Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech suggested that yesterday was the perfect scenario for Manchester United ahead of their meeting at Old Trafford - which United ended up winning 3-2.
Cech said Louis van Gaal's side had nothing to lose ahead of the game after United dealt a huge blow to Arsenal's title hopes.
The Gunners' keeper is quoted in the London Evening Standard, saying: “It was the perfect game for them because they had nothing to lose. They had a very good win in midweek so everybody was ready for the game. We knew it was going to be difficult but no matter what opposition you play, you are going to be punished.
“Man Utd away is still a big game [despite their injuries]. They fight to enter the top four.”
Given the injuries to the side, one can see where Cech was coming from and it perhaps gave United that degree more freedom with the impressive Marcus Rashford scoring twice on his Premier League debut - building on the brace he bagged in the Europa League in midweek in the process.
Arsenal, as a result, have now slipped to five points off the pace in the Premier League title race and now face a pivotal week if they are to get back in the mix when they face Swansea City on Wednesday at the Emirates Stadium before making the short trip to White Hart Lane for the North London derby against Tottenham - which now looks as if it could be pivotal in deciding the destination of this season's Premier League title.
He added: “It is a step back but we can still make up for this. We have two important games coming up this week and if we managed to win both, the table might look different again.
“We still have a chance so we will go for it until the last minute. Obviously this was a big disappointment for us and is a step back after last week when we managed to overcome a deficit against Leicester at home. We need to keep working.”
Arsenal need to bounce back with two wins in order to really put themselves in the mix again and generate some momentum, and hold that of one of their title rivals in the process. It is certainly a pivotal period for the club if they are to end their 12-year wait for the title.