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Arsenal 1-2 Manchester United: United poor, but win regardless

Manchester United won a bizarre game at the Emirates 2-1, thanks to a Kieran Gibbs own-goal and Wayne Rooney.

Michael Regan/Getty Images

Our worst performance in the league so far under Louis van Gaal? Quite possibly. Our best result? Without any doubt whatsoever. Manchester United put in a pretty meek display, could have been out of it inside twenty minutes, failed to get any control on the game whatsoever, and missed a couple of good chances themselves. The result - 2-1 to Manchester United.

The game opened with a series of Arsenal attacks against United's makeshift defence, with Paddy McNair (4 wins from 4 starts now for the Ulsterman) looking the most composed and Tyler Blackett looking a complete bombscare. Jack Wilshere went the closest thanks to an error from the latter, but fortunately his poor finishing resulted in him putting it straight at David de Gea.

De Gea had to make a few more stops from Welbeck and the lacklustre Alexis Sanchez, but wasn't unduly troubled. Jack Wilshere should have been sent off after thrusting his head into Marouane Fellaini's chest, but somehow managed to escape punishment. Eventually, United made it to half-time intact, but having threatened little themselves.

The second half brought with it a fine five minutes of football, however. First, Paddy McNair crocked Jack Wilshere (seriously, give him the captaincy) before a mix-up between Kieron Gibbs and Wojciech Szczesny injured the latter and left the ball to fall for Antonio Valencia, whose rubbish effort was deflected in off the former's leg.

United could now sit back and counter, but some dreadful play from a woeful Robin van Persie contrived to spoil a couple of counters. Eventually, United got it right though, and one break saw Di Maria put Rooney clean through, who dinked it over Martinez to put United 2-0 up. Another counter-attack saw Di Maria have the Arsenal half to himself, but despite that he contrived to chip it wide.

Olivier Giroud ensured a nervy final few moments with a late goal, marring an otherwise fine game from De Gea by beating him at his near post, but United were able to hang on to somehow escape with a win that leaves them in fourth place.