A topsy-turvy, nail-biter of a contest saw Manchester United pick up their first away win of the season at the expense of an Arsenal side that flattered to deceive once again. Both Arsene Wenger and Louis Van Gaal would have plenty to think about after an open, exciting contest that could have very well finished with half a dozen more goals.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger was left to rue his team’s missed chances after the Gunners failed to beat Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea till injury-time in the second half when substitute Olivier Girould scored a brilliant volley.
“It’s a game that we dominated for 80 percent of the time,” Wenger said.
“We have not had many games against Man United like today, but we were not efficient enough in the final third and made mistakes at the back.”
Wayne Rooney scored a wonderful goal in the dying minutes as Arsenal left themselves vulnerable to counter-attacks in a bid to chase the equaliser after going down 1-0.
“We were not cautious enough,” Wenger said of Rooney’s goal.
“I don’t know why we had two against one at the back in our own half. You will get punished by these players.
“We made a big mistake on the first goal, and when we’re 1-0 down we were too impatient.”
“Their keeper is man of the match, and that’s the story of the game,” Wenger said.
Louis Van Gaal was full of praise for his players, and hailed the “fantastic” win despite ever-growing injury worries.
“I hope some players come back from injuries because it’s unbelievably difficult to create consistency in the team,” he said.
“Every week I have to change my lineup. That is not always good to create ultimatism in the team.”
“In the first 35 minutes, we gave the ball away so easily, that’s not possible for a top team. Arsenal created a lot of chances but fortunately we have a very good goalkeeper. After the first 35 minutes, you saw us coming back in the game,” he said. “That’s what I said at halftime. When we keep the ball, when we show confidence, then we shall score goals.”
David De Gea was in scintillating form, playing ahead of a young, inexperienced defense. But Van Gaal was quick to point out that the Spaniard still had room for improvement
“He has quality. I’m used to his quality. He can improve, also, in other aspects of his game. When I say that, you think I’m crazy. But I’m not crazy.”
“I am confident I made the right decision,” said Van Gaal of the decision to start with a back three.
“To make it before the match, that’s a quality decision. I can say that now, that’s the life of a coach. The result always gives you the reason or not.
“I have to say I cannot do other things because I don’t have many players. I think the players have done fantastic. Blackett, McNair and Luke Shaw — how old are they?”