Match Report: Manchester United 2 – 1 Arsenal
By Lee Savery
Manchester United recorded a very comfortable victory at home to Arsenal where Robin van Persie scored against his former club.
United were back to full strength after the defeat in the Capital One Cup and this was the first meeting between the two clubs since van Persie’s summer transfer. The Dutchman would have the first word on this contest within the first three minutes.
Great work from Rafael and Antonio Valencia down the right-hand side was followed by the Brazilians’ cross which was met by Thomas Vermaelen whose fluffed clearance fell to van Persie who stroked the ball into the far corner, from the edge of the box. A muted celebration near the end where the Arsenal fans sat but they would boo him for the whole match anyway.
The first half was tight and very few chances came to either side. It is no surprise that Arsenal came into this game with the best defensive record in the league. Wayne Rooney and van Persie both stung Vito Mannone’s with close range efforts.
However, just before half-time Wayne Rooney put a penalty wide of the keepers right-hand post after Santi Cazorla was adjudged to have handled Ashley Young’s cross. It was a let off for Arsenal who had struggled all half.
The second half went pretty much the same way though and Arsenal fans would have to wait until the 92nd minute to even get a shot on target. United saw chances for Valencia & van Persie go begging as they looked to wrap up the victory.
However, it was Patrice Evra who headed in his a second goal of the season from a Rooney cross on the left hand side after a short corner. For his small stature, the Frenchman’s other goal against Newcastle United was also a header.
The woes would get worse for the poor visitors who saw Jack Wilshere sent off for a second yellow card after repeated fouling. A bitter end to his return from injury.
Anderson and van Persie would have goals cancelled out because of offside. The final say in the match would come from the Gunners as Santi Cazorla’s excellent goal after United failed to clear an Arsenal attack in the last minute of the game. A frustrating end to a very comfortable victory.
Despite his penalty miss, Rooney was majestic today. Playing deep, his passing was immaculate and he controlled the game and most United attacks. The partnership between him and van Persie is making great strides and will frighten most defences in Europe.
It was not quite 8-2 but this was a very good performance from the Red Devils.
Man of the Match Poll & Player Ratings: Manchester United vs. Arsenal here.
Register with the Stretford End Arising forum.