MANCHESTER, Oct 1: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang�s second-half strike, awarded by VAR, denied Manchester United a much-needed win to kickstart their season as Arsenal emerged from Old Trafford with a 1-1 draw.
Scott McTominay�s stunning strike to give United the lead was a rare moment of quality in a poor first-half on Monday.
However, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer�s men could not hold out for all three points as Aubameyang�s goal just before the hour mark was allowed to stand despite the Gabon international being initially flagged offside.
United have now won just two of their last 12 Premier League games dating back to last season and sit 12 points adrift of leaders Liverpool just seven games into the campaign.
A point is enough to edge Arsenal back into the top four on goal difference and maintain their three-point advantage over United, who move up to 10th.
For many years the clashes between these sides were the Premier League�s marquee fixtures. United and Arsenal were the champions of England for nine consecutive seasons between 1996 and 2004.
However, the fact they were facing off on a Monday night because neither are in Champions League action later this week was reflected in the first 45 minutes which was devoid of quality.
It took 28 minutes for either goalkeeper to be tested as Arsenal�s Bernd Leno saved well low to his left to deny Andreas Pereira after a solo run.
United have not scored more than one goal in any match since the opening day of the season and, even against an Arsenal defence that had conceded nine goals in their last four league games, looked toothless when not afforded space to counter-attack into.
Arsenal, though, played right into the hosts hands in the final five minutes of the first-half.
Firstly, Marcus Rashford wasted a huge chance when played in behind by Paul Pogba�s through ball with the Gunners furiously protesting for a free-kick against the Frenchman as he dispossessed Matteo Guendouzi.
Arsenal then had the chance to strike on the counter-attack themselves as from a United corner the visitors burst forward through Bukayo Saka and after his effort was palmed away by David de Gea, the Spaniard got back in position to block Guendouzi�s follow-up effort.
But from the resulting corner, it was United who took the lead.
Daniel James led the counter from one end of the field to the other and after his cross just evaded Rashford, the England international cut the ball back to the edge of the box where McTominay smashed into the top corner.
That was the first United had scored a goal from open play at home in the first-half this season. � AFP