his first appearance for United since the FA Cup defeat to Swansea City on 5 January, replacing the injured Rafael at half-time to rekindle his famed partnership with Vidic.
Opposition Having lost heavily to Liverpool on Saturday, Arsenal were determined to beat United and get their title challenge back on track. However, while the Gunners were definitely on the offensive at times, they were evidently just as keen not to lose and seemingly placed an emphasis on defensive solidarity with one eye on the counter attack.
Move of the Match In the 78th minute, with the game’s closing act approaching, Michael Carrick reclaimed possession in the centre circle before slipping a neat pass to Van Persie. The Dutch striker then played a delightful exchange with Rooney to unleash a powerful header at Szczesny, whose quick reflexes enabled him to palm the ball onto the crossbar.
In the Stands Despite the howling wind and awful conditions, United’s travelling fans made plenty of noise and did themselves proud in North London, providing a constant backdrop of support throughout a nip and tuck encounter. Most notably, a rousing rendition of ‘We’ll Never Die’ could be heard in the closing exchanges, drowning out the noise generated by the home crowd.