Luke Shaw conceded Manchester United deserved to lose to Arsenal in dramatic fashion due to their “passive” approach to the second half at Emirates Stadium.
United went down 3-2 to the Premier League leaders on Sunday, dealing a significant blow to their own remote title hopes.
The visitors scored first through Marcus Rashford but trailed early in the second half as Eddie Nketiah’s leveller was followed by a fine Bukayo Saka strike.
Lisandro Martinez’s header got United back on level terms, only for Erik ten Hag’s side to retreat to their own penalty area in a dramatic last stand that saw Nketiah eventually score again to take Arsenal five points clear of Manchester City and 11 ahead of their opponents.
Arsenal had 25 shots to United’s six, with those attempts worth 2.9 expected goals, while United’s shots had a combined value of 0.3 xG.
The Gunners controlled 65.6 per cent of the possession in a second half in which just 15.8 per cent of the action played out in the home side’s third of the field.
For that reason, Shaw had few complaints as he reflected on the defeat on Sky Sports.
“I think in the second half we maybe deserved that,” the left-back said. “We were a bit passive and just let them control the game completely in the second half.
“To concede right at the end is obviously gutting. We know they’re an extremely good side, and we were fighting all the way to that last second.
“In games like this, you need to be concentrated for the full game, because a little lapse in concentration and you’ll concede a goal against a very top side.
Arsenal had 63 touches in the Manchester United box in this match.
— Opta Analyst (@OptaAnalyst) January 22, 2023
“Always coming to Emirates, they start really fast. They had two corners in the first minute. We got through that and started to have a bit more control in the game.
“I felt like we were aggressive and we were winning the ball high up the pitch. The first half went well.
“But the second half we backed off a bit and let them fully have control of the game. They were having chance after chance.
“If it was going to be like that, towards the end of the game they’re always going to get one more chance.”
Nketiah’s winner, which arrived with only 48 seconds of normal time remaining, came from the final shot of the match.
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