Arsenal 1 Man United 2: Three talking points as Wayne Rooney impresses
Three talking points as Manchester United are 2-1 winners at The Emirates
Rooney seals key victory for United
The fixture between Manchester United and Arsenal doesn’t carry the same fire that it perhaps did five years ago, but for both sides, it was an important clash. Arsenal have struggled of late, losing to Swansea after throwing away a three-goal lead to Anderlecht in Europe. United, though, are rebuilding and were credited for a hard-earned draw against Chelsea before a disappointing loss on derby day away at The Etihad. When Kieran Gibbs’s own goal gave the visitors the lead in a match where they had offered little, there was still plenty of optimism for Arsenal to get back into the game and get a result. Step up club captain Wayne Rooney to put the match beyond doubt with a fine-driven finish. Olivier Giroud did pull a goal back for the home side, but it was a match that never truly got going. More damage to an already stuttering campaign for Wenger, while United can take promise from another pleasing performance against last season’s top four.
Gibbs turns provider to hand Van Gaal much-needed slice of fortune
The old sporting cliche that the sign of a good side is one that can win despite not playing well has become synonymous with United, especially under Sir Alex Ferguson. While United haven’t got going under new manager Louis van Gaal, they have got plenty of quality and it is only a matter of time before they get going. However, the main struggles have come at the other end of the pitch where United’s defence is creaking at the best of time. They managed to hold firm to go in at half time level, before Gibbs, who was left grounded by an earlier challenge, saw a shot deflect off him into his own net to hand United the lead. Moments of fortune such as that own goal can have the ability to kickstart a season and Van Gaal will be hoping his side can build on the victory.
Another underwhelming performance leaves Wenger in hot water
As the longest-serving manager in the Premier League by some distance, Wenger should be comfortable in his job, having more experience than most managers. While the FA Cup provided the much-desired silverware after a ten-year drought, it was supposed to provide the breathing space he needed, instead the expectation has risen and as such the current performances are not endearing the Frenchman with his fans. Even in Europe they are struggling where in the group they have dominated for a number of years. With the players they have signed and the window soon to open, Wenger will have to buck the trend soon or face an end to his almost two decades in charge.