MARTIN ODEGAARD went from hero to villain in just 15 minutes as Arsenal endured a frustrating evening at Old Trafford.
Emile Smith Rowe’s beautiful – albeit controversial – volley gave the Gunners an early lead at Old Trafford.
Odegaard’s rush of blood to the head saw Arsenal slip to a 3-2 defat at Man Utd[/caption]
Odegaard scored a beauty to restore parity at Old Trafford just 15 minutes before his foul[/caption]
The race for a top-four spot was very much on – which, given their appalling start to the season was some achievement.
Bruno Fernandes levelled proceedings in the dying embers of the first-half, before Cristiano Ronaldo scored his 800th career goal to nudge the hosts in front.
But a bit of magic from Gabriel Martinelli and Odegaard restored parity just two minutes later.
The ball was played out wide to the Brazilian, who rifled a first-time cut-back straight into the path of Odegaard.
The gifted Norwegian simply stroked the ball home from 16 yards with his weaker right foot.
Old Trafford – with new boss Ralf Rangnick in attendance – was stunned.
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Odegaard – along with Smith Rowe and Martinelli – had looked Arsenal’s biggest threat in the first-half, too.
At one stage, the ex-Real Madrid star seamlessly wriggled his way through three United defenders before laying off to Martinelli, who failed to trouble the scorers.
And after scoring his own goal when Martinelli repaid the favour, Odegaard was Mikel Arteta’s favourite pupil…
…For about 15 minutes.
With 70 minutes on the clock a dangerous ball was played into the area in the direction of Fred.
Odegaard lunged in from behind and got nowhere near the ball, taking out the Brazilian.
There was plenty of defensive coverage for Arsenal, too, so Odegaard’s decision is utterly baffling.
Play was initially waved on, before VAR interjected – awarding what was a blatantly obvious penalty.
Ronaldo thumped the ball high into the net, straight down the middle.
Odegaard’s reaction said it all. As the ball nestled in the back of the net, he jumped and flung his air in frustration.
In just 15 minutes he’d rescued Arsenal and put them on the front foot – before rapidly bringing them crashing back down to earth.
A draw was perhaps the fair result.
But that only makes Odegaard’s rush of blood all the worse.
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