It took him only three minutes to put the Arsenal chapter of his life behind him. Robin van Persie didn’t celebrate his goal, but it was him saying and cementing the fact that he’s moved on to a better place, a better team, as Manchester United cruised to a 2-1 win against a sad, weak and impotent side fielded by Arsene Wenger.
It’s funny to say, but the match was over before all the fans were seated at the Old Trafford. Robin van Persie got the ball at the edge of the box, and executed an accurate shot, although far from a cracker or one of his best. Still, he surprised Vito Mannone, who couldn’t reach the shot, settling in his corner. Only three minutes, 1-0 up, and Arsenal didn’t really have a reply.
Wenger fielded Olivier Giroud as his striker once again, despite his lack of success and goal production, while Theo Walcott was waiting on the bench, knowing that the decisions made about him aren’t all that professional. Aaron Ramsey out of position, Mikel Arteta out of position, Lukas Podolski mostly busy chasing Rafael and Antonio Valencia. Not a recipe for a win. All the pressure and responsibility on Santi Cazorla and Jack Wilshere, barely back from his injury, to create and save the day.
But United didn’t fall back like they did against Chelsea, seeing that there’s not much Arsenal can do. No speed, no width, and United were the busier side, with Mannone making a couple of saves while Van Persie kept looking for another goal and Wayne Rooney was absolutely everywhere.
Santi Cazorla was defending his face, but the ball did touch his hand, and when you’re a visitor at the Old Trafford, penalties are easier to call against you. Luckily for Arsenal and the mistaken referee, Rooney missed from the penalty spot.
Second half? Not a lot changed. Theo Walcott came on for Aaron Ramsey, but it was mostly one way traffic at Mannone’s goal. During Arsenal’s better moments, they suffered from a double whammy – First a Wayne Rooney cross found the head of Patrice Evra with a rare Premier League goal and then Jack Wilshere getting booked for a second time and sent off. Nothing really to do from there.
Santi Cazorla did get to score a goal in extra time while Olivier Giroud had two big missed chances in good positions, but the 2-1 scoreline had a bit of a lying flavor to it, as it never really felt like Arsenal had enough to get a point out of the Old Trafford. For United, it was a relatively uneventful match after their Chelsea week, but the wins keep coming, and they find themselves sitting at the top of the table, at least until Chelsea play their match against Swansea.