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Mohamed Elneny delight at ‘special’ win as Arsenal end Old Trafford barren run

Arsenal v Chelsea – Pre-Season Friendly – Aviva Stadium
(Image credit: Niall Carson)

Mohamed Elneny was delighted to have helped Arsenal seal a “special” first league win at Manchester United since 2006 as the Gunners laid down a marker at Old Trafford.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s second-half penalty after a stupid Paul Pogba challenge on Hector Bellerin was enough to secure Mikel Arteta’s side a hard-fought, but deserved, 1-0 victory on Sunday.

Arsenal had failed to win any of their previous 13 leagues trips to Old Trafford, where victory ended a 29-game wait for a Premier League win at a fellow big-six rival that stretched back to January 2015.

“It feels really amazing, I feel really happy,” said Elneny, who shone in midfield alongside recent arrival Thomas Partey.

“It is special to win against Manchester United here.

“We know it is a long time since we won here. We gave 100 per cent and everyone worked really hard for it.

“We know how special it is for us today, that’s why we gave everything to win this game.”

Asked if he had worried Arsenal would pay for not taking their first-half opportunities, the Egypt international said: “No, because we spoke and said we have to keep on our game, even if we miss.

“We knew we were going to score because our shape was really good today and everyone just gave 100 per cent.

Mohamed Elneny celebrates with match-winner Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (left) at Old Trafford

Mohamed Elneny celebrates with match-winner Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (left) at Old Trafford (Shaun Botterill/PA)

“We created more chances to score. But we didn’t worry, we knew we were going to win this game.”

It was a timely return to form in the league after defeats to Manchester City and Leicester, just as it was a welcome reappearance on the scoresheet for Aubameyang after five games without a goal in the Premier League.

“The past two games we lost and that’s why we knew today was a very, very important game for us – and that’s why we are really happy,”
Elneny, who has impressed since returning from a season-long loan at Besiktas, added.

“Pierre-Emerick is an amazing player and always helps us to win games. Of course, every team wants a player like him because he makes a difference.”

Arsenal now turn their attention to Thursday’s home Europa League clash with Molde, whose former manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer endured a difficult 100th match in the United dugout.

The Norwegian and his side are under the spotlight after suffering their third Old Trafford loss of the season, with the side failing to win a home league game in their opening four matches for the first time since 1972-73.

United now face a midweek trip to Istanbul Basaksehir in the Champions League before heading to Everton, with Aaron Wan-Bissaka underlining the importance of a response.

“It’s a disappointing result,” the right-back said.

“To come out on the pitch second half and put all that effort in and not to come out with a result.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's Manchester United have been struggling at home

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Manchester United have been struggling at home (Paul Ellis/PA)

“We come out every game with the mentality to win and put in a good performance, but we’ve got to learn from it and put it right in the next game.”

Sunday was certainly a marked drop off from Wednesday’s 5-0 thrashing of RB Leipzig in the Champions League, while the home form contrasts wildly with the fact they have won all five of their away matches so far this term.

“It’s strange we’re winning every game away from home and we can’t get a result at Old Trafford,” Wan-Bissaka told MUTV.

“The performance was different (to Leipzig), but as you could see in the second half, we came out with a different mentality and we wanted to create chances. It’s just about taking them.

“Getting clear chances isn’t easy for both sides. It’s just about making them and taking them.”