MANCHESTER — Manchester United will try to return to winning ways when they face Arsenal in the Premier League at Old Trafford today.
Report by Supersport
Victory for Alex Ferguson’s men in the day’s early kick-off match will see them replace leaders Chelsea, if only for a few hours, at the top of the table and provide their fans with an upbeat end to a week that saw them knocked out of the League Cup.
An unfamiliar looking United side, with several senior players rested, were just seconds away from beating Chelsea at Stamford Bridge and advancing into the quarter-finals when they conceded a last-minute penalty to leave the match all square at 3-3.
Extra time produced more thrills and spills before Chelsea won 5-4 to reach the last eight.
“It’s tough to take. When you score four goals away from home more often than not you win the game,” United veteran Ryan Giggs said.
“I’m proud of the young players who played, though. There were some great performances.They will have learnt a lot and you learn more from losing as well.”
Saturday’s match will be the first time United striker Robin van Persie has faced Arsenal since being sold by the Gunners for £24 million ($39 million) following the end of last season.
The Dutch striker’s exit was seen as further proof by some observers of the inability of Arsenal, without a major trophy for seven years, to mount a realistic challenge for the title.
Van Persie has scored seven goals in nine league appearances for United, but Arsenal, seven points adrift of United in sixth place, will have additional motivation to put in a good performance following their 8-2 thrashing in last season’s corresponding fixture.
Arsenal though have kept just one clean sheet in their last 11 games and conceded five, having been 4-0 behind, in an astonishing 7-5 League Cup win over Reading on Tuesday.
“When you are 4-0 down after 36 minutes you can’t say all is well on that front,” joked Wenger when asked about his defence.