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United Two Good for Arsenal

Danny Welbeck scored ten minutes from time to beat Arsenal and seal an important away win for United.

United looked set for a draw after Robin Van Persie had cancelled out Antonio Valencia’s opener but Welbeck’s finish keeps United within three points of City.

While the 8-2 demolition of Arsenal in the corresponding fixture in August was never going to be repeated, United were determined to turn their fortunes around on a ground where they had only won one out of their last five league meetings.

With Lindegaard confirmed in goal, Ferguson welcomed back Phil Jones in the middle of the defence, alongside Evans, with Smalling and Evra as fullbacks. Rooney and Welbeck were up-front,supported by Valencia, Giggs, Carrick and Nani in midfield.

After a slow start United started dominating possession but were soon dealt a blow as Phil Jones left the field on a stretcher after twisting his ankle and had to be replaced by Rafael.

Giggs and Carrick were superb in midfield with Nani tormenting Djourou down the left channel time and again.

The Portuguese showed the best and worst of his repertoire, getting past Arsenal’s right back – for a team like Arsenal, with a fine tradition in that position, Djorou is an embarrassment – before shooting wide instead of setting up Welbeck for a simple finish.

Was then Evra’s turn to take Djorou to the cleaners, as he played a clever ball to Nani ,whose sidefooted effort was parried by Szczesny.

The United captain produced his best performance of the last two seasons, solid at the back and bombing forward with ease to exploit Arsenal’s defence.

United found the breakthrough just before half time,when Valencia rose to meet Giggs’ cross and headed it past the Arsenal keeper.

It was no surprise that the assist had come from the left, as United were rampant down that flank.

Arsenal started the second half in inspired fashion and United were let off the hook with 51 minutes played, as Van Persie squandered a great chance from close range, after having being set up by Rosicky.

Ramsey and Oxlade Chamberlain then fired over and wide respectively, as United struggled to keep possession of the ball.

Welbeck could have finished Arsenal off with 25 minutes to go, but saw his effort cleared off the line by Mertesacker having beaten Szczesny.

With 20 minutes left on the clock Arsenal drew level through Van Persie.

Rafael was caught out of position after having broken forward and the excellent Oxlade-Chamberlain set up Van Persie,whose finish across the goal went through Evans’legs and into the bottom corner.

Oxlade-Chamberlain was the substituted by Arshavin, a move that Arsenal fans were quick to remind Wenger at the final whistle.

Scholes and Park replaced Nani and Rafael as United looked to hang on to the game.

Over the last few years Arsenal had snatched victory in the closing stages against United, but this time it wasn’t to be, as Valencia shrugged off Arshavin to tee up Welbeck for his sixth league goal of the season.

The England striker made no mistakes from close range, sending the away end berserk as he joined the fans to celebrate what could be a crucial win, while Arsenal were left to face a third consecutive league defeat.

Daniele (@MUFC_dan87)

32 Comments

32 Comments

  1. Moscow is my heaven

    22 January 2012 at 20:34

    Valencia is finally over the Champions League Final. What a beast 😈

  2. Muadh

    22 January 2012 at 20:45

    Valenica was my personal Man of the Match. Had a great game. Thanks to Wenger for substituting Oxlade Chamberlain, he was a pain!

  3. [OPTI]Madschester United

    22 January 2012 at 21:43

    I don’t think it’s fair to blame Rafael for the Arsenal goal. He had every right to join the attack (after winning the ball in defense and setting up the counter attack) and was marauding forward and open like Newt’s marriage [American joke, sorry], but Rooney hesitated with the ball (despite both Ratael and Welbeck in great position) and his attempt at making the late pass put Rafael in a tough spot. I blamed Rooney for the goal due to this hesitation, poor decision-making, and poor pass.

    In fact, Rooney was abysmal today and should have been benched after 60 mins!!!!

  4. [OPTI]Madschester United

    22 January 2012 at 21:47

    On today’s game:
    1. Evra was phenomenal — Man of Match performance and best performance in many many many weeks.

    2. Rooney was awful — poor first touch, passes, movement, poor poor poor! He needs to rest and train more.

    3. Welbeck and Evans were great.

    4. In Jones’ 12 minutes on the pitch, I was fearing for our defense (huge mistake in 2nd minute!). Hope the rest he gets now will help him get back the form that has gone missing in last month or so.

    5. Lindegaard was OK. When the ball hit the post and went in, I was thinking that De Gea would have reacted faster and gotten a full hand on that shot. However, when Mertesacker was up front and harassing our defenders, I felt safe with Anders — what a conundrum Fergie has with these top keepers.

    • Vida Dollar

      23 January 2012 at 07:19

      Precise Analysis OPTI except you missed out our other top performer, Wenger, whose contribution in replacing that boy was immense. Man of the match performance for me from that gaffer if Valencia had not been so good.

      On a serious note your thoughts on the veterans (scholes and Giggs)? I will not pressure you to opine on Carrick lest we open up a whole debate we dont want to be having at the moment.

      • [OPTI]Madschester United

        23 January 2012 at 17:13

        @Vida Dollar: I thought Giggs was excellent for 75 minutes, but gassed at the end. Scholes didn’t play enough for me to warrant a full ode, but his passing range is so MINT! Great to have him back and better than most players in the world in his position.

  5. [OPTI]Madschester United

    22 January 2012 at 21:52

    On Morrison,

    If Fergie indeed told him that if he does not miss a training for three months, he would be in line for a first team appearance, then Morrison is the reason that Morrison is not playing at United. What disgrace not to show up for training on a regular basis. This behavior also explains why he never was given a chance at United — he missed practice and did not improve his demeanor. Good riddance, to … you know what!

    On Pogba:
    I hope he signs up with us for a long-term as this team is ready for him next season: Carrick, Cleverly, Anderson / Pogba… in that order aint bad for a 19-year old at Manchester United.

    Traverse: Any news on either player? Did Morisson officially leave United and whats the inside-rumor on Pogba?

    • Traverse

      23 January 2012 at 12:35

      @[OPTI]Madschester United: Morrison and Pogba both have agents who are after not the best for their clients, but the best for themselves it’s as simple as that.

      There is a lot going on with Pogba’s current contract and whether the 1 year extension it has written in is legal or not. We won’t be offering Morrison a contract until he is out of the woods re his probation Got another month or so until his years probation runs out. No point signing him up to a 4 year deal if in the next month he goes off to prison for a year or 2.

      That’s why he says United haven’t made him an offer yet. Anything else is agent talk.

      I expect Morrison to sign a new contract in the next 2 months, but I think if Pogba was going to it would have happened by now. His agent has been hawking him all over Europe in the belief that the years extension isnt legal.

  6. [OPTI]Madschester United

    22 January 2012 at 21:57

    On “The Ox”:

    World is blowing up with gushings over the Ox’s performance… you gotta be kidding me!! On his first start, he plays well and EVERYONE forgets about his neutral cameos before this (notably: Leeds). Yes, he was Arsenal’s best player today, but he is no one’s savior NOR is he even close to Walcott in the mind of Capello [that places him pretty low in my book]— gimme a break!

    The Ox is strong and can dribble, but don’t start Media train of over-hyped young british players… he’s not that amazing (yet!), so hold off the accolades for just a couple games, especially after a game way from home.

    Geez πŸ™„ πŸ™„ πŸ™„

    • Craig Mc

      22 January 2012 at 22:45

      @[OPTI]Madschester United: Why not the media hype on the OX – after all is that not what some United fans are doing with Welbeck??? Wellbeck is doing ok, but he has not won anything yet! Same difference with the OX is it not?

      • [OPTI]Madschester United

        22 January 2012 at 23:35

        @Craig Mc: I think we are more grounded with respect to Welbeck on RedRants. Remember last week, when rumors came out about Welbeck asking for more money… seemed like we were saying to him: “First win, then earn.”

        • Craig Mc

          23 January 2012 at 05:11

          @[OPTI]Madschester United: Well I was saying that, but I don’t recall many others saying it πŸ˜€

      • RedDevilEddy

        23 January 2012 at 00:51

        @Craig Mc: Welbeck has been doing things for over a year, you seem to look away from his performances for Sunderland! He’s been doing it in the reserves, so much some of us hammered Fergie for not using him in the City derby February 2008! The lad has always been around, done great things at every level, and was one of Sunderlands best players last season. This season, he has delivered most times he has been on the pitch, I mean what more can you ask from him? He’s scored 4 goals and contributed with 3 assists in 5 games against Spurs, Arsenal, City and Liverpool, I think that counts for something?

        By the way, why doesn’t this “prove something before we all jump on the bandwagon” apply for Chicharito?? His main goal contribution only came during the last 5 months of last season, and despite scoring a few goals this season his performances have been poor. Welbeck has been doing things longer than Hernandez, and better than Hernandez, I think he deserves some credit.

        • Craig Mc

          23 January 2012 at 05:25

          @RedDevilEddy: Well he gets plenty of sugar and syrup poured out all over him from you Eddie – enough to last him a lifetime πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜† . At Sunderland he was injured a lot, and didn’t score a lot of goals there. Welbeck MISSES more chances than he scores mate, like Fergie said post game – he should have had FIVE goals today the chances provided for him. Also he could like Chicharito have been having a good spell at the moment, but we will see whether it lasts or not. I have said today that his outfield play has improved, but he is not prolific in front of goal mate – and I don’t think I am on my own in this opinion, because down the pub the talk among United fans re Welbeck is that he is doing good, but he misses a SHITLOAD of chances they all say. Chicharito got us winning goals when the game was otherwise lost – in most of our one nils – but Chicharito’s all round game in the outfield needs to be improved on – but the lad is working hellish hard on it, is not a trouble causer and is happy with his lot at Man Utd. Berba ia a more skilled technical player than both Welbeck and Chicharito, but I am not going to say that Welbeck as our main striker is prolific as you seem to be Eddi because he misses too many chances. Still he is young as you keep telling us and so he has times to improve. Berba scored a good few goals last game at OT he played for us, but he hasn’t had a sniff since. He should be given some game time, so he isn’t play rusty. Welbeck was subbed at OT recently for last half hour, and was pouting like he was a fookin star as he came off the field. He should sign his contract if he wants to stay and play for United, and stop playing the bigshot – that’s all I am saying Eddi!

        • Vida Dollar

          23 January 2012 at 07:36

          In fairness I think Welbeck has actually done more than he is given credit for.Our other strikers Berba and Chicha don’t seem to want to get dirty. With a less than functional; midfield we cannot afford to have such strikers that choose when to go for it.Dont think the media has really been frantic about Welbeck. True he misses more chances than he score but statistically who doesnt?? Wellbeck is certainly a better outfield player than Chicha who now permanently resides offside.I would say the only blight in Welbeck’s performance is that suddenly Rooney has become so woeful and Nani’s decision making with the final ball has come back full circle. Otherwise the lad would be scoring more and the hunger is there for everyone to see. By the way why is it so difficult for the lil man to pick a good final ball after all the work he would have put in??

        • RedDevilEddy

          23 January 2012 at 12:20

          @Craig Mc:

          “Welbeck was subbed at OT recently for last half hour, and was pouting like he was a fookin star as he came off the field”

          Mate, are you serious? 😯 He went off injured after scoring his goal, he was in pain and couldn’t continue… Wow you’ve really got something against the lad!

          He’s not prolific, I know. He could have been on 20+ goals now had he converted all of his chances. But guess what? There doesn’t exist a striker who scores on every chance he gets! I remember when Ronaldo was at United, he was the League’s most shooting player, having over 110 shots when he was on 16 goals. Both Berbatov and Chicharito missed a hell of a lot of chances last season, and Rooney has never been deadly. He’s popped up with goals when we need him too, but he’s never been the prolific goalscorer, even in 2009/10 he would get 6 chances in a game and score only one or two! Robin Van Persie missed two sitters last night, and your boy Nani could easily have scored two. Everybody misses chances, expecting strikers not to is unreal.

          As for goals to minutes ratio, Welbeck has the highest of all our strikers besides Berbatov. Goals to shots he is the most prolific striker in the League. JFYI πŸ˜€

        • Craig Mc

          23 January 2012 at 13:48

          @RedDevilEddy: We obviously weren’t talking about the same game – I remember the one he came off he wasn’t injured – he was subbed and yes he was pouting. But hey you just keep on banging the Welbeck drum Eddi – but stop getting all antzy when I mention a few things regarding him. Just don’t answer my posts Eddi if they upset you – you can’t DEMAND respect – it is either freely given or not. Nani isn’t our MAIN striker either, but he has scored a share of the goals this season – Welbeck is our main striker – so course it is expected that he gets goals. Maybe you should do a GOALS per chances ratio of opportunities Welbeck has had. You are actually comparing Welbeck to Ronaldo – πŸ˜† πŸ˜† πŸ˜† πŸ˜† πŸ˜† πŸ˜† πŸ˜† πŸ˜† πŸ˜† πŸ˜† πŸ˜† πŸ˜† πŸ˜† πŸ˜† πŸ˜† πŸ˜† πŸ˜† πŸ˜† πŸ˜† πŸ˜† πŸ˜† πŸ˜† πŸ˜† πŸ˜† πŸ˜† πŸ˜† πŸ˜† πŸ˜† πŸ˜† πŸ˜† πŸ˜† πŸ˜† πŸ˜† πŸ˜† πŸ˜† πŸ˜† digging deep on that one my friend – digging deep.

        • RedDevilEddy

          23 January 2012 at 15:46

          @Craig Mc: You were talking about him being subbed in the Bolton game right?

  7. fatboy

    23 January 2012 at 00:56

    if i had the ox at United i’d be gushing. He’s a good player. no denying that, better football brain than Theo Walcott thats for sure

  8. truly red

    23 January 2012 at 05:08

    welbeck is amazing on free flowing counterattack and intricate buildup play…last year he showed that at sunderland teaming up with gyan and cessegnon… he has done well right through his career…he was brought up the united way as a player…i would rather have him on the team than a certain 50m striker..

  9. RedDevilEddy

    23 January 2012 at 12:55

    I seriously don’t like being a spokesman for Danny Welbeck on this blog as I think he definately deserves a lot more praise than he gets. He’s been at the club since he was 9 years old, contributing at every level he has played, even when he was on loan at Sunderland he was massive for them. He tore Chelsea and Spurs to shreads at their respective grounds last season, and had it not been for a serious injury ruling him out of the last 3 months of the season he would have been a shoe-in for their Player of the Season award. Going back further he’s scored the winning goal in our 2008 FA Youth-Cup final, and we’ve heard about him since early 2007, doing so well Fergie even pondered about bringing him in for the pivotal 2008 derby against City which also took place as the 50 year rememberance for Munich.

    This season he’s delivered better, and more consistently, than all our other strikers, giving us something up front which we haven’t had for a long time. Chicharito has had pace and positining, Berbatov ability, but Welbeck has an ability which combines the two of them added with some strength and serious work-rate. He’s been out injured time and time again for us, missing the whole of September and most of October and November. Despite that he has 9 goals and 4 assists to his name, scoring twice against Arsenal, crucial goals against Spurs and City, even getting the vital flick on for Chicharito to score the equaliser away at Anfield. In pre-season he got the assist for Nani’s goal against Barca, a perfectly timed pass which slid him through, and could have had another when he managed to delightfully flick the ball through their defence, only for his shot to be saved by Valdes and Owen missing an open goal on the rebound. He’s been doing things for us the entire season, and together with Nani, Valencia, Carrick and Jones he’s been one of our most important assets this season.

    If there really is trouble with his contract, I can see it. He’s rumoured to want Β£60 grand, and United offering him Β£45k… I mean seriously, Chicharito is on Β£80,000 a week, and Welbeck has been one of our best players this season. He loves this club and celebrates every goal as if his childhood dream has just been fulfilled, just that he’s got some chili pepper stuck up his arse and has to go balistic! I don’t like players that raises questions over contracts, especially wages, but I think it’s a disgrace if United only offer him Β£45k a week. The lad deserves much more, Β£60,000 is nothing compared to what he actually deserves!

    • Moscow is my heaven

      23 January 2012 at 18:02

      @RedDevilEddy: Raising players’ wages before they prove diddly squat is a dangerous game to play Eddy. It’s great to see a local lad like Welbeck getting the chance to perform, and he has done well. He still has areas of his game that needs developing, like dribbling and finishing, so let’s not hype him up too much. He could have easily scored a hat-trick yesterday, and it would cost us if his profligacy was repeated against teams less forgiving than Arsenal.

      Rooney is playing very ineffectively in midfield (his passing really is hopeless), and if you ask me he should be leading the front line as a lone striker, and instead we should buy a magician to fill the hole he is currently occupying. This player could have been Sneijder, but that ship has sailed so I would advocate a move for Goetze.

      • RedDevilEddy

        23 January 2012 at 18:18

        @Moscow is my heaven: I still don’t get why people say Welbeck has to prove anything, he’s done nothing but that in the last 18 months! If what he needs to do is win us a Premier League or Champions League title, then fair enough but I still think he has more than proved his worth to this team.

        Scott wrote an interesting piece about Welbz on RoM, worth a read and kind of explained why Danny is getting such a low salary. I mean, Cleverley hasn’t really proved anything either yet he got a contract worth Β£50,000 a week earlier this season. Welbeck may be younger, but he has done more for United than Tom has so I can see his frustration.

        As for GΓΆtze, I’ve been shouting for that move for a while now. He’d do well for us in a LAM role, very much like what Nani has done for us this season. I’d love to see Nani on the right, GΓΆtze on the left and Rooney behind Welbeck! Thing with Valencia is that he’s too good to leave out at the moment, but if you ask me that is mostly because we only play Premier League football. Having a winger like Valencia is brilliant to have in the Prem, but his inability to cut inside is costly in Europe. I’ve noticed a change in him this season, he’s really worked on using the outside of his right foot and that is a really good asset for him to have since his left foot is paralyzed at best. Young and Valencia are very much English type wide wingers, and although those two are brilliant to have I really wonder how they would do in Europe. Facing top teams like Barca, Bayern and Real you need wingers who can do more than just stick to the byline and stick crosses in, people who can cut inside, pass, move, dribble and shoot from both flanks is a necessity if you ask me. I still feel we need a winger/flanked attacking midfielder like GΓΆtze if we are to rule Europe again, and he would be a marvellous aquisition!

        • Moscow is my heaven

          23 January 2012 at 18:42

          @RedDevilEddy: Do you think Rooney is a playmaker, or a striker?

        • RedDevilEddy

          23 January 2012 at 21:23

          @Moscow is my heaven: I think he is something inbetween. Play him as a striker and you remove certain vital parts of his game, but he doesn’t have the vision to be a rightous playmaker either. I still stand with him behind a holding striker in the Dwight Yorke mould, linking up the midfield with the flanks and the striker. Let him roam, let him help out the midfield, just let the lad play football his way. He depends on others to create that certain bit of magic for the team, but he’s brilliant at including those in the play and finishing up chances. Think he would revel with someone like GΓΆtze!

  10. Jay wire

    23 January 2012 at 13:41

    Welbeck.
    I just don’t get it. With the Reserves, he was red hot. I remember this Danny guy who used to be a RR regular and thoroughly obsessed with youth. But his love for Welbeck was on another level. He raved about him even in totally irrelevant situations. You’d be debating about the Glazers and he’d find a way to somehow get Welbeck in the picture. I took a mild interest inevitably and have to be honest, I was impressed. At least from the Reserves level. But his introduction to the first team was typical. Illogical. He was used on the left wing. He really struggled and I remember Grognard calling him a “talentless git”. But I really wondered why he was not used in the striker role in which he impressed in Reserves.

    When he moved to Sunderland,they played him as part of a forward trio with Gyan and I think Kenwyn Jones. Boom. He was back in. So he had to leave United in order to get the right development. I’m actually confounded by people saying his touch is poor. I mean, that’s actually one of his strengths. He’s got a good touch and is hard to knock off the ball because of his Berbatov like control and strength on the ball. In fact, he is like a Berbatov v2.0. But faster, grittier and more selfish. His link up play is, at least from this season, bettered only by Berbatov. And he’s goal rate and count has been excellent. It’s so sad. I’m thinking, if we combined Berbatov and Welbeck upfront, we would be employing our resources well. But Ferguson probably owes Rooney his own life and has a crush on Chicharito. Both players should be on the bench for Welbeck and Berba. Give them 3 consecutive games, with Nani another constant. It’s a surety and guarantee for goals in abundance.

    • Craig Mc

      23 January 2012 at 14:18

      @Jay wire: That DANNY you are talking about who used to somehow drop Welbeck into every debate being talked about was DANNY WELBECK himself πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜† . I watch the reserves and youth regularly, and Danny Welbeck was ok indeed for the youth team, but he wasn’t all that for the reserves. Yes he needed the loan spell to get games consistently just like Cleverley did – and I think Pogba and Morrison would have benefited from being similarly farmed out. I don’t think Welbeck 1st touch is all that it might be right now, but it is better than Wazza’s for sure and certainly better than a good few of our other players. With regards to getting outmuscled on the ball – it is only the very last 3 games or so that he has been more aggressive – because that was an area of his game where he was needing improvement – getting stuck in, and I used to comment about it all the time. Glad to see that he is improved in not allowing himself to be pushed around now! But it is only recently that is the case – and anyone who says otherwise amongst the Danny admirers should watch thru most of his games and you will see that he was outmuscled all too easily. He has though become more aggresive in last few games and I like that improvement. However I have to say he has a FAR FAR better temperament than that nutter Ballotelli who is a THUG and responds to every tackle he receives with petulance or reckless backlash tackles – something like Wazza used to be before he became older and wiser. Danny isn’t like that – he has far better temperament I will give the lad that!

  11. Owen

    23 January 2012 at 17:03

    Valencia has proved himself to be one of the very few World Class Players at United.Easily the best United player this season.One thing which he is ignoring is to give coaching class on ‘consistency’ to Nani.May be Nani is busy taking classes from Anderson.

  12. Yang

    23 January 2012 at 17:45

    This Ox fiasco show how Arsenal team has been tattered. Ox did very well which is usual for extremely fast player. Pace is god given talent for footballer. Let’s assume That Messi a bit slower than now then His god sending dribble skill go no effect since defender catch him up after get skinned. Our defender somewhow played very well.

    I start to worry about Rooney and Nani,both need to deliver final result every other game. Other player did very well but our main attacking player need to be consistent.

  13. Moscow is my heaven

    23 January 2012 at 18:11

    Why do I love this guy so much? Am I gay? πŸ˜•

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