Louis Van Gaal has urged his team to be more ruthless in front of goal and to dispose of their opponents more swiftly than they’ve done in the first three months of the campaign.
United go into Saturday’s game against on the back of their first away of the season and, with two home fixtures in four days, United could well be looking at traveling to Southampton in 10 days time with four consecutive wins under their belt, as they beat Crystal Palace before the international break.
If anyone has come down from the result last weekend then I’d recommend watching a clip of Kieran Gibbs’ face on repeat after the fullback inadvertently directed the ball into his own net on Saturday evening. United have seen victory more times at the Emirates than Olivier Giroud has seen his wife over the last 12 months, but this time it felt different.
Despite the performance this was the result United deserved and after a gradual improvement of performances against Chelsea and City that didn’t see wins materialise , victory was welcomed with open arms. Now it feels like United could be at the start of something special and the next run of fixtures sees an opportunity to storm back into contention for the top spots. This begins with Hull tomorrow afternoon.
Jonny Evans was happy to return to action but admitted he’s not yet ready to make a first team return, after spending 10 weeks on the sidelines with a fitness problem.
The Northern Ireland defender played just over 60 minutes on Tuesday as United reserves, featuring Ander Herrera and Adnan Januzaj among the others, thrashed Blackburn 5-0 in the Lancashire Senior Cup but poured cold water on the prospect of an immediate return to the first team squad.
Manchester United have been dealt a fresh injury blow as Luke Shaw could be out for three weeks following the ankle injury he picked up on Saturday against Arsenal.
Having played on Tuesday for England despite a slight fitness issues, Shaw was selected in the starting XI at the Emirates, only to last barely 15 minutes before hobbling off the pitch after twisting his ankle. The former Southampton left-back left the ground on crutches and with a protective boot around his left foot.
Ryan Giggs has admitted his last season as Manchester United player was an extremely complicated time, as the team he’s spent his whole career at badly struggled under David Moyes.
Giggsy said that seeing United in such difficult and unfamiliar territory was made even more complicated by his new role as player-coach and by not having Sir Alex Ferguson at Old Trafford for the first time in his career.
As William Shakespeare brilliantly put it, all’s well that ends well.
That was very much the case on Saturday night, as United clinched their first away win of the season and their first against a top four side – admittedly on tradition, rather than current form – since they beat the very same opponent a little over than a year ago.
Ashley Young has praised Tyler Blackett and Paddy McNair for their performance against on Saturday, singling out the two young defenders for producing a “resilient” performance as United clinched their first win of the season away from home.
Having weathered a torrid first 25 minutes, United gradually grew into the game before scoring twice in the second half, as Arsenal’s tactical naivety was exposed by United’s counterattacking football.
Chris Smalling has conceded that Manchester United should be higher on the table but insisted that, after clinching their first away win of the season, things were looking up for Louis Van Gaal’s side.
United secured their first win on the road of the campaign after a 2-1 win against Arsenal at the Emirates and Smalling, who had been the pantomime villain in the derby earlier this month, was among the best players on the pitch, as United withstood Arsenal’s pressure and pounced on the counter.