Manchester United boss David Moyes says Sunday’s victory at home to Arsenal proves his side is beginning to get its knack for points altogether and hopes they can close up the gap between them and the league leaders after the international break.
Robin van Persie scored once more against his former side and this time celebrated a goal which reduced the ‘Gunners’s’ lead at the top to two and trimmed that ahead of the defending champions to five. His name rang around Old Trafford and you could tell he is now a United player after the goal.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger had before kick-off revealed sickness in his camp had deprived him of defender Per Mertesacker and midfielder Tomas Rosicky, while Mikael Arteta was fit to start despite not feeling too well. This may have slowed down the North London outfits pace in the first 45 minutes.
But when Moyes’ men finally got off from their half, they knew handing out three points would be a disaster against a side which has had arguably the best week with victory against Liverpool and another away at Borussia Dortmund. Therefore winning was the only option for the ‘Red Devils’ and their Scottish manager was glad his big name strikers were in hand to put paid to the task.
“It’s been a great weekend- we’ve not had many of them! This was a big result for us today. Arsenal have been in terrific form this season and we had to play well to get the result.
“The big players are coming up when they’re needed and Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney’s games were two big performances,” Moyes said in his media conference.
“This is another step on the ladder. It’s going to be a while until I get it all the way I’d like it. We’re improving and getting better, and we hope it will get much much better in the coming months and years.”
Van Persie , who scored for United against Arsenal in both fixtures last season following his £24m, helped his side and the fans avert disappointment by getting away from Olivier Giroud to flick his header over Kieran Gibbs on the post and into the net from a Rooney corner in the 27th minute.
Despite Arsenal’s lack of goal threats in the opening half, the Dutchman’s goal was the only difference at the break and Wenger’s boys necessarily started the second-half with greater purpose but couldn’t get a leveler despite some few attempts- including two untouched Bacary Sagna’s crosses.
All said, United were good defensively and held their markers with real intents all in a bid to prevent their opponents from diving ahead in the table with an eleven point lead.
“We started very well then at the end our determination, effort and commitment helped us when we were under more pressure.
“We gave them too much room in the second-half but restricted them in the first. Overall, it’s three important points,” Moyes opined.
Head injuries to Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny and Manchester United skipper Nemanja Vidic held up play twice before half-time, and just at a time when the debate on Tottenham’s decision to allow Hugo Lloris play on after collision with Everton striker Romelu Lukaku at Goodison Park rages on, the Arsenal keeper received a lengthy treatment and was able to carry on following a clash of heads with United’s Phil Jones.
Moyes confirmed that Vidic, who got to his feet but went straight off before half-time after being caught on the head by United keeper David de Gea as he punched clear, went to the hospital.
“Nemana Vidic has gone to the hospital. I didn’t see how bad it was from the touchline but I know it was a terrible clash. I’ll find out more from the medics later on,” added Moyes.
The Old Trafford ‘singing section’ played their part but the regular crowd support at the United crowd did not lose its voice and Moyes was delighted adding: “I was pleased for the crowd inside Old Trafford- that was fantastic today and hopefully they’ve enoyed a really good result.”