Red Devils Edge The Gunners To Go Top

Another round of the English Premier League comes to a close but with 18-time champion Manchester United closing the door on a rather poor Arsenal outfit. The Red Devils stamped their authority on the Premier League on Monday night as they moved two points clear at the top with a 1-0 victory over arch-rivals Arsenal at Old Trafford.

Sir Alex Ferguson put out a rather strange team at first glance with in form Dimitar Berbatov on the bench, Darren Fletcher having come in for the Bulgarian, tightening the center and bringing much needed energy and fight to the game. Wenger on the other hand started without Cesc Fabregas, Robin van Persie and Theo Walcott all of whom made appearances of the bench but brought very little impact to the overall play. Disappointing for many Arsenal fans would be the average performance of Samir Nasri playing on the right hand side for most of the game, unable to penetrate a determined United defense.

Ferguson made sure his troops stick to their game plan and not allow any space in the middle of the park, pushing the Arsenal attack out wide, but having the opportunity to cross the ball rather than work the intricate passes, the Gunners failed to throw the ball in the box. The game lacked rhythm, as United broke up play at every given opportunity, working as hard as possible from the back to front. Amongst the key performances for United, Anderson, Fletcher and Carrick were major contributors controlling the midfield, breaking attacks and committing themselves to the course.

Nani was almost brilliant only to have squandered the perfect opportunity, Park was working his socks off as usual, the Korean was the only source of any success in terms of goal scoring, having guided a deflected cross with his head beating the young Arsenal rookie in goal. Rooney although missing the most obvious opportunity when Glichy was judged having handled the ball in the box. Rooney skied the ball into the stands, leaving Man Utd fans stunned by the worst penalty kick by the England International.

Nevertheless United were hard, physical and narrowed the game ensuring the Arsenal players are forced into using different angels rather than the ones they accustom to. Ferguson's plan was a success at the end of the night, due credit should go to him and his team who stuck to their task, although the obvious frustration was evident as Rooney made his emotions public on a number of occasions.

Looking at the table, United go top of the table with a two point advantage and a game in hand over Arsenal who are now tied on points with Manchester City. Chelsea find themselves in fourth position just few weeks after leading the pack. Next up for United will be another massive encounter, as they face up to the Champions. Could Ferguson once again out-class his opponents or will Anchelotti be able to write a script that could see him out-play the old maestro. For now though United will enjoy the view from the top.



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