Sheffield United 1-0 Arsenal
Lys Mousset scored the only goal of the game as Sheffield United ended Arsenal’s run of five Premier League games without defeat at Bramall Lane.
The Blades boasted two changes to the side that drew 0-0 with Watford at Vicarage Road on October 5 as Ollie McBurnie and Callum Robinson were replaced in attack by Mousset for his first Premier League start alongside David McGoldrick.
Arsenal boss Unai Emery made just the one change to the side that beat Bournemouth 1-0 prior to the international break as Joe Willock replaced Dani Ceballos.
While the Gunners came into the game on a good run of form, the Blades had lost their last three home games in the league.
And, the visitors were unfortunate not to be awarded a penalty in the sixth minute when John Egan clearly pulled the shirt of Sokratis in his own box, but referee Mike Dean missed it and didn’t call on the Video Assistant Referee Andre Marriner for assistance.
Nicolas Pepe should have put Arsenal in front just after the 20-minute mark when Sead Kolasinac’s low cross from the left picked him out in front of goal, but he went for it with his left foot and failed to get any contact on the ball.
However, it was the Blades who got their noses in front on the half-hour when Oliver Norwood’s deep cross from the left was headed back across goal by Jack O’Connell and Mousset was on hand to tap-in from close range.
Arsenal had another shout for a penalty moments later, but Bukayo Saka went down far too easily under a challenge from Egan and the Gunners’ youngster was booked for simulation by Dean.
The visitors pressed for an equaliser in the closing stages of the half and went close in stoppage time when Dean Henderson dived to his left to parry a fierce strike from Granit Xhaka behind for a corner.
From Pepe’s subsequent flag-kick, Xhaka got his head to the ball and watched as it looped just wide of the far post.
Arsenal had the first real opportunity after the break on the hour when half-time substitute Ceballos looked set to score after getting on the end of Saka’s cross in the middle of the box. But Enda Stevens did enough to get a block on the ball and gave Henderson a routine save to make.
Sheffield United responded immediately as Fleck was teed up by John Lundstram down the left of the Gunners’ area, but his drive flashed into the side-netting.
On 67 minutes, Fleck got another sight of goal and his dipping effort squirmed from the grasp of Bernd Leno who then had to react quickly to prevent McGoldrick from tucking away the loose ball.
Pepe had a couple of efforts at the opposite end as his free-kick was fairly comfortably saved by Henderson, before the Ivorian curled a left-foot strike just wide of the far corner on 74 minutes.
Alexandre Lacazette and Gabriel Martinelli were thrown into the action as Arsenal dominated the possession late on, but they couldn’t find a way past a resolute Blades’ defence.
The win for the South Yorkshiremen moves them up to ninth place on 12 points, while Arsenal remain in fifth spot on 15 points.