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Saturday 03 November 2012

Ferguson heaps praise on 'fantastic' Van Persie

Manchester United manager lauds Dutchman's display; Arsene Wenger rues Arsenal errors

  • United's Robin van Persie gives a commanding performance against his former side

  • Van Persie gives United the lead over Arsenal after only three minutes

  • Wayne Rooney misses a first-half penalty for United

  • Arsenal's Mikel Arteta is tackled by Rooney

Sir Alex Ferguson was full of praise for Robin van Persie after the striker's goal against his former side helped Manchester United inflict a 2-1 defeat upon Arsenal at Old Trafford.

"I thought Van Persie was fantastic today. His movement, his penetration was fantastic"
Sir Alex Ferguson

Van Persie struck inside the opening four minutes to set the club he left the Gunners for in the summer on their way to a provisional place at the top of the Barclays Premier League standings, while Patrice Evra's second-half header, after Wayne Rooney had missed a penalty, doubled the hosts' lead.

Santi Cazorla's curling shot reduced the arrears with the last kick of the game, but according to Ferguson the Spaniard's strike flattered the Gunners.

"It wasn't a close game," said Ferguson. "I think it was a lack of urgency in the game throughout, far too casual. It wasn't a usual Manchester United-Arsenal game. I know there were a lot of bookings."

After scoring his eighth Barclays Premier League goal in 10 appearances for his new club, Ferguson reserved special praise for the clinical Dutchman.

"It was an ideal start for the Manchester United cause and it was good for Robin," he said. "I thought he was fantastic today. His movement, his penetration was fantastic."

Wenger rues Arsenal errors

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, meanwhile, denied that the fact his former charge had opened the scoring made the defeat harder to swallow. His concern was more focused on his side's defensive shortcomings.

"Most of the problems we had were from our own mistakes when we lost the ball"
Arsene Wenger

"We don't care who scores the goals," the Frenchman said. "That doesn't matter. We put ourselves in trouble because most of the problems we had were from our own mistakes when we had the ball and lost the ball, especially the first goal which is important in a game like that.

"It came very, very early and we put Man Utd in a position where they just have to defend and catch us on the counterattack and I think that is what happened."

Wenger conceded that the second-half dismissal of Jack Wilshere for a second bookable offence gave his side a steeper mountain to climb.

"We had a lot of possession, but not very progressive," he said. "It was important to find some space in the final third of the game and not lose the game before that, but when you are down 2-0, down to 10 men it was very difficult."

You can catch up with all the action with a full report, detailed minute-by-minute updates, statistics as well as the best photos on's Matchday Live.

Manchester United 2-1 Arsenal | #MUNARS | Matchday Live >>

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Key Points

  • Sir Alex Ferguson praises Robin van Persie's 'fantastic display' in 2-1 win
  • Follow how the match unfolded with Matchday Live
  • Matchday Live also offers statistics and photos from the match