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Played
November 10, 2013 11:10 AM EST
Old Trafford — Manchester
Referee:‬ M. Oliver‎
Attendance:‬ 75138‎
 
 
Top of the Match
Wayne Rooney
Wayne Rooney
Manchester United
Wayne Rooney
Wayne Rooney
Manchester United
Flop of the Match
Olivier Giroud
Olivier Giroud
Arsenal
Mesut Özil
Mesut Özil
Arsenal

Manchester United 1-0 Arsenal: Van Persie on target as champions close gap on title-chasers

The former Gunner headed home from a corner in the first half to give his side the lead, before the hosts held on for an important victory against Arsene Wenger's below-par team.

Robin van Persie scored against his former club for the third game in a row as Manchester United edged Arsenal 1-0 at Old Trafford on Sunday.

It was no surprise that Van Persie was Arsenal's nemesis. The striker has now scored in the last five matches between the two teams and his 27th-minute header was responsible for deciding this encounter, inflicting a blow to the momentum Arsene Wenger's men have built up this term.

Neither side was at its best during the much-anticipated fixture and, although Arsenal improved after the break, it lacked cutting edge with Wayne Rooney going closest to scoring in the second half when he shot just wide.

One goal was enough for David Moyes' side, though, which is now unbeaten in nine matches. Arsenal however – which entered the match on the back of wins over Liverpool and Borussia Dortmund – failed to reinstate its five-point lead at the top of the Premier League.

Van Persie headlined Manchester United's four changes from its goalless draw against Real Sociedad on Wednesday, while Michael Carrick and Jonny Evans also came in after overcoming minor calf and back injuries.

A sickness bug forced Arsenal into two changes, Thomas Vermaelen and Mathieu Flamini coming in for Per Mertesacker and Tomas Rosicky, who were not even among the replacements.

Arsenal shaded a cagey opening in which United's Rooney was the only player to test a goalkeeper, albeit with a relatively tame effort from distance.

Van Persie breathed life into the contest, though, converting the first genuine chance of the game from a Rooney corner. The Netherlands star rose above Oliver Giroud and produced a soaring header that crashed into the top-right corner, too well-placed for Kieran Gibbs – who was on the line – to do anything about.

Arsenal was unable to muster a significant response before the break, but was thankful to see goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny emerge from a nasty clash of heads with Phil Jones in good health.

Manchester United was not so lucky, with defender Nemanja Vidic failing to return after being hit on the head by the hip of his own goalkeeper, David De Gea, on the stroke of halftime.

Arsenal improved after the break but struggled to create clear-cut chances, Mesut Ozil going closest when firing into the side-netting in the 58th minute.

Rooney nearly doubled United's lead on the hour mark after Arsenal's defense failed to clear a clever flick-on header from Shinji Kagawa, but, after feigning to shoot and creating space, the England star tugged his left-footed effort past the right post with Szczesny beaten.

A long-range effort from Gibbs tested De Gea when it took a late van Persie deflection while Chris Smalling failed to take advantage of a teasing cross from the goalscorer at the other end.

There was a late chance for Giroud, but his shot on the turn went wide as United held on for a crucial win that sees them rise to fifth in the table.


Manchester United

1
David de Gea
Goalkeeper
3.00
3
Patrice Evra
Defender
3.00
4
Phil Jones
Defender
42′
3.50
6
Jonny Evans
Defender
3.50
12
Chris Smalling
Defender
3.00
15
Nemanja Vidic
Defender
46′
3.50
16
Michael Carrick
Midfielder
3.50
25
Antonio Valencia
Midfielder
3.50
10
Wayne Rooney
Striker
27′ 75′
4.00
20
3.50
26
Shinji Kagawa
Midfielder
78′
2.50

Arsenal

3.50
1
3.00
3
2.50
5
3.50
6
3.50
28
2.50
8
Mikel Arteta
Midfielder
83′
2.00
11
Mesut Özil
Midfielder
3.00
16
Aaron Ramsey
Midfielder
2.50
19
Santi Cazorla
Midfielder
78′
3.00
20
2.00
12

Substitutes

13
 - 
11
Ryan Giggs
Midfielder
78′
 - 
17
Nani
Midfielder
 - 
23
Tom Cleverley
Midfielder
46′
3.00
25
 - 
44
Adnan Januzaj
Midfielder
 - 
14
 - 

Substitutes

 - 
21
 - 
17
Monreal
Defender
 - 
25
 - 
45
Isaac Hayden
Midfielder
3.50
10
Jack Wilshere
Midfielder
61′ 81′
 - 
23
 - 
44

Coach/Manager

-
 - 

Coach/Manager

 - 
-
 
  • Goal
  • Own Goal
  • Penalty
  • Penalty Missed
  • Yellow Card
  • Assist
  • Penalty Save
  • Penalty Shootout Goal
  • Penalty Shootout Miss
  • Yellow Card / Red Card
  • Red Card
  • Substitution IN
  • Substitution OUT
  • Injury
  • Goal.com Rating
  • Goal.com Man of the Match
  • Goal.com Flop of the Match
  • Top & Flop Global Ranking
  • Fans' Man of the Match
  • Fans' Flop of the Match
Results
 
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
Man City
18 6
Wayne Rooney Wayne Rooney
Striker
Man United
15 2
Sergio Agüero Sergio Agüero
Striker
Man City
15 0