Manchester United 1 Arsenal 0

Posted: November 10, 2013 in Uncategorized

Robin van Persie - Manchester United v Arsenal: live

Arsene Wenger might have to change his belief that Robin van Persie is still “an Arsenal man”. The ecstatic way his former captain celebrated his winner signaled Van Persie’s desire to silence those visiting fans who had been taunting him, and reminding them where his loyalties lie.

One of the more polite chants was “eight points clear, Robin, eight points clear”. Not after this. Arsenal are now only five points ahead of fifth-placed United, who will be filled with belief following their attacking in the first half and resilience in the second half. Van Persie’s goal also opened up the title race on another extraordinary day in the Premier League.

Arsenal’s defensive authority was compromised by Per Mertesacker’s withdrawal with a sickness bug. Defeat ended Arsenal’s 14-game unbeaten away run and they could hardly argue. They failed to show a real cutting edge, and Mesut Ozil struggled to impose his undoubted talents on the game. That was partly down to the phenomenal work-rate of United embodied by Wayne Rooney, who was deservedly man of the match for his constant closing down and running, touch and vision.

With Roy Hodgson and Ray Lewington looking on, there were other formidable displays from England internationals as well as Rooney. Chris Smalling made some important interceptions late on while Phil Jones was immense, first in midfield, and then in defence.

Until Nemanja Vidic departed with a head injury at the break, Jones sat in front of the back-four, occasionally charging upfield, but otherwise looking to block the supply to Olivier Giroud. In the first half, Jones was a model of mature midfield play, not wasting any of his 13 passes and making three interceptions.

posted by delight exclusive

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