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Arsenal 3 Man United 0: So un-Arsenal



At every stage we confounded the script:

- We came out the traps. And scored!
- We doubled it up, almost immediately!
- We realised they were on the ropes and that another goal would kill it. And so we got that other goal!
- And then we, to all extents and purposes, shut up shop. Granted there could have been a United goal but even this arch pessimist had to concede that at no point did there appear any prospect of United getting anything from the game.

A triumph.

We’d begun the afternoon with the same debate we have before this fixture almost every year, namely “is it still the biggest home game of the season?” And not for the first time different opinions were exchanged and eventually I suggested that if you were to wear your Sunday best to just one occasion a season, this would be it. And with that we reached a consensus and enjoyed what unfolded before us.

We were, in short, clinical. Both in front of goal and also, for me, before we got to the goal. There was so much to admire in the first move and for the latter two when first Theo and then Alexis found themselves around 25 yards out hesitation from either could have killed the opportunity but both simply went straight towards goal and the outcome was a joy to behold.

Alexis will rightly take the plaudits. His were strikes of ingenuity, ferocity and total effort. Whatever he achieves, he’s one player who can look back and say he couldn’t really have done any more.

A good day for Theo too, clearly. If he is going to become Arsenal’s forward, it is going to be now you feel.

And a special word too for the man I’ve occasionally dubbed UNESCO for the protected status sometimes afforded to him when it comes to substitutions. Mesut Ozil’s contribution was sublime. One excellent pass and a pinpoint right footed cross for the first. And for the second the beauty of it was in the fact that he was able to make such an opportunity appear so simple.

This result really must act as a springboard. This is a league where Chelsea appear out of it, Liverpool aren’t much cop, United can lose like that to us and City have lost two of their first eight. I’m not saying it is easy. But it is there to have a good go at.


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