Sir Alex Ferguson used to love playing against Arsenal. In the last 13 games between the two teams, Manchester United has won 10 of them including the 8 – 2 demolition at Old Trafford in 2011.
In his autobiography (which David Moyes took with him to Spain in midweek) he even describes how to beat the Gunners:
We didn’t need to win the ball, we needed to intercept it. We would say to our players, “Stay with the runner, then intercept the pass”. Then we counter-attacked quickly.
I thought that’s what United players did against Arsenal this morning (Malaysian time) albeit with small tactical changes that reflect the new manager’s approach. A bit defensive by Moyes but he was under pressure and the most important thing is it still worked.
I bet against Arsenal it will work time and time again because Manchester United simply have the players to deal with Arsenal.
However, most Arsenal fans would not agree with me 😀
With the win the Red Devils has closed the gap between them and Arsenal to just five points. A defeat would have been a disaster but the boys were up to it and knew that it was the game that they cannot afford to lose and they didn’t.
Wayne Rooney was superb and justified Moyes’ decision to fight for him to stay at Old Trafford after being courted by Chelsea all summer.
The others also played very well. I don’t think there were any moment that Arsenal would score although they intensified their attack in the last 20 minutes of the game. Maybe two quality crosses by Bacary Sagna did send shivers around United fans but that’s all. Luckily, none of Arsenal’s strikers managed to make contact with Sagna’s crosses.
One very special moment during the game came when Robin Van Persie celebrated his goal passionately with his team mates. Last season, the former Arsenal’s captain chose not to celebrate his goal against his former employer but Arsenal fans abuse him with venomous chants throughout the match.
Well, it is quite clear now that Van Persie is now a Red Devil and there is no love lost between him and Arsenal.
The win also brought a huge relief to David Moyes. Moyes admits he had not enjoyed too many ‘good weekends’ since taking charge of United but this was one of the best so far. “We have not had many good ones, but this was a big result for us today – Arsenal have been in terrific form this season and we had to play well to get the result“.
Well done to David Moyes and the boys. I hope he’ll continue our domination against Arsenal like his predecessor used to enjoy.
Glory Glory Man Utd!