Manchester United and Arsenal played out a 1-1 draw at Old Trafford to underline the problems facing both sides.
Manchester United and Arsenal used to play out epic contests in which neither side deserved to lose. This time they played out a draw in which neither side deserved to win.
Almost half an hour had passed before either side even managed a shot. The game did open up after that, but it was littered with basic errors and wasted opportunities.
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In the first half, there was the set-piece routine which involved Granit Xhaka scooping a free-kick to Calum Chambers, who then sent his cross straight out of play.
For United, there was another encouraging performance from McTominay. His goal, his first at Old Trafford, came with the help of a slight deflection, and while he should have won it with his late header from Ashley Young's corner, his overall display showed he is growing in stature.
For Arsenal, there was an eye-catching display from Bukayo Saka. The youngster only turned 18 a few weeks ago and this was only the fourth senior start of his career, but he comfortably outshone Nicolas Pepe, the club-record signing on the opposite flank, showing a willingness to run at United's defenders and providing a smart assist for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's equalizer.
It was clear from the way that Arsenal were set up – with Xhaka, Guendouzi and Lucas Torreira in their midfield – that they had come to battle it out … and see what their potent goalscorer Aubameyang produce. He delivered again to become the first Arsenal player since Dennis Bergkamp (in 1997-98) to score as many as seven goals in the first seven league games of the season. With Aubameyang Arsenal always have hope. In fact, he now has 14 in 14 in the league and it was another exceptional finish, even if the circumstances were laced with confusion.
Arsenal were level through the help of VAR as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang lifted deftly over De Gea, played onside by Harry Maguire after Axel Tuanzebe's sloppy pass (58), giving the striker his seventh goal in seven Premier League games this season.
The draw leaves United 10th in the table with their lowest points total of the Premier League era after seven games. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side have only scored more than once in one of their last 15 games in all competitions. Marcus Rashford returned from injury, but they were reliant on a moment of magic from Scott McTominay for their only goal.
The result suits Arsenal better, the point sending them into the top-four on goal difference, but their defensive performance was once again unconvincing and Unai Emery's starting line-up - he opted for Matteo Guendouzi, Granit Xhaka and Lucas Torreira in midfield - felt unadventurous for fans who craved a first win at Old Trafford since 2006.
The future might look bright for Saka and McTominay, but for Solskjaer and Emery, there is plenty of work ahead. The days when Manchester United and Arsenal tussled for titles feel like a very long time ago now.