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Arsenal defenders perform disappearing trick against Manchester United

Antonio Valencia couldn't believe it when he had no one within five yards of him in the Arsenal box

You’re in the biggest game of the season just keep it tight in the first five minutes.

Arsene Wenger’s pre-match words were probably something along these lines.

Jose Mourinho would have been hoping to get an early breakthrough and then sit back and counter attack at the Emirates.


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How many times have we been here, Arsene?

Getty Images - Getty
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How many times have we been here, Arsene?

The Gunners defence were all too happy to oblige.

A comedy of defensive errors left Antonio Valencia, breaking a record for the most Premier League appearances for a South American, in space in the area to slot past Petr Cech.

It was another case of amateur Arsenal defending.

Cheers Laurent

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Cheers Laurent

Firstly Sead Kolasinac came flying out to reach a Laurent Koscielny danger pass and was easily beaten to the ball by the Ecuadorian.

He played it inside to Paul Pogba who seemed to have a magnet attached to him as four defenders tried to close him down.

Pogba cooly rolled it back to Valencia who, to his surprise, realised the Arsenal backline hadn’t worried about leaving him in acres of space in the area and he fired home.

Pogba with so much time

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Pogba with so much time

Valencia couldn’t believe his luck

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Valencia couldn’t believe his luck

You have to feel for Cech with this defence in front of him

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You have to feel for Cech with this defence in front of him

Easy.

Arsenal never learn – when you’re playing teams with Man United’s quality they will punish mistakes at the back.

After two successive wins against Spurs and Huddersfield the Emirates ultras were beginning to believe a belated title challenge could be on the cards.

Dream on lads.

Twitter reacted predictably…