A comprehensive victory for Arsenal!
And a good weekend all round.
Solskjaer will have expected Kolasinac to power down the left flank but United were unable to contain him and got stretched too often by attacks on that flank.
Matic and Fred were utterly average in centrefield, so Arsenal dominated that zone too, with Pogba peripheral.
Arsenal scored early when a swerving shot by Xhaka bounced as David De Gea wrong-footed himself by stepping the wrong way at the crucial moment. He wasn’t concentrating.
So Arsenal were 1-0 up in 12 minutes.
That was the flying start that fans always hope for in a big game.
Then Leno saved from Lukaku at 1-0, Koscielny made a great block, then Leno saved from Lukaku again.
Second half, Lacazette mugged Fred who made minimal contact as the Frenchman went down in the box for the softest penalty of the season in 69.
Then Laca miskicked a chance to make it 3-0 when he sent a low shot past the post.
A Rashford header went straight to Leno at the death and Solskjaer’s defeat was soon confirmed by the final whistle.
Unai Emery is a formidable motivator who is proving that his tactics can win games.
Gary Neville noted the Emery tweak that re-balanced the contest in the second half: “They were going punch for punch the first 10 minutes of the second half and you thought ‘it’s like basketball, this’. It was 3 v 3 at one end with Ozil, Lacazette and Aubameyang.
“There was a point when Emery said ‘right, we’re going to concede here’ and he stepped those three back a touch towards the midfield. They became a bit more compact and then they started to counter-attack. It was a subtle switch but allowed the attacking players to do the damage – and they did do the damage.”
The Rennes debacle is ancient history now and the Arsenal will win the second leg comfortably if they play like this and keep eleven men in on the pitch.
Chelsea 1 Wolves 1 was an excellent result for Nuno and for Arsenal.
Fantastic goal by Jimenez as Wolves sliced through the Chelsea defence by demonstrating a Barcelona level of finesse. Is 56 minutes a good moment for counter-attacking visitors to score the first goal of a game at Stamford Bridge?
Well, it almost worked.
Then Eden Hazard saved Chelsea in 92.
Their short corner on the left side was very slick and the Belgian hit the ball so hard that he almost fell over as he saw his shot dip and bounce low inside the far post.
A draw at Stamford Bridge is a fine result by any newly- promoted club in any season.
Liverpool beat Burnley 4-2.
Another two goals by Sadio Mane.
Harry Kane scored first at Southampton but the home team played very well and won 2-1.
Pochettino, harshly banned from the touchline for two games, sat in the directors box and will have hated being up there.
But Poch will have noticed plenty of a lot of things to work on this week. The Spurs defending was shocking and their “midfield” was almost as bad.
Dele Alli came back at last and his return is huge news for Tottenham. He was excellent for 82 before being replaced by Llorente.