emile Smith Rowe, Eddie Nketiah and Fabio Vieira for Martin Odegaard, Oleksandr Zinchenko and Sambi Lokonga when Man Utd went 2-1 up but Neville thinks those changes cost them a chance of getting back into the match.

Arsenal are mentally weak and naive – they lost the plot as always at Old Trafford

Neville said on Sky Sports: “They’ve been fantastic for 70 minutes but a bit of immaturity in the last 20 minutes.

“I think the substitutions, the three changes, I thought was strange because I thought it’s a bit of a kitchen sink job whereby you could go and get done on the counter-attack which they did.

“I don’t think they needed to do that at that point in the game there was still 20 minutes to go, they were playing really well.

“They were creating chances and Manchester United’s goal on the counter was against the run of play.

“All of a sudden it was a game that was made easier for Manchester United than Arsenal with those subs.

“It might be a strange thing to say when they’re on the back of a 3-1 beating but I feel more confident in Arsenal’s top four chances after today than I do in the four or five games before.

“They’ve been really good and they’ll get the other part of their game right more often than not.”

Rio Ferdinand has has defended William Saliba for his role in Man Utd’s first goal and instead put the blame at the door of Arsenal summer signing Zinchenko.

“The ball got played forward and Gabriel jumps out, that’s the first mistake. He goes to ground which leaves them all at sea at the back, they’re all over the place,” Ferdinand said on his Vibe with Five YouTube channel.

“I don’t think Saliba was too far off in his position with Rashford. As a defender he’s saying to Rashford you’ve gotta beat me then score. The biggest mistake for me personally was that Zinchenko doesn’t come in and get the ball and clamp Rashford. If you’re going to come all the way in he has to win the ball.

“I would have preferred the left back to say if he beats me i’ll cover you. If I was Saliba, I’d have been happy with what I’d done but I’d have been unhappy with that Zinchenko did.”


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