Forget Eddie Nketiah, Oleksandr Zinchenko was the real star against Manchester United, with heat map and statistics showing Arsenal star’s outrageous influence – and post-match comments prove he is a winner

    Oleksandr Zinchenko was quite-literally everywhere during Arsenal’s 3-2 victory over Manchester United on Sunday.

    Eddie Nketiah stole the headlines with two goals, including a last-gasp winner, to extend the Gunners’ lead at the top of the Premier League table to five points with a game in hand.

    Zinchenko wears his heart on his sleeve

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    Zinchenko wears his heart on his sleeve

    But Zinchenko was the true star of the show.

    The left-back, if you can pigeon-hole him like that, topped the charts for almost every meaningful statistic.

    Zinchenko was central to everything good that Arsenal did, comfortably leading the way for involvement in his team’s build-up, with most attacks going through him.

    He was second to William Saliba for most successful passes, but crucially, Zinchenko completed the most passes in the opposition half.

    But perhaps most impressively, the 26-year-old had more touches than any player on the pitch, and his heat map is quite surreal.

    Zinchenko went beyond his role as a left-back to influence the game in every area of the pitch.

    Reacting to his performance, ex-Arsenal striker Kevin Campbell told talkSPORT: “Not only is he a left-back, if you see his heat map, he goes into midfield, he gets the other side of [Thomas] Partey in midfield.

    “He’s incredible, this guy.”

    And it appears the Ukraine star is even taking extra responsibility off the pitch.

    After the game, Zinchenko said: “To be honest, when I had just arrived, the quality I saw… obviously I knew the Arsenal team, I knew all of them before, but still I realised on the pitch we have everything to achieve big things.

    “I started to speak in the dressing room, saying: ‘Guys, forget top three or whatever, we need to think about the title.’ Some of them were laughing but no one is laughing now and all of us are dreaming.

    “But still there’s a lot of games to play and now you can see [Manchester] United is back. City, as always, is there.

    “Let’s see what is going to happen, but we need to move step by step.”

    Besides Zinchenko’s obvious quality, die-hard Arsenal fan Piers Morgan pointed towards his comments as an example of the winner’s mentality the Gunners needed.

    Zinchenko and Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta both arrived at the Emirates from Manchester City – who are now chasing the Gunners.

    Ironically, it seems Arsenal’s title charge is inspired by the very team they are trying to beat.

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