Man Utd vs Arsenal was dire and a belated Halloween horror show of fallen giants

If ever a game deserved an empty stadium it was this one.

Matches between Manchester United and Arsenal used to be the fixtures of the season, but these days it isn't even the main one of the afternoon.

In a belated Halloween horror show, these two fallen giants played out a dire contest that was as miserable as the horrendous weather.

Not that this will bother Gunners boss Mikel Arteta, who saw his side secure their first away win at any of the 'Big Six' in 30 attempts, thanks to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's second half penalty.

United, meanwhile, have now failed to win any of their opening four league games at home for the first time in 48 years and made their worst start to a domestic campaign since 1972.

Not really what Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had in mind when it came to marking his 100th game in charge, as the Norwegian continues to oversee a rollercoaster ride of stunning highs and depressing lows.

Solskjaer had recalled Bruno Fernandes and Scott McTominay to midfield, while Marcus Rashford also returned to the starting XI following his stunning hat-trick as a substitute in the 5-0 thrashing of RB Leipzig.

Donny van de Beek, meanwhile, found himself back in familiar territory amongst the replacements.

The Gunners, who were without the injured David Luiz, made 10 changes to the team that beat Dundalk in the Europa League as they looked to improve on a poor run of three defeats in their last four league games.

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Perhaps we shouldn't have hoped for too much, considering this was the first time since 1936 these old rivals had met when they were both in the bottom half of the table.

Yet the visitors started brightly and pinned United deep in their own half.

Arteta's men came within a whisker of going ahead inside 14 minutes, when patient build-up saw Hector Bellerin flash a ball across the face of David De Gea's goal only to evade the sliding Aubameyang.

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United looked lethargic, but a sublime pass from Rashford in behind Rob Holding set up a chance for Mason Greenwood, who saw his angled shot blocked by Bernd Leno.

But it was Arteta's men who looked the most threatening and the marauding Bellerin caused United more problems when he picked out Aubameyang with another fine cross on 38 minutes.

This time Aubameyang squared the ball for Alexandre Lacazette, who completely misskicked.

Moments later the dawdling Victor Lindelof lost possession deep in his own half, but Willian's shot skimmed the crossbar as United continued to live dangerously.

Bellerin was giving United fits and the Spaniard teed up another chance, this time for Bukayo Saka, but the England international failed to hit the target with a free header seven yards out.

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United's midfield diamond looked about as sparkly as a lump of coal and Fred was the next to gift the Gunners a chance when Lacazette robbed him to set-up Aubameyang, but his shot flew agonisingly wide.

Harry Maguire headed just wide as the clash seemed destined to end in a stalemate.

That was until the brainless Paul Pogba lunged into Bellerin on 68 minutes, leaving Mike Dean with no choice but to point to the spot to give Aubameyang the chance to secure his side a deserved win.

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