Mikel Arteta claimed his first victory as Arsenal’s head coach against Manchester United on Wednesday night.
Exceptional first-half performance coupled with two brilliant goals was all the Spaniard needed to hand Manchester United a disappointing defeat.
Arteta has presided over three matches, he started his reign with a 1-1 draw against Bournemouth, followed by a defeat to Chelsea, and a victory over United at the Emirates today has moved Arsenal from 13th position with four points out of relegation zone to 10th on the Premier League Table.
Nicolas Pepe gave Arsenal the lead in the 8th minute of the game with a first-time finish after Sead Kolasinac and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang had cut Manchester United open down the left.
Kolasinac made a storming run from left-back and stayed onside to receive a return pass from captain Aubameyang before cutting the ball back for Pepe to finish.
The game became tensed with Arsenal gunning for the second goal owing to the way they lost their previous match against Chelsea after dominating play and Pepe’s impact became vital once again.
Pepe provided an excellent corner delivery, Lacazette’s flicked header was pushed out by David de Gea, and Sokratis was on hand to volley into the roof of the net in the 42nd minute to make it 2-0.
Arsenal struggled after the break but held on, while United probed for a goal that would bring them back into the game.
But they never got it, thanks largely to a gutsy rearguard action that was epitomised by the tigerish Lucas Torreira in front of the defence.
Speaking after the game, Luiz said: “I think it was great. We did a great first-half and we were a mature team in the second.
“Physically we are not ready. When you are physically not there you have to show heart.
“We are trying to change things but you can’t go from zero to 10 in one day. It’s great to see how committed the kids are.
“Mikel is a great coach. I think he can improve every single player. In life, when you are happy, results can be a lot different.”
Sokratis also said: “We have to start again. We have a lot of space to improve. Second half we did not play like the first half but I think every game is better. The fans are back and I hope the new year brings the best.
“We are not ready to fight for 90 minutes and this second half again today we were struggling but every player likes the way we play.”