Wayne Rooney missed United’s fourth penalty of the season but Patrice Evra added a second and Arsenal’s misery was compounded by the sending off Jack Wilshere before Santi Cazorla hit an injury-time consolation.
The score flatters Arsenal who were really poor today. If it wasn’t for Mannone in goal and some poor United finishing, United could have won 4-1 or 5-1 today, despite never playing really well.
What has to worry Arsenal fans is that except for a remarkable second half against Reading in mid-week, Arsenal have been really poor for the last 3 and 1/2 games since the international break. The team seems to be going backwards and not improving. Teams have figured out how take Santi Cazorla out of the game and Arsenal don’t see to have a plan B.
There was a really interesting contrast in the management skills of Fergie and Arsene Wenger in the second half. The future heart of the England midfield, Tom Cleverley and Jack Wilshere were involved in several tough tackles with each other throughout the game. Both were on yellow cards and their last warnings from referee Mike Dean. Fergie took Cleverley off, Wenger left Wilshere on, and Wilshere ended up getting sent off for two yellow cards. Perfect contrast between one manager still at the top of his game, and one who is not.
That is 26 goals in 10 league games for United, who are scoring goals at will. Considering the injuries United have had defensively to Vidic, Smalling and Jones, to be where United are in the league has to give the team confidence that the will only but improve when everyone gets fit.
The loss leaves Arsenal 9 points behind United and if Chelsea win, that gap will be back to 11 points. Arsenal look a long way from title contenders and even that fourth place looks in danger the way that Arsenal are playing at the moment.
What did you think of the game today?