From The Archives: I’d 8-2 Be An Arsenal Fan

Ahead of this week’s trip to Emirates, we look at United’s greatest win over the Gunners.

A Wayne Rooney hat-trick, Ashley Young, brace as well as strikes from Ji-Sung Park, Danny Welbeck and Luis Nani secured United a massive 8-2 win back in 2011. United needed a result after noisy neighbors Man City thrashed Arsenal’s neighbors Tottenham 5-1 earlier on.

Sir Alex’s youthful side consisting of David de Gea, Tom Cleverly, Phil Jones, Jonny Evans and Anderson ran riot, capitalising on Arsenal’s inexperience. 20 minutes into the game, Anderson’s delivery into the box was allowed to bounce by Arsenal’s defence and Welbeck nodded home from close range. Minutes later, Arsenal had a chance to level things up but Robin van Persie’s penalty was saved by de Gea, triggering United fans to sing the young keeper’s name.

The miss would have even more significance, as Young cut in from the left and unleashed a 22-yard curler that sneaked into Szczesny’s far post. 2-0 United! Rooney scored his 150th United goal with a stunning freekick that beat Szczesny all hand up. Walcott gave Arsenal hope after he sneaked one through de Gea’s legs but it never felt like triggering an Arsenal comeback.

You’d think that Arsenal would do better if the same free-kick routine is used twice in a match especially if the first one found the back of the net. But they didn’t improve. Rooney scored his second and United’s fourth with another free kick into Szczesny’s side of the goal. But it was only going to get worse for the Gunners as Nani scored with an outrageous chip over the Arsenal keeper. Rooney was again the creator. United were so dominant in the center of the park and didn’t miss recently retired Scholes as Cleverly put in a midfield masterclass.

Soon after, Young played a little one-two with Park Ji-Sung before the latter made it 6-1! Robin van Persie scored a consolation goal with a sweetly struck volley. The provider Carl Jenkinson was soon sent off for a second bookable offense. Walcott soon brought down Pat Evra inside the box and gave Rooney the opportunity to complete a hat-trick. The English man made no mistake and fired past the Szczesny.

Young made it 8 with a carbon-copy of his first goal. United had an incredible 15 shots on target out of 25.

The result was so embarrassing that members of the Arsenal hierarchy were long gone before Howard Webb brought an end to proceedings and Arsenal’s nightmarish misery.