Premier League Scores: Result and Highlights from the EPL Fixture between Manchester United v Arsenal on Saturday, November 03, 2012.
Result: Manchester United 2 – 1 Arsenal
Location: Old Trafford – Manchester United
|Manchester United – 2||Arsenal – 1|
|Robin van Persie (2’)||Santi Cazorla (90+5’)|
|Patrice Evra (67’)|
This match-up used to be a massive rivalry in the early 2000’s when Arsenal was challenging for the title alongside Manchester United. With Robin van Persie meeting up with his old club for the first time this season this rivalry was touted all week long and during the pre-match buildup on ESPN.
Manchester United started out with RvP scoring a fantastic goal in the 2nd minute following a cross from Rafael on the near wing. The cross itself wasn’t anything spectacular, but what van Persie did with the ball was as he took a low shot into Vito Mannone’s far corner just out of his reach. His ensuing non-celebration was very classy as well.
This was followed by a period of play that was fairly evenly matched in the center of the park, but saw Manchester United getting the majority of the chances. In the 20th minute van Persie nearly got his second as he took the ball into the box, but his shot was basically right at Mannone and was pretty easily saved.
In the 24th minute Arsenal had a good chance with Aron Ramsey running down the right wing and into the box. David de Gea got down and knocked the cross back into the box where Tom Cleverly could clear it out of play.
Manchester United could have gone on to get 2 or 3 more goals in the half, but didn’t appear to have that cutting edge. Too often they were impatient and gave the ball away too soon instead of holding on to possession. Far too many errant passes kept them from creating more chances than they should have.
At the other end, Arsenal had Jack Wilshire and Aron Ramsey were looking dangerous with the ball, but there was nobody to really give them any clear scoring options. Many times United was able to dribble and pass their way out of their own half.
In the 45th minute a Santi Cazorla handball in the box lead to a Wayne Rooney penalty shot that Arsenal was glad to see go wide of the goal. Despite claims from Arsenal, it was a clear penalty decision as he jumped to block the ball with his hands up too high.
The first half saw Arsenal with 2 shots and not even 1 on goal. Their only test of de Gea came on the Aron Ramsey cross that was easily cleared. Manchester United should’ve gone into the half up at least 2 and even as many as 4. Rooney’s missed penalty was shocking and not taken well at all. Despite dominating in Arsenal’s half they only managed 4 shots (albeit all on goal). They should have done a whole lot more with the ball.
The second half started out with Thomas Vermaelen giving the ball away to van Persie. His low cross in the box found Antonio Valencia who scuffed his shot badly; another chance gone begging for the home side. The second half did see both sides attacking frantically, but still failing to make a difference in the score line.
In the 52nd minute Arsene Wenger threw on Theo Walcott, who scored 3 goals for the Gunners in the 7-5 Capital One Cup win earlier in the week.
Both sides continued to play poor passes and give the ball away at each end of the pitch. Not a great football match to watch to neutrals, and certainly difficult for either set of fans to endure. In the 66th minute van Persie had another great chance when put through 1 on 1 with the keeper following a superb cross by Ashley Young. Van Persie had just beaten the offside trap but failed to hit his shot hard enough and Mannone got down to push it out for a corner. The ensuing corner led to a quick one two with Rooney then sending in a fantastic cross that Evra powered into the net to put United up 2 – 0 in the 67th minute.
One of Arsenal’s only real bright spots in the match was Jack Wilshire who got himself a second yellow card for a reckless challenge on Evra in the 69th minute. Manchester United cruised from this point on. They created a few more chances, particularly with Robin van Persie. His movement both on and off the ball was worthy of Man of the Match and was a reminder to all Arsenal fans of what they are missing. Stoppage time saw Arsenal get their only 2 shots on goal and gave David de Gea his one save of the match as well as Arsenal’s only goal courtesy of Santi Cazorla. Cazorla’s goal came in the absolute final minute of stoppage time as the referee blew the whistle immediately after. A very poor way for Manchester United to finish what should’ve been a drubbing.
The match was not a pretty one to watch. Arsenal looked poor from the first whistle. Manchester United were their own worst enemy in this one. They looked dangerous, but so many times ended up giving the ball away cheaply or sending in bad crosses/passes. Arsenal will have very little positives to bring away from this one. They defended poorly, failed to create chances, and allowed United to dominate when they had possession. Arsenal finished with 7 shots and only 2 on target while United had 13 shots and 6 on target.