first_imgARSENAL Press Association PETR CECH: Recalled to the starting XI following David Ospina’s Champions League blunder, the former Chelsea man produced a stunning block at point-blank range to deny Anthony Martial in the first half and remained alert when tested in the latter stages. 8 (out of 10) HECTOR BELLERIN: Spanish full-back pressed forwards well, offering an outlet down the right in support of Arsenal’s marauding frontline. 7 PER MERTESACKER: Little for the big German to worry about as Martial rarely had anyone to support him. Needed to be more composed as United improved in the second half. 7 GABRIEL: Brazilian centre-back produced another solid display and was a threat at set-plays in the United penalty area. 7 NACHO MONREAL: Solid showing from the left-back, who got away down the overlap, but also tracked back behind Alexis Sanchez. 7 SANTI CAZORLA: Diminutive Spaniard was quick in the transition and found plenty of willing forward runners. 7 FRANCIS COQUELIN: Arsenal’s midfield enforcer revelled in the early exchanges and broke down what little forward momentum United were able to offer. 7 AARON RAMSEY: Wales international started on the right, but covered plenty of ground. Should have scored in the first half, but otherwise a solid enough display. 7 MESUT OZIL: German playmaker was both creator and finisher during Arsenal’s devastating opening spell. At the heart of every attack, showing some great vision and close control. 8 ALEXIS SANCHEZ: Superb finishes from the Chile forward, whose deft flick opened the scoring and then a bullet strike made it 3-0 before half-time. 9 THEO WALCOTT: England striker was again given the nod in attack ahead of Olivier Giroud and stretched the United backline at every opportunity. 8 Substitutes OLIVIER GIROUD (on for Walcott, 75): France forward offered a different dimension to the Arsenal attack during the closing stages. 6 ALEX OXLADE-CHAMBERLAIN (for Ozil, 75): Energetic late cameo display from the England midfielder, who provided an outlet down the right and almost added a fourth in stoppage time. 7 KIERAN GIBBS (for Sanchez, 81): Full-back was pushed into duty on the left side of midfield following Sanchez’s injury, and held the shape well. 6 MANCHESTER UNITED DAVID DE GEA: Misread the cross for the first goal, but could do nothing to prevent Arsenal’s second and third goals. 5 MATTEO DARMIAN: Feeble attempt to tackle Sanchez resulted in Arsenal’s third. Regularly roasted by the Chilean and taken off at half-time. 3 CHRIS SMALLING: Eventually got the defence working as a half-coherent unit, but by that point the damage was done. 5 DALEY BLIND: People have questioned whether the Dutchman is capable enough at centre-back. This performance only strengthens the doubters’ argument. 4 ASHLEY YOUNG: Quite simply, he is not a left-back. Booked for a first-half lunge and too often exposed. 4 MICHAEL CARRICK: Unusually sloppy in midfield, especially in the first half. Unable to pull the strings like normal. 5 BASTIAN SCHWEINSTEIGER: Off the pace yet somehow avoided being substituted at half-time. Improved after the break, but that was not hard. 5 JUAN MATA: Grew into the match having been a mere spectator early on, trying to unlock the door to no avail. 6 MEMPHIS DEPAY: An ineffective, uninspired display from the Dutchman – one that saw him replaced at the break. 5 WAYNE ROONEY: Made a number of clumsy touches and, while he worked hard for the team, this was another underwhelming display from United’s captain. 5 ANTHONY MARTIAL: United’s biggest attacking threat and only a fine Cech save prevented him reducing the deficit as half-time approached. 6 Substitutes ANTONIO VALENCIA (for Darmian, 45): Did a far better job at right-back when it came to marshalling star man Sanchez. 5 MAROUANE FELLAINI (for Depay, 45): Physical presence in midfield made a welcome change after a terrible first half from United. 6 JAMES WILSON (for Mata, 82): An attack-minded change but too little, too late by Louis van Gaal. 5 last_img

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