United’s record win over Arsenal
Written By: Robert Halter
Manchester United handed Arsenal their heaviest defeat in the league since 1896 after the theatre of dreams were treated to a Red Devils victory of eight goals to two over the Gunners. United had started on the front foot as Tom Cleverley drove the ball wide from Chris Smalling’s ball in on four minutes. It was followed up by a through ball by Ashley Young as the advancing Danny Welbeck put his shot over, two minutes later. The Red Devils dominance paved the way through the Gunners rear guard on twenty two minutes as Anderson’s lob opened the door for Welbeck to head the bobbling ball over the reach of Wojciech Szczesny into the goal as Old Trafford erupted with jubilant United fans. Moments later Smalling drilled an effort wide after a ball over the top by Wayne Rooney. But on twenty six minutes referee Howard Webb awarded Arsenal a penalty after Jonny Evans tug on Theo Walcott in the area but Robin Van Persie’s spot kick was saved by David De Gea as the United keeper dived low to his right and diverted the ball away. United doubled their lead two minutes later as Ashley Young cut inside Francis Coquelin and with a beautifully crafted finish bent the ball into the top right corner. On the half hour mark, De Gea was at hand again to block Andrey Arshavin’s low drive and then stop the follow up shot from Van Persie. But Welbeck came close for United as a Rooney cross found him unmarked but the header was put wide before Welbeck left the field with a hamstring injury and was replaced by Javier Hernandez. Matters got worse for the Gunners on forty one minutes, after Carl Jenkinson tripped Young outside the box and from a neat one two between Patrice Evra and Rooney, the ball was then bent into the top left corner from the resulting free kick by United’s number ten. Arsenal pulled a goal back on the stroke of half time after Tomas Rosicky slid a pass through to Walcott and from a tight angle on the right side, Walcott drilled the ball through De Gea’s legs into the left corner. Szczesny pulled off a save at full stretch to keep out Young’s low drive two minutes into the second half, after Hernandez’s back heel had set up the chance. De Gea then reacted the other end with a one handed stop to keep out Van Persie’s volley, after Rosicky’s ball over on fifty two minutes. A darting run by Arshavin down the left flank was deflected off Phil Jones three minutes later as the Gunners pressed again. The Gunners shot stopper had more work to do on sixty one minutes as his strong block kept out Young’s strike after Anderson had exposed Arsenal’s defence. But United made it four with a second free kick goal for Rooney in the sixty fourth minute, after the ball was laid off by Young for Rooney to bend the ball into the left corner and gain revenge for the foul on him by Johan Djourou. The fifth goal arrived for the Red Devils three minutes later when Rooney’s pass split open the Arsenal back line and with a crafted chip by Nani, the ball was lobbed over Szczesny. The Red Devils swarmed past Arsenal and after Rooney bent the ball onto the left post on sixty nine minutes, Ji Sung Park who had just been on the field, added a sixth with a low strike into the bottom right corner. Van Persie made the score 6-2 after thrashing the ball in from close range off Jenkinson’s ball over on seventy four minutes, as Jones failed to head the ball clear. But Jenkinson got his marching orders after pulling down Hernandez having previously been booked for a foul on Young as Arsenal were reduced to ten men for the final quarter. Rooney got his hat trick by drilling his spot kick into the bottom right corner, after Walcott’s push on Evra in the eightieth minute The icing was on the cake in stoppage time as Young bent the ball around Szczesny into the top right corner, after Ryan Giggs had laid the ball off for the crowning moment as the Red Devils hand Arsenal a record loss by eight goals to two.