Jose Mourinho may have laughed off his first competitive loss to Arsene Wenger, but there’s no doubt defeat at the hands of his old enemy will have infuriated the Portuguese.
Manchester United started well at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday but became more pinned back as the game went on and were eventually punished by two goals in the space of ten minutes from former Red Devil Danny Welbeck and summer signing Granit Xhaka.
It wasn’t a particularly positive performance from the Red Devils, who managed to test Petr Cech just four times and struggled to get into the game after the interval. But if there was one silver lining, it came in the form of an impressive Premier League debut from defender Axel Tuanzebe.
On the day, he was arguably United’s best performer, registering the most tackles and second most interceptions of any player on the pitch, and it’s incredibly telling of the right-back’s impact that Alexis Sanchez endured an incredibly quiet afternoon by his usual standards; he had just two efforts at goal, created only one chance and completed a mere two dribbles, whilst both of Arsenal’s goals came from the other side of the pitch.
Perhaps more impressively for a defender so young, especially in a game against high-quality opposition and a high-quality player in Sanchez, he committed only one foul, recorded zero unsuccessful touches and wasn’t dispossessed once, showing his composure and temperament.
It was an impressive debut from the 19-year-old at No.2 and he already looks like the perfect Mourinho defender – quick and powerful with a strong natural leap. His future could well reside in the centre of defence but what matters most is that Tuanzebe didn’t look out of place away from home against the sixth-best side in the Premier League.
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