Manchester United recorded their first away win of the season and moved up to fourth place, whereas Arsenal crumbled under the expectations and slipped to eighth place. Here are the performance ratings of all the players involved:
Wojciech Szczesny: 6
The Arsenal keeper did not have much to deal with, yet was guilty of flapping at a cross that eventually led to the first goal. To add insult to injury, Szczesny’s collision with Gibbs in the build-up to the first goal led to the former being taken off.
Calum Chambers: 6
Played decently, considering the fact that he did not have a direct opponent for the initial periods as United player a back three. Made a couple of forays forwards, but failed to offer enough width to the Arsenal attack.
Per Mertesacker: 7
Dealt with Robin van Persie quite effectively. Also managed to keep Marouane Fellaini in check during set-pieces. Pity his efforts came in a losing cause.
Nacho Monreal: 6
Invisible for large parts of the match and not tested enough by Manchester United considering he is a fullback playing at centreback.
Kieran Gibbs: 5
Guilty of deflecting the ball into the net by hanging out a leg while on the ground. Still, Gibbs offered more going forward than his opposite number.
Aaron Ramsey: 6
The Welshman had a good first half as Arsenal carved open United on a number of occasions. Drifted out of the game in the second half as United piled on the pressure. Guilty of wasting a good move courtesy his two long range shots.
Mikel Arteta: 6
The Spaniard, playing ahead of the defense, had to deal with the threat of Angel Di Maria who had a free role behind the striker. For most parts, Arteta was able to keep a lid of Di Maria’s antics, but lost his man for the second goal.
Jack Wilshere: 5
It was a microcosm of his entire career in 50 minutes. Wilshere blew two great chances to score, made a goal-saving last-ditch tackle, lost his cool and headbutted Fellaini and was taken off in the second half due to an ankle injury.
Alexis Sanchez: 5
Anonymous for large parts of the game, the Chilean was nowhere close to his rampaging best in a game that passed him by. Was shackled all too easily by Antonio Valencia. A poor free-kick in the second half summed up his day.
Alex-Oxlade Chamberlain: 8
Easily Arsenal’s best player on the pitch. The youngster’s direct approach pushed United back and allowed his teammates to get into goalscoring position. Was clear on goal in the first half but De Gea’s excellent save denied him a deserved goal.
Danny Welbeck: 6
Last night was Welbeck’s chance to show Louis Van Gaal what he would be missing after selling the striker in the summer. If anything, Welbeck vindicated Van Gaal’s decision to sell him. Guilty of missing two clear-cut chances.
Damian Martinez (59′): 6
Came on after Szczesny injured himself colliding with Gibbs. Not at fault for the second goal as his defense left him stranded.
Santi Cazorla (55′): 5
Came on to replace the injured Wilshere. His first involvement was picking up a yellow card for stopping a United counter-attack. Things did not improve after that.
Olivier Giroud (77′): 8
Showed Arsenal what they were missing with a fantastic goal in the 90th minute. Considering he has been out with injury for months, Giroud looked very good, and should be starting ahead of Welbeck.
David De Gea: 8
Picked up the Man of the Match award, but the Spaniard did not have many difficult saves to make, as the Arsenal players kept shooting straight at him. Could do little about Giroud’s volley though.
Antonio Valencia: 7
Dealt with the threat of Alexis Sanchez comfortably and provided an outlet on the counter-attacks. For a winger playing at wingback, Valencia was surprisingly good.
Paddy McNair: 7
Yet another win for United with young Paddy McNair at the back, and yet another good performance from the teenager. United seem to have a fantastic prospect for the future in McNair.
Chris Smalling: 9 (THT’s Man Of the Match)
Tasked with leading an inexperienced defense, Smalling was immense. He made 16 clearances and 5 interceptions, the most of anyone on the pitch. After the horror show against Manchester City, Smalling desperately needed a good performance to repay Van Gaal’s faith in him.
Tyler Blackett: 7
Far too casual on occasions and guilty of giving the ball away cheaply. But Blackett will get more chances as the season progresses. If Shaw’s injury is serious, Blackett could be in line for a start at leftback next week.
Luke Shaw: N/A
Substituted in the 15th minute due to an ankle injury suffered by a bad challenge. Hopefully he will be back soon to capitalise on the good performances he has been building up lately.
Michael Carrick: 7
Metronomic as usual. Carrick kept things ticking over in the absence of Daley Blind. Had a forgettable first-half as Arsenal ran riot.
Marouane Fellaini: 8
Slowly becoming the first name on the teamsheet. The Belgian’s imposing frame and physicality are sometimes impossible to counter or defend against. Made a number of crucial tackles in the match.
Angel Di Maria: 6
The Argentinian will be disappointed with his efforts despite being given a free role behind the strikers. Missed a one-on-one chance to put United 3-0 up, but looked a far bigger threat centrally than on the flanks.
Wayne Rooney: 8
A typical energetic, all-round performance from the Manchester United captain. His goal made it 8 in his last 9 appearances, a fantastic outlay.
Robin Van Persie: 5
Sluggish, short of confidence and not a shadow of the striker that terrorised defences last season. Should consider himself very lucky to last 75 minutes.
Ashley Young (16′): 7
Came on to replace Luke Shaw at leftback, and like Valencia, dealt with the Arsenal attack well. Had to suffer the ignominy of being substituted in the dying minutes.
James Wilson (75′): N/A
Had only 15 minutes to express himself on the pitch, but he will soon be a first-teamer. The youngster has already shown glimpses of his talent, and should get more gametime as the season progresses.
Darren Fletcher (89′): N/A
Good to see the Scotsman on the pitch again. But it was more a time-wasting strategy than giving Fletcher game-time.