Louis van Gaal enjoyed his best 90 minutes in the Manchester United hot seat as Wayne Rooney scored the decisive goal in a smash-and-grab win at the Emirates, propelling the visitors to the Top 4 and dooming Arsenal further.
Kieran Gibbs was the unlucky scorer at the wrong end of the pitch as he diverted Antonio Valencia’s cross into his own net, and Wayne Rooney wrapped up the points by clipping one past the keeper in a classic counterattacking knockout punch. Olivier Giroud’s thunderbolt strike deep into stoppage time turned out to be a mere consolation.
Let’s take a look at the Manchester United Player Ratings for last night’s drama-filled match.
David De Gea – 9
People talking about Neuer being the best keeper in the world and deserving of the Ballon d’Or need to take a good look at this guy. De Gea is head and shoulders above the rest at the moment and quite simply the best there is among the keepers right now. Saved from Welbeck and Wilshere in the first half to keep United in the hunt. Flawless performance.
Antonio Valencia – 7
Played a vital role in United’s first goal and didn’t let the team down with his positioning. Tireless effort from the Ecuadorian.
Paddy McNair – 7
Calm and collected. Didn’t panic under pressure in the right half. 4th win in 4 starts for the youngster.
Chris Smalling – 7
Snuffed out Danny Welbeck with a terrific last ditch challenge. Stood tall and produced a solid performance.
Tyler Blackett – 6.5
Arsenal’s high pressing game and the rampaging Oxlade-Chamberlain kept him on his toes early on but he recovered well.
Luke Shaw – 4.5
Unlucky to be injured early on. Another setback for the young defender. Was his inclusion a gamble?
Michael Carrick – 7
Unfazed by the vicious Arsenal pressure in the early stages. With Carrick on the ball and dictating things, United automatically look a different outfit.
Marouane Fellaini – 6.5
Added a touch of physicality in midfield but looked invisible in the face of the early Arsenal onslaught.
Wayne Rooney – 8
Big players turn up for the big games. They don’t come much bigger than this guy. Outstanding performance rewarded with a terrific goal on the break. Calm chip past the keeper.
Angel Di Maria – 6.5
Will be gutted to have missed that chance late on, but set Rooney up for United’s second. Could work well in the Robben role for United.
Robin van Persie – 6
Barely had an impact, but got little service to feed on. Needs to step up in the upcoming games.
Ashley Young – 7
Superb performance on the left wing. Diligent effort in a defensive sense.
James Wilson – 6
Another outing in a big game atmosphere. Gaining experience with every game. The goals will come.
Darren Fletcher – 6
Kept things quiet in the dying moments of the game. Assured presence in midfield. Top, top professional.