Belfast Telegraph

Friday 28 November 2014

Rampant United destroy Gunners

Manchester United
Manchester United

Wayne Rooney scored a hat-trick as Manchester United handed Arsenal an embarrassing 8-2 beating at Old Trafford.

The Gunners are now anchored just above the relegation zone at the end of a thoroughly miserable day for north London, with Tottenham shipping five against Manchester City.

Danny Welbeck and Ashley Young scored either side of a missed Robin van Persie penalty before Rooney cut loose, Nani and Park Ji-sung also finding the net for the rampant hosts before Young finished them off in stoppage time.

United quickly upped the pace and when Anderson chipped over the Arsenal defence, Welbeck was too strong for Johan Djourou and headed over Wojciech Szczesny and into the net from close range.

Almost immediately, Arsenal had the chance to equalise when Jonny Evans pulled Theo Walcott back in the area. Young was booked for protesting but Howard Webb's decision was correct. However, David de Gea proved his worth, diving to his right to push Van Persie's spot-kick round the post.

It was the start of a pivotal couple of minutes for United, when Armand Traore's weak header bounced kindly for Young, Francis Coquelin was too slow closing the England winger down, allowing him time to curl a brilliant 20-yard effort into the top corner.

United were not finished though, and after Carl Jenkinson had dragged Young down on the edge of the area, Rooney curled home the free-kick. Arsenal were on their knees, although Walcott gave them some hope when he blasted through De Gea's legs to pull one back in stoppage time.

With 63 minutes gone Djourou was booked for hauling Rooney down and the United man - who had earlier scored his 150th United goal - quickly added his 151st in very similar fashion with another superb free-kick to make it 4-1. United were rampant, with Nani brilliantly chipping Szczesny for number five after Rooney had sent him clear.

Substitute Park scored another before Van Persie did what he should have done earlier, when it was far more important, finding the net from close range. There were few celebrations, and none for Jenkinson, who was sent off for hauling down Javier Hernandez on the edge of the area, having already been booked.

Rooney's attempt at completing his hat-trick did not trouble Szczesny, but he managed it eight minutes from time, tucking home from the spot after Walcott had fouled Evra. Young added another in stoppage time to end the torment.

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