Wayne Rooney continued his impressive scoring record against the Gunners as United claimed their first away win of the season. In the process the Red Devils climbed to fourth place in the Premier league table. After a battling performance, that saw Wilshire substituted after suffering an ankle injury, United over came huge periods of Arsenal dominance. Wayne Rooney has now scored 11 goals against Arsenal which is a new record.
Arsenal will feel hard done to after dominating for long periods of the game, however, United came away with a 2 – 1 win. Also, importantly, from a United fans perspective, there was no goal form the industrious united old boy Danny Welbeck! Also, to win and not play well is the sign of a top four team.
Amazingly, United’s first shot on target came in the 85th minute when Wayne Rooney scored the winner. Manchester United fans had to wait along time to see a winning performance on the road and after Kieran Gibbs flicked Antonio Valencia’s cross into his own net (to put United ahead) they started to dream. Then Wayne Rooney put the visitors two up late in the game before Olivier Giroud came off the bench to pull Arsenal one back in injury time, but it proved to be too little too late. This was Giroud’s first game having spent the past three months on the side-lines through injury and the Gunners will welcome him back after this super sub performance.
So, the Manchester United Manager can finally celebrate an away win at the seventh attempt and with the team rising to fourth place in the league will certainly clear away any lingering self-doubt. This will be a big win for the fans, the Gunners are a long standing rival and this defeat leave the club with 17 points from 12 games which is their lowest in 32 years. So, it will be a double celebration for United fans tonight as the season appears to be turning around, finally. Certainly, on this performance, despite the Gunners dominance for long periods, Champions League football looks like it might return to Old Trafford in the near furture.
Van Gaal can’t help but be buoyed by this win and the players are sure to respond, perhaps Old Trafford will even become a fortress once again. Certainly, the timing is excellent as the busy Christmas period is nearly upon us and a good run now will set up the second half of the season well for United. Still, as of Saturday night, Southampton are second with a game in hand so perhaps Van Gaal and a few other Premier League mangers should pay attention to what Ronald Koeman is doing at the Saints, club Chairman certainly will be.