Manchester United are looking a bit more like title contenders after Sunday evening's outing. They weren't dominant or pretty, but were very successful at stifling Arsenal and earned their 1-0 win over Arsenal at Old Trafford. The Gunners struggled for most of the game, despite a decent spell right after halftime.
The hosts were well in control leading up to the game's one and only goal, a header by Robin van Persie off a corner. Wayne Rooney provided the assist with a line drive towards the near post, at the perfect height for his target to get on the end of it. Van Persie was unmarked on his run and placed a brilliant glancing header inside the near post, into the top corner.
There was a bit of a scary moment in the 40th minute when Phil Jones and Wojciech Szczesny collided while going for a 50-50 ball in the air, clashing their heads together. Jones appeared to be unfazed, while Szczesny went down hard and took some time to get back to his feet. He was able to continue, however, and Jones was shown a yellow card.
An injury to Nemanja Vidic forced David Moyes into a change at halftime. Instead of making a like-for-like change -- since he had no defenders on the bench -- he brought on Tom Cleverley to play in midfield and moved Phil Jones to the back line.
Arsenal had more of the ball to start the second half than they did in the first half, possibly due to the change giving them a bit more time and space on the ball in midfield, but they were unable to turn that possession into clear chances. United still had the better of the chances, with Rooney missing just wide on an open shot in the 60th minute. They had arguably the best scoring chance of the half on a 81st minute set piece, when Chris Smalling missed on a ball in from van Persie.
The Gunners made a slew of attacking subs and pushed everyone forward near the end of the match, but failed to test David De Gea as United held on.
Manchester United: De Gea, Evra, Vidic (Cleverley 45'), Evans, Smalling, Carrick, Jones, Kagawa (Giggs 78'), Rooney, Valencia, van Persie (Fellaini 85')
Goals: van Persie (26')
Arsenal: Szczesny, Gibbs, Vermaelen, Koscielny, Sagna, Arteta (Gnabry 81'), Flamini (Wilshere 61'), Ramsey, Özil, Cazorla (Bendtner 78'), Giroud
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