Erik ten Hag’s Red Devils ran out 2-0 winners at MetLife Stadium thanks to first-half goals from Bruno Fernandes and Jadon Sancho. It brought to an end Arsenal’s three-game unbeaten run in pre-season, while United continued their 100% start following victories over Leeds and Lyon.
As for the Gunners, they weren’t able to gel as a team in the first-half, with Rice, Kai Havertz and Martin Odegaard starting in a midfield-three. The trio lasted until the 59th minute before Arteta made a triple change as Rice made way for Thomas Partey, who has been linked with a move to Saudi Arabia.
When asked about his side’s starting midfield, Arteta hinted that he will stick with the trio despite not impressing against United. He said: “When they play 55 times together, it will be better, it will flow better, they will understand each other better and we will be more dominant. But things take time to glide and we have to respect that.”
This was Rice’s second appearance in an Arsenal shirt following his £105million move from West Ham last weekend. The England international travelled with the rest of his teammates to the United States, and made his Gunners bow in their thumping 5-0 victory over MLS All-Stars on Wednesday.
Although Rice and the rest of the Arsenal side were unable to replicate a similar score-line against United, Arteta took plenty away from the game in New Jersey. The Spaniard admitted his team just didn’t take their chances on the night, compared to the Red Devils.
He told the club’s website : “Having a tough match of this level in this context gives you a lot of information, and that’s always very positive. That information is obviously there are a lot of things we have to improve.
“How important the boxes are, that errors are part of football, you have to overcome them as well. And how painful it is to lose a game. Physically it’s been super, super demanding.