Manchester United have had better teams. Manchester United have turned in plenty of better performances. But given the state of the squad and the nature of the opposition, we reckon that was United's most enjoyable game to watch for quite some time. But how did the players do? Let's take a look ...
David de Gea: 6
When De Gea made an early save from Nacho Monreal, it looked as though he might be in for a busy day. But: Arsenal! Probably unsighted for the first goal, made a decent save moments before the second, and otherwise entirely acceptable. Exceptionally pleasant to have him back.
Guillermo Varela: 6
Excellent going forward, and involved in United's first two goals. Bobbins at the back, but largely managed to get away with it, in part thanks to Alexis Sanchez's miserable form. What the hell have Arsenal done to him? Did very well not to get sent off after picking up one of the season's more amusing bookings a mere eight minutes in.
Michael Carrick: 6
Still not a central defender, still doing sort-of okay for a man who isn't a central defender. Made a couple of important tackles in the box to frustrate Danny Welbeck, and was presumably delighted that Arsenal chose to start with Theo Walcott rather than Olivier Giroud. Probably has to take some blame for United's general defensive shonkiness.
Daley Blind: 5
Literally can't remember Blind doing a single thing apart from hoofing a few long passes into touch. Which, given that the entire point of playing Blind at centrehalf is that he can pass the ball, is not acceptable. Stop it.
Marcos Rojo: 3
Awful for the first Arsenal goal — we'd accuse him of losing his man, but to lose somebody you have to first know where they are — and generally rusty throughout his 55 minutes. Though that's all quite understandable, what with the injuries and stuff. Then he got crocked again, which is a shame; the idea of Rojo, charging up and down the left and occasionally blamming one in from 30 yards, is quite an appealing one, and it would be nice to see it at some point.
Morgan Schneiderlin: 4 and/or 7
Pretty much the opposite performance to Varela: generally decent and tidy, yet made mistakes that contributed to both Arsenal's goals. That said, Mesut Ozil is quite good generally but wasn't particularly good yesterday, so this may be some of that Good Work From The Defensive Midfielder That Always Goes Unnoticed. Pick your favourite.
Jesse Lingard: 6
Exactly the right kind of player for this game, and the fifteen minutes where he and Varela opened Arsenal up down the right, making both Rashford's goals in the process, was United's best spell of the game. Faded a little after that, but whatever the questions about how good he actually is, he fits very neatly into this team at the moment. And seems to be enjoying that fact, which is always nice.
Ander Herrera: 7
It turns out that if you give players a few games in a row in something approximating their best position, their performances improve. Who knew? Covered the entire pitch, contrived a perfect assist for Laurent Koscielny's chest, and ended the day as probably the best midfielder on the park ...
Juan Mata: 7
... except, perhaps, Mata, who had one of his best games of the season despite being almost entirely uninvolved from an attacking perspective. Didn't have a single shot, barely got into Arsenal's box, but kept the ball well and ran his little legs off to provide passing options for his deeper-sitting colleagues.
Memphis Depay: 7
Not quite as brilliant against Arsenal as he was against Midtjylland, but in some ways this was a more encouraging performance. That's because Midtjylland were awful whereas Arsenal are, at least in theory, not, and so this was a performance that came as much from application and dedication and all the other stuff that buying shiny cars is supposed to contradict, as it did from being quite good at football. We hope this is the start of something significant for Memphis, and we do so because he really seems to irritate many of the right people. Also, more taking the piss out of the opposition, please; sporting respect is all well and good, but sometimes Arsenal need reminding that they are, in both theory and practice, Arsenal.
Marcus Rashford: 8
Well, wasn't that nice? Knackered after an hour, but took both his goals well and, outside the box, put everything he had into the sometimes miserable, sometimes thankless job of playing as a lone striker. Also, this:
THIS IS AMAZING https://t.co/RQMDz7Bw9f— Daniel Harris (@DanielHarris) February 28, 2016
Timothy Fosu-Mensah (on for Rojo, 55'): 6
It never ceases to amaze how these young players can come onto a football field in front of more than 70,000 people and not immediately collapse into a sobbing, traumatised heap under the enormity of what they're about to attempt to do. Looking like a footballer in the process is, if anything, a bonus.
Adnan Januzaj (on for Rashford, 80'): 5
Brought on to run into the spaces behind Arsenal's pushed up defence. Did that as often as he could.
James Weir (on for Herrera, 90+5'): let's not be silly, eh?
Brought on to waste a few seconds and get Ander Herrera a clap. Did both perfectly.
The Busby Babe would like to cordially remind you that taking marks out of ten