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[Highlights & Ratings] Man Utd 1-0 Arsenal: Park Sends United Top

ji sing park v arsenal 2010

Manchester United returned to the top of the Barclays Premier League table with a fully-deserved 1-0 win over Arsenal at Old Trafford. Ji-Sung Park, who was recently honored with’s Player of the Month for his performances in November, scored his fourth career goal against Arsenal in the first-half, and it was enough to give United the spoils of the points – even though Wayne Rooney missed a penalty.

Ahead of the match, 26 of 33 rescued Chilean miners were Sir Bobby Charlton’s guests of honor for this highly-anticipated match with Arsenal, which is a real glowing sentiment of United as a classy club. Like he has done against Arsenal in the past few matches, Sir Alex Ferguson has opted for a 4-5-1 formation, with Wayne Rooney operating up top on his own with Dimitar Berbatov, who scored five goals in his last league match, was named to the United bench.

Rio Ferdinand has been deemed fit and took his spot alongside Nemanja Vidic in the heart of United’s defense after coming off against Valencia last week, and Patrice Evra reclaimed his left-back position, but Paul Scholes has missed out against the Gunners. Anderson has earned his fourth straight start – second in the Premier League – in the center of United’s midfield to off-set Arsenal’s free-flowing, finesse style of play.


With a very inexperience goalkeeper, United were keen to press forward in the early going to put the untested Wojciech Szczęsny under pressure, but they were unable to convert their possession into any early chances. Gael Clichy was fortunate to not receive a booking from Howard Webb in the opening five minutes after he took Nani down from behind on the United right channel, Anderson’s ensuing free-kick was poorly placed and the danger was cleared by an Arsenal defender.

The first chance for either team came in the ninth minute, when a long ball from a United free-kick in their own area made its way to Wayne Rooney, and against the two Arsenal center-backs, he was encouraged to shoot, but Szczęsny got down well to save. Anderson did well to shield the ball from Alexander Song and two other Arsenal midfielders, and won a free-kick 40-yards from goal, and Nani stepped up to take it, but his dipping effort went directly at Szczęsny.

Surprisingly, Arsenal were allowing United the lion share of the possession in the first quarter-of-an-hour, but they were also showing that they are trying to become a more physical team by committing numerous fouls as well. However, Arsenal started to find their feet, but their crossing was either gathered by Edwin van der Sar, or met by a-waiting United defender.

Arsenal’s first sight at goal came in the 21st minute when Andrei Arsharvin was given some space, but his shot went well wide of van der Sar’s right-hand post. United were then within inches of grabbing the lead, after Nani was invited to hit a shot first-time, but his volley went agonizingly wide of the far post. Moments later, it was Rooney was who had the next chance after he was given some space on the left angle of the box to shoot, but again it was at the Arsenal goalkeeper.

In the 30th minute, there was a bit of controversy after Nani’s struck Marouane Chamakh’s hand, but the referee was in a good position, and ruled against award United a penalty – but in all honesty Webb could have went either way with his decision. The match began becoming very sloppy in the center of the midfield with both teams being guilty of gifting the ball to their opponent, and Webb was allowing it to get a little choppy, which led to Vidic receiving a warning from the referee.

Following a clear foul by Song, Darren Fletcher and Rooney were both left infuriated by the referee, which led to the former brushing him in protest, but Webb’s common sense approach prevented any action taken on the United midfielder. In the 41st minute, United got the goal that the game desperately needed, and that home team definitely deserved. With Clichy backing off, Nani was able to get in a deflected cross, which Park did well to enable himself to lean back and head the ball goal bound, and his clipped the far post and went into the Arsenal net.

After the goal, Arsenal were able to get forward, but Arshavin selfishly shot from distance, and it was nowhere near to troubling van der Sar. The first yellow card of the match came when Nani was upended by a kick-out by Chamakh, and the Arsenal summer signing could have no complaints. In first-half stoppage-time, Arshavin was awarded the second card of the match, because he dangerously slid in on Fletcher with his studs showing, which also gave United a free-kick on the edge of the box as well.

However, Anderson’s effort was very poor, and an Arsenal defender was able to clear without any trouble and the referee blew his whistle. For much of the first-half, Arsenal was completely put on the back foot by a very dominant United, so it should not be long before Arsene Wenger introduces his fit-again, play-making captain, Cesc Fabregas.

Within two minutes of the restart, United were given loads of space down the right flank, and Nani had a go with his powerful left foot, but it was well blocked by Sebastien Squillaci. Arsenal’s first chance of the second-half came when Tomas Rosicky popped in a volleyed, but with the far post covered, van der Sar let it run out for a goal kick. United then had a chance to add to their one goal lead, but Song came to Arsenal’s rescue and stooped low to head the ball out for a corner.

The game started opening up a bit, because Arsenal had to go and find an equalizer, and Samri Nasri, who was quiet for most of the first-half, was wide open in the United box, but his low cross-shot was gathered well by van der Sar. Again with acres of space on their right side, Bacary Sagna was able to whip in a cross, but young Rafael, with his back to the field of play, did well to head out for a corner kick.

The young Arsenal goalkeeper was called into action when Rooney played in Anderson, but he did well to get off his line and deny the Brazilian, and save the match for the visitors. United started to allow Arsenal space in the midfield to dictate the possession, and they almost paid for it.

Arsenal should have equalized, but van der Sar palmed away Nasri’s weak left-footed shot into the path of Chamakh, but Vidic did well to get across and prevent him from slotting the equalizer into an open net. United, themselves, had two golden chances to kill off Arsenal and put the game to bed, but Nani was very wasteful on a three-on-three fast break, and then failed to hit the target from close range.

Wenger’s saw that his team needed some changing, so he introduced Fabregas and Robin van Persie for Rosicky and Jack Wilshere, who was the only English player in the Arsenal starting XI, respectively. United was only caught snoozing as the van Persie almost scored with his first touch, but he was unable to get the telling touch, but Rio Ferdinand only managed a half-clearance which gave Arshavin another chance to shoot from distance, but van der Sar saved the tame effort.

After Rio did well as fairly out jumped Sagna, the ball made its way to Patrice Evra, who played a decent cut-back ball to Anderson, but the midfielder’s shot went wide of the target. In the 73rd minute, United were on the ascendency and United burst into the Arsenal box, and when he went to cut back, Clichy handled the ball in the box, and he was awarded yellow card and the Reds were given a penalty.

In a very high pressure situation, Rooney stepped up to take the spot kick, and he blasted the ball well over the bar, and deep into the Stretford End, which could give Arsenal a glimmer of hope. Wenger made his third, and final, substitution bringing on the pacey Theo Walcott for Arshavin to give the Arsenal attack more pace down the wings.

United was again starting become even more wasteful with their passing, and was allowing Arsenal to gain more confidence on the ball, but from a very good position, Walcott was fired wide of the United right-hand post. Chamakh got on the end of a long ball, but his header lacked the pace and direction it required, and it was easily grabbed by van der Sar.

Evra dispossessed Song, and then he forced the Arsenal midfielder into committing a foul worth of a yellow card, which Webb rightfully showed. The stoppage in play allowed Ferguson to make his first change of the match by bringing off the effective Anderson in favor of the very dependable Ryan Giggs. Rooney timed his run to perfection, and he looked to make amends for his penalty miss, but a flying save from the young Arsenal goalkeeper kept the scoreline at 1-0.

With van Persie lurking, it took a very timely intervention from Ferdinand to clear the ball, and ultimately spare United’s blushes. With a minimum of four minutes of stoppage-time, Arsenal was encouraged to get forward, but Manchester United saw out their narrow lead to claim all three points.


Park put in one of his stereo-typical lung-busting performances, and rewarded himself with a cheeky finish.


E. van der Sar – 7; Rafael – 7, R. Ferdinand – 7, N. Vidic – 7, P. Evra – 8; Nani – 6, D. Fletcher – 6, M. Carrick – 7, Anderson – 7 (R. Giggs – X), J. S. Park – 8; W. Rooney – 7


J. S. Park (41′)

Video Highlights

Submitted by The United Religion



  1. Jules

    December 14, 2010 at 9:54 am

    United a classy club??? Hahaha…yeah of course they are!

  2. isaac phillip

    December 14, 2010 at 10:02 am

    Trully we lost,but not embarrassed.i foresee much improved arsenal,but work still need to be done at the win some you lose some that’s the rule of the game,then it is not over until it is over.i’m very confident of trophy.

  3. GunnerPete

    December 14, 2010 at 10:26 am

    Have you got Manure in your eyes sunshine? Clichy did not ‘handle the ball’ it was kicked against his stationary forearm that was supporting his body at the tiem so unable to move towards or away from the ball. This was the obligitory penalty that Manure are given in most top games and should be looked into as it smacks of corruption. AFc did not deserve to lose or win . It was a poor game with a ref who was scared stiff and gave every dive that Manure made as a foul. Vidic, Ferdinand and Anderson shopuld have been given cards but of course were not. After seeing AFC play all the top six if we dont win it Chelski should as they are a class above all from Manchester.

  4. Danny Salford Red

    December 14, 2010 at 11:36 am

    Gunner Pete you must have missed the match pal. You were awful and did deserve to lose as you did not create anything. It wasnt a great game but at least we attacked you. I dont think it was a penno for the record either but you make yourself sound like an idiot with the “It should be looked into corruption” comment. Smacks of being a bad loser like Wenger but then he did explain that you only lost because of the pitch………………….. that we both played on 🙂

  5. Danny Salford Red

    December 14, 2010 at 11:38 am

    And i thought the ref had a great game as he still let the game flow despite the fact Arsenal were kicking us every two mins. Im obviously aware of rose tinted glasses but Pete that is the most one eyed biased version of any events I have ever witnessed on the football field. Seriously pal did you even watch the game?

  6. sirmose

    December 14, 2010 at 11:58 am

    English FA is the most corrupt in the world. That’s why England couldn’t win a simple bid that South Africa, Russia etc won. Webb is man u ref and the most controversial in the world, yet is England best ref. Why should that be a penalty when the bal was kicked against Clichy on the ground, Ferdinand never given red for that senseless and deadly foul on Sagna, which wld av seen him earned a 3-match ban, why Nasri’s yellow when Rooney and Fletcher did worse burst up wit Webb but never given yellow. Is Fletcher playing human beings or football? He’s the dirtiest idiot i av eva seen. No wonder man u’s debt is so high coz of their fixing wit FA. That’s why England team is constantly being disgraced by Algeria, Montenegro and even France team C. Man u learn to play football and not being.

  7. Danny Salford Red

    December 14, 2010 at 12:12 pm

    I honestly feel for refs after reading this bitter crap on here. The bloke had a great game and allowed the game to flow. Contact is not illegal you know lads its a contact sport and im not even going to address your illiterate drivel Sirmose as clearly you are either a) a Moron or b) unable to speak English.

  8. sirmose

    December 14, 2010 at 12:24 pm

    @danny, av u eva kicked any type of ball in ur life at all? That u dnt knw d effect of bad pitch 2 gud football. When u kick human being like man u is doing, pitch has no effect but when u play football like barca, my team, and arsenal do, poor pitch has serious damage. Like old trafford like wembley, england best stadium, lol. England future is in d hands of yound gunners like wilshere, walcott, gibbs, etc, wt some tothenham players like bale, and only if d FA wil encourage dem and stop corruption. Bliv me, any team in d lowly rated Africa wil beat dis present england team.

  9. sirmose

    December 14, 2010 at 12:41 pm

    @danny: atleast i can speak better dan u, play and understand football better and well educated while u cnt evn match my brought up or trainees. Lets face d truth. If u think u knw, why not address my questions and ask urs, den let our readers b d judges. I challenge u to a contest. Come on todd, and lets av it.

  10. Rvk

    December 14, 2010 at 1:14 pm

    @sirmose. Seriously where did you learn English? You speak like a 5 year old.

  11. Rvk

    December 14, 2010 at 1:20 pm

    Agree with Danny, ref let arsenal get away with murder in the first half. Some of their challenges were terrible. Had it not been a big game where he wanted to let it flow without booking everyone, arsenal would have had a few more bookings. As for the penalty i agree was soft, but chamakh’s blatant handball in the first half should have been given. Arsenals fans just coming across as very bad losers. It’s pent up frustration that’s been boiling up over all these barron years of not winning trophies. We played on the same pitch, so not an excuse. No arsenals fans were blaming the pitch during or after the game until whinger used it as an excuse. I watched it with many arse fans and no-one mentioned it. But as soon as mr whinger uses his new excuse, all you losers jump on the pitch bandwagon. A bit sad really.

  12. Danny Salford Red

    December 14, 2010 at 2:10 pm

    @Sirmose, before we get embroiled in this verbal battle of wits will you please arm yourself as otherwise its just not fair. Additionally I have contacted the Police and informed them that you have been stalking me and watching me play football with your binoculars in secret and have decided you are better than me 🙂 Come on lets have the truth, you are 6 years old aren’t you? 🙂

  13. Danny Salford Red

    December 14, 2010 at 2:18 pm

    Also what Questions of yours am i to address as you watched the same game as me allegedly then turn up on this website trying to make out that Man Utd kicked Arsenal when in fact it was 100% the other way around you prat as the statistics show. Man Utd fouls 9 Arsenal fouls 17. But no mate you are 100% correct in your insightful assumptions that you are a) Better at football than me b) Man Utd Kicked Arsenal off the park last night, and finally c) I cannot even match ‘your brought up or trainees’ . I genuinley cannot believe you could even bring yourself to write the “Im better at football than you” comment. Comedy genius mate 🙂

  14. Rvk

    December 14, 2010 at 2:20 pm

    Sirmose You seem to have gone quiet? So tell me, who was your teacher at this first class education you seem to believe you had? Ali G?
    You not only come across as an illiterate buffoon but your views of football are one-eyed and incorrect. Just another frustrated and angry arsenal fan.

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  16. big moe

    December 14, 2010 at 6:21 pm

    another night i find myself screaming at the t.v and threating to throw it out the bloody window. i think arshavin needs to take a break cos at the moment the team is carring him a few good games now and then isnt good enough. cant somebody tell song to stay and protect the back four and be a man mountain for the team no further than 15 yards infront of the backline.clichy needs to stop thinking he is cole and get back to basic s if possible.a little more talking and commanding within the ranks would go along way

  17. Fab4

    December 14, 2010 at 7:29 pm

    Come on now guys, play nice!

    At the end of the day, it was just another poor performance by Arsenal and although united didn’t impress much either (yes they were very well organised at the back), you can’t turn up to OT, play poorly and expect anything from the game.

    Clichy handball decision was wrong, but are we surprised at getting a dodgy pen go against us at OT? Of course not, or at least we shouldn’t be.

    Also agree that Wengers complaints about the pitch were crazy but anyone who follows Arsenal properly will know he was just trying to deflect the criticism away from the players onto himself.

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