Arsenal have bottled it and lost what may prove to be a pivotal game in the title race against a severely weakened Manchester United.

We began with large spells of early pressure. We were finding space and keeping our shape well but creating very little generally. Our newly rotated front three of Alexis Sanchez, Danny Welbeck and Theo Walcott were passing the ball between them fluidly and it looked as if we might have been onto a winner.

The first chance of the game fell to us when Mesut Ozil played a peach of a pass to Nacho Monreal but the Spaniard couldn’t finish, despite being one-on-one with David de Gea.

In the 13th minutes, Gabriel made us all a little edgy by giving away a free-kick right on the very edge of the area. Minutes later Alexis sliced a ball wide at the other end after a period of superb passing from Arsenal.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – FEBRUARY 28: Ander Herrera of Manchester United scores his team’s third goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Arsenal at Old Trafford on February 28, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

However, despite the run of play, United went 1-0 ahead within the first half-an-hour. Walcott lost the ball and Rashford tucked it home without a second thought. Minutes later the same man put United 2-0 ahead.

Welbeck put the score at 2-1 five minutes before half time and we came out in the second half with with our tails up.

Despite having a lot of ball, we still weren’t creating anything substantial and while we were trying to pass out from the back, United were consistently using the more direct root, which had helped them score twice in the first half.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – FEBRUARY 28: Alexis Sanchez of Arsenal is challenged by Jesse Lingard of Manchester United during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Arsenal at Old Trafford on February 28, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

It worked and Ander Herrara put them 3-1 up.

It wasn’t over yet though as Ozil then thumped a spilled ball from De Gea into the net.

Once again, although we were passing the ball around the box well, we weren’t putting it where it counted and time and time again, we looked wasteful and devoid of ideas.

With Spurs winning against Swansea, and Leicester beating Norwich on Saturday, it’s looking as if our first title in a decade – the best chance we’ve had for several seasons – is out the window.

3-2 to Manchester United.