Arsenal twice threw away the lead as Manchester United fought back to draw 2-2 in an entertaining, action-packed game at Old Trafford
The Gunners first-half lead through Shkodran Mustafi lasted for just four minutes, as Anthony Martial pounced to pull United level.
They had even less time to celebrate Alexandre Lacazette’s goal shortly after coming on at half-time, as Jesse Lingard equalised for United 60 seconds later.
Unai Emery’s Arsenal had the best chances to win the game, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Lucas Torreira forcing David De Gea into saves, but they had to settle for a point.
READ MORE: United considering netting around away end
The result leaves Arsenal in fifth, level in points with Chelsea, and Manchester United eighth, one place below Bournemouth.
Mourinho wielded the axe after Saturday’s draw at Southampton, changing seven players as Paul Pogba and the entire backline from that game were left out.
Unai Emery did not stick with the side that beat Tottenham in the thrilling North London derby, giving Aaron Ramsey the captain’s armband and bringing in Mateo Guendouzi.
The early stages were scrappy and despite United having the better of the game, they could not create any clear-cut chances.
But it was the visitors who took the lead and sparked the game into life on 26 minutes. Mustafi directed a header into the ground, which bounced up and De Gea let it slip through his fingers and into the goal. Goalline technology had to be used as Ander Herrera did his best to keep it out.
United were not behind for long and chants of ‘Jose Mourinho, we want you stay’ from the away end where replaced by roars in the home end. Marcos Rojo’s free-kick was punched away by Bernd Leno, Andre Herrera picked the loose ball up, squared it across the face of goal and Martial powered the ball into the net.
Mustafi and Rojo were both booked for poor tackles as the action heated up, while Rob Holding had to be stretchered off after a challenge from Marcus Rashford. That started a run of five yellow cards in less than six minutes: Mustafi, Rojo, Hector Bellerin, Lingard and Nemanja Matic the recipients.
An absorbing game that kept the Old Trafford atmosphere alive, it lacked quality and, barring the goals, neither had many clear-cut chances in the first hour.
Leno was needed to tip Rojo’s deflected effort from 30-yards out over the bar, but Emery’s decision to bring on Alexander Lacazette in place of Alex Iwobi signalled their intentions.
Nearly immediately, the game entered a mad five minutes, which saw Arsenal throw away another lead and pass up two more glorious chances.
Firstly a Rojo error allowed Aubameyang to break forward with Lacazette. Rojo desperately tried to tackle Lacazette as he went to shot, but only succeeded in kicking it into the striker’s shin and it rolled into the net beyond De Gea.
United fought back instantly and it was another defensive mishap that allowed them to do so. Mustafi was asleep to Lingard’s presence and tried to let the ball run to Leno, only for Lingard to nip in and poke it into the back of the net.
Arsenal were not to be deterred and Aubameyang should have given them a third shortly after, as De Gea’s leg blocked his effort from a cross, before Henrikh Mkhitaryan clipped an effort just over the bar and Aubameyang tested De Gea from range.
Rashford’s long-range shot was all United could conjure up, despite Mourinho sending Romelu Lukaku, Pogba and Marouane Fellaini on.
Arsenal did have the ball in the net twice, but both goals were fairly ruled out. Lacazette headed it out of De Gea’s hands, before Mkhitaryan smashed the ball home from an offside position. Lucas Torreira’s powerful drive bought about that chance, following a De Gea save.
Emery may feel his side should have taken three points from Old Trafford, however they extend their uneaten run to 20 games, while United have not won for four games in the league.