Manchester United 2 Arsenal 1

It just had to be didn’t it! Facing his former team mates for the first time since that controversial summer switch to Old Trafford, Robin van Persie struck to give Manchester United the lead within the opening three minutes. Patrice Evra doubled the home sides’ advantage after the break in a game that the Gunners failed to deliver yet again and one in which Jack Wilshire was sent off after receiving his second yellow card.

Santi Cazorla grabbed a late consolation for Arsenal, but once again we are left looking at Arsene Wenger’s side papering over some very obvious cracks.

” I’m disappointed of course, because we had a lot of the ball but we were not very efficient in our final third or in their final third. You feel it was a bit an illusionary domination. We had a lot of the ball but they created more chances and deserved to win the game, ” conceded Wenger.

The Gunnners failed to fire and that was never going to be good enough against United. Wilshire was booked for fouls on Tom Cleverley who himself as riding a fine line, but was substituted by United. When Wilshire clattered into Evra, out came the second yellow card. Ironically it is the form of Thomas Vermaelen that has caused Wenger concern, the defender was at fault for United’s opener, van Persie hitting home after the Belgian’s error.

It could so easily have been 2-0 at the break, but for the saves from Vito Mannone and some luck for a change. Cazorla was harshly judged to have handled, the resultant spot kick however was hit low and wide by Wayne Rooney.

When Arsenal found any kind of response, it came after Theo Walcott’s 51 st minute introduction . At least United now had a worry, but David de Gea had yet to be tested. Olivier Giroud cut an isolated figure but his smart turn and shot grazed the outside of de Gea’s upright.

Still the traveling Arsenal fans kept the faith knowing that last season’s drubbing was not going to reoccur . Wilshere’s frustrations at trying to lift his team became evident but having floored his former captain and come close to another yellow card for taking out Cleverley, there could be no excuses when the 20 year old finally got his marching orders.

When Arsenal finally got on the score sheet, it came in the fifth minute if the added on. Cazorla swept his effort past de Gea, but it came as too little too late, a fact that Wenger knew was due to a lack of domination.

” Part of that is down to the fact that we gave an early goal away.In a game like that, that’s a massive advantage [for Manchester United]. Then they defended well, were sharper than us in the duels and the consequence is you lose the game.