Arsenal walked into the Theatre of Dreams full of anticipation following their good midweek Champions League win at Udinese, only to depart a couple of hours later having suffered a hellish nightmare! Manchester United were merciless as they cut the young Gunners to ribbons. It was a display of firepower which must have surely sent shivers down the spine of their title rivals. Sir Alex Ferguson was surprised by the ease of his side’s victory despite Arsenal missing so many first team regulars. It must also be remembered that United’s starting lineup did NOT include Vidic, Ferdinand, Valencia, Fletcher, Carrick, Giggs, Hernandez, Park, Berbatov, Owen, Macheda and the Da Silva twins. That’s pretty much ANOTHER United side which will be able to successfully compete with most other Premiership clubs. Sir Alex has somehow built a squad which is almost frightening.
Ferguson confessed after the Arsenal slaughter that “It was a surprise because when you play Arsenal you expect a difficult game. If you look at their team, it was undoubtedly weakened however we still did the job. We got careless at times and they made chances because they still have quality up front but overall we are very satisfied that we kept the performance levels up.”
Manchester United 8 v Arsenal 2
Gunners manager Arsene Wenger was naturally despondent after such a result admitting that “It was a terrible day for us. It was a combination of weakness in certain areas and I feel as well we collapsed physically in the second half. You could see that we had not recovered completely from Wednesday night. We were as well weak in some departments and Manchester United has of course, class. Every single shot in the first half went in. In the last 2o minutes it was very difficult. You always feel humiliated when you concede eight goals. We had no resources any more in the last 20 minutes. We took a gamble at 3-1, we tried desperately to come back and opened ourselves up. It made things worse and then we had ten men as well.”
The only disappointment for United on an afternoon of totally unexpected dominance over one of it’s predicted rivals was Welbecks’ unfortunate injury just as he was proving to be one of Fergusons most promising prospects.
Manchester United - De Gea, Smalling, Jones, Evans, Evra, Nani (Park 68), Cleverley, Anderson (Giggs 68), Young, Rooney, Welbeck (Hernandez 35) Goals Welbeck 22, Young 28, Rooney 41, 64, 82 pen, Nani 67, Park 70, Young 90.
Arsenal - Szczesny, Jenkinson (Red Card 77), Djourou, Koscielny, Traore, Ramsey, Coquelin (Oxlade-Chamberlain 62), Rosicky, Walcott (Lansbury 83), van Persie (Chamakh 83), Arshavin Goals Walcott 45, van Persie 74
Was Rooney REALLY man of the match DESPITE his hat trick?