Laurent Koscielny played final 40 minutes of Arsenal 2-0 Man Utd with 'three-inch gash' in leg

Arsenal FC v Manchester United - Premier League

Say what you want about Arsenal's defence, but they played like warriors during Sunday's 2-0 victory over Manchester United.

Captain Laurent Koscielny started alongside Sokratis Papastathopoulos and Nacho Monreal in a back three and they were absolutely solid.

Wing-backs Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Sead Kolasinac were fantastic, too, while Bernd Leno made a number of stunning saves to deny Romelu Lukaku.

Leno was arguably the hero of the afternoon, but it was Koscielny and Sokratis who earned huge praise from BBC pundit Garth Crooks.

"A clean sheet against a Manchester United who were rampant in midweek against Paris St-Germain is impressive," Crooks explained.

"I have given Arsenal's defence plenty of stick this season but their performance as a unit against United was first class.

"In appalling conditions I thought Sokratis and Laurent Koscielny were magnificent. The Gunners have brought United down to earth from the Paris clouds and with a mighty bump.

"Back to reality."

Koscielny, 33, spent the vast majority of 2018 injured and when he returned in November, Arsenal fans feared that he was past his best.

Arsenal FC v Manchester United - Premier League

But since then the Frenchman has slowly recaptured his previous form and against United he made countless blocks and tackles.

His finest piece of defending came in the 50th minute, when he threw himself at Fred's shot to stop it heading for goal and then dived in to try and stop Lukaku scoring from close range.

Leno made the save for Lukaku's effort and in turn injured Koscielny by raking his studs down his captain's leg.

Koscielny required medical treatment on the pitch and it turns out he suffered a three-inch gash that had to be clamped there and then to allow him to play on.

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Now that's commitment. Koscielny hobbled off the pitch after his collision with Leno and it's no wonder if he had a three-inch gash in his leg.

He soon returned to the pitch and helped secure all three points for Arsenal to move above United into fourth.

Arsenal fans will only hope Unai Emery sticks with a back three of Koscielny, Sokratis and Monreal for the rest of the season, because they really were phenomenal.

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