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Played
January 22, 2012 4:00 PM GMT
Emirates Stadium — London
Referee:‬ M. Dean‎
Attendance:‬ 60093‎
 
   
 
 

Player Ratings: Arsenal 1-2 Manchester United

Goals from Antonio Valencia and Danny Welbeck helped Sir Alex Ferguson's men keep the pressure up on rivals Manchester City at the top of the Premier League table

By Wayne Veysey at Emirates Stadium

  • Wojciech Szczesny
    308
    61
    3.50

    Wojciech Szczesny

    Displayed excellent reflexes to pull off a series of fine saves, particularly his first-half parry from Nani. Can take comfort from the fact he conceded six less than last time at least.

  • Johan Djourou
    118
    287
    2.00

    Johan Djourou

    Got torn apart in the last 10 minutes of the opening half at right-back, a position he seldom looks comfortable at. Replaced by Yennaris at the break.

  • Per Mertesacker
    181
    201
    2.50

    Per Mertesacker

    His poor clearance straight to Giggs led to United's opener but he partly atoned with a second-half goal-saving clearance from Welbeck, even though he looked like he was running through treacle to get to the line.

  • Thomas Vermaelen
    218
    92
    3.00

    Thomas Vermaelen

    Arsenal's back five all look twice as tall when the 'Verminator' is fit but this was not an easy return to the action for the Belgian. Got beaten by Valencia to Giggs' cross for the opener and was nowhere near the South American for the second.

  • Laurent Koscielny
    395
    48
    3.50

    Laurent Koscielny

    Read the play well and made some excellent interceptions. Played a crucial role in Arsenal's goal with his tackle and quick pass to Rosicky. Increasingly looking the part against the best teams.

  • Tomas Rosicky
    167
    265
    2.50

    Tomas Rosicky

    The Czech's central midfield role perhaps says more about Arsenal's lack of options than a newly discovered combativeness on the player's part. Did well to create an excellent second-half opportunity for Van Persie and his fizzing first-time ball to Oxlade-Chamberlain was crucial to the equaliser but mostly looked a square peg in a round hole.

  • Alex Song
    248
    99
    3.50

    Alex Song

    Did the job of two men at times with the lightweight Rosicky alongside him. Screened the defence capably and maintained his concentration well.

  • Aaron Ramsey
    86
    276
    3.00

    Aaron Ramsey

    Grew in influence as the game wore on but his distribution was hit-and-miss and subbed late on.

  • Theo Walcott
    160
    397
    2.00

    Theo Walcott Flop of the Match

    Veered between the woeful and plain average. His link-up play was desperate, frequently lost possession and wasted the one presentable chance that came his way.

  • Robin van Persie
    359
    71
    3.50

    Robin van Persie

    Missed by far the easier of his two second-half chances but his goal was vintage Van Persie, peeling into space, taking his shot first time on his left foot and arrowing it unerringly into the corner. His reaction to Oxlade-Chamberlain's substitution verged on the rebellious.

  • Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain
    742
    40
    4.00

    Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

    There were boos at Emirates Stadium when the precocious teenager, who minutes earlier had created Van Persie's goal with a brilliant reverse pass, was substituted for Arshavin. Did not always make the runs his team-mates expected him to, but was lively on both flanks and never stopped trying to conjure a goal.

Substitutions

  • Andrey Arshavin
    97
    363
    2.50

    Andrey Arshavin

    A horrible 15 minutes for the little Russian. Jeered by the crowd when he replaced Oxlade-Chamberlain and brushed aside far too easily by Valencia for United's second goal.

  • Nicholas Yennaris
    314
    45
    3.00

    Nicholas Yennaris

    It says much for the teenager's combativeness that he looked far more comfortable against Nani than Djourou.

  • Chu-Young Park
    162
    66
    0.00

    Chu-Young Park

    Had little opportunity to make an impact.

  • Anders Lindegaard
    211
    60
    3.00

    Anders Lindegaard

    Looked a little rattled late on by Arsenal's crosses into his six-yard box, but could do little to prevent Van Persie's strike snaking past his grasp.

  • Phil Jones
    157
    90
    2.50

    Phil Jones

    Stretchered off early on after seemingly twisting his ligaments, either ankle or knee, as his leg buckled while Walcott ran at him. It looked a serious injury with United's defensive crisis at the back showing no sign of abating. Even before then, Jones had looked uncomfortable at right-back against Walcott and Oxlade-Chamberlain's pace.

  • Chris Smalling
    213
    56
    3.00

    Chris Smalling

    Recalled to centre-back following Rio Ferdinand's back injury and looked authoritative and commanding, bar his horrible slip that allowed Rosicky a clear run on goal.

  • Jonny Evans
    232
    53
    3.50

    Jonny Evans

    Accomplished display in the air and on the deck by the Irishman. Should be set for a lengthy run in the team, given the injuries to his team-mates.

  • Patrice Evra
    256
    49
    3.50

    Patrice Evra

    Got caught out by Oxlade-Chamberlain early on but, as usual, had Walcott in his pocket. Showed his team-mates the way with his commitment and desire late on.

  • Antonio Valencia
    557
    70
    4.00

    Antonio Valencia Top of the Match

    Maintained his excellent form by scoring the opener with a powerful header and setting up the second with an excellent run down the right flank.

  • Michael Carrick
    272
    52
    3.50

    Michael Carrick

    Elegant and purposeful throughout and did a fine job of protecting his defence.

  • Ryan Giggs
    342
    50
    3.50

    Ryan Giggs

    Has been tearing Arsenal apart for 20 years and shows no sign of letting up. Showed Nani how to put a ball on a colleague's head with his pinpoint delivery for Valencia's goal and was purposeful in possession throughout.

  • Nani
    286
    70
    3.50

    Nani

    Purposeful, energetic and menacing display on the left flank, where he expertly exposed Arsenal's right-back deficiencies. If his deliveries had matched his trickery, United would surely have won more comfortably.

  • Wayne Rooney
    215
    123
    3.00

    Wayne Rooney

    Tenacious and involved but not quite at his best. A lot did not come off and his attempt at winning a second-half penalty looked a bit desperate.

  • Danny Welbeck
    304
    57
    3.50

    Danny Welbeck

    Pacey and lively in the spearhead role. Banged in the winner and inches from getting a second, when his dink over Szczesny was clawed away from the line by Mertesacker.

Substitutions

  • Rafael
    174
    93
    2.50

    Rafael

    The United full-back curse continued as the sub was subbed with 13 minutes left, shortly after losing the ball in Arsenal box.

  • Ji-Sung Park
    183
    56
    3.00

    Ji-Sung Park

    Helped United protect their lead after replacing Rafael late on.

  • Paul Scholes
    246
    47
    3.00

    Paul Scholes

    Set up the winner with his perfectly pinged pass to Valencia on the right flank.

Results
 
Match News
Player Ratings
Tournament
Position
Ranking
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
Luis Suárez Luis Suárez
Striker
Liverpool
29 0
Daniel Sturridge Daniel Sturridge
Striker
Liverpool
20 0
Yaya Touré Yaya Touré
Midfielder
Manchester City
18 6
Wayne Rooney Wayne Rooney
Striker
Manchester United
15 2
Sergio Agüero Sergio Agüero
Striker
Manchester City
15 0