Arsenal 1-2 Man Utd: Rooney seals gritty win after great counter-attack

by Sam Peoples

Manchester United’s Sunday League first half.

Louis van Gaal reverted to a 3-5-2 in light of a deepening injury crisis and United’s players genuinely didn’t seem to know what to do. In defence, there were holes everywhere. Nobody knew when to push forward or when to hold and Luke Shaw‘s injury early on only made the problem worse.

In attack, Angel di Maria was even playing in a centre forward position at one point while Wayne Rooney seemingly man marked Mikel Arteta. There was no fluidity or structure in either defence or attack.

A gritty and determined win overall.

The first half was very poor from United but thanks to a Kieran Gibbs own goal, they went into the break ahead and built on that in the second.

Absorbing all Arsenal had to offer, United waited for their moment and when they pounced, it was game over. Angel di Maria fed Wayne Rooney with a through ball off the back of a beautiful counter-attack and the in-form Rooney lifted his finish to make it 2-0. Game over.

A late flurry from Olivier Giroud didn’t do anything but rob De Gea of a clean sheet.

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David de Gea just keeps getting better.

Everybody knew how important it was that De Gea was fit to play Arsenal but few realised just how important.

The Spaniard’s performance was a golden guide in how to be a goalkeeper. Everything Arsenal threw at him, he swallowed it up, apart from a special Olivier Giroud finish.

Being a goalkeeper is usually a thankless task, one where you are bemoaned for your mistakes and overlooked for what you did right, but De Gea deserves all the limelight he gets.

Manchester United on the counter-attack is wonderful.

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Image: Twitter/premierleague

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