It was a massive relief for the Red Devils to end their three match run of no goals and no points with a hard-fought victory at Crystal Palace, where they held off a stern second half fight-back. They once again had goalkeeper David De Gea to thank; the Spaniard continuing to show why he is now the Premier League’s best stopper.
It was a result which guaranteed a top four finish, which reflects the progress made this season, despite their regular failure to truly convince. Improvements must be made in the summer for them to challenge the likes of Chelsea, but Wayne Rooney will still lead the side, but here he will not be able to add to his superb record against the Gunners.
With a game in hand to come against Sunderland on Wednesday, Arsenal should still be expected to finish in the top three ahead of United, but Monday’s surprise home defeat to Swansea City may have cast a few doubts in their minds, having seen their wonderful run come to an end.
It was an evening of total frustration, summed up by manager Arsene Wenger’s needless post-match criticism of Swansea’s tactics. But they must not let it deter them, as a similar showing to the one which earned them victory over United in the FA Cup in March could be enough to take the points this time.
Rooney will not feature for the home side, neither will Luke Shaw. Striker Robin van Persie, winger Angel Di Maria and defender Marcos Rojo should return.
Arsenal should be able to call upon Aaron Ramsey after he recovered from a knock suffered against Swansea, but Danny Welbeck is unfit to face his former club.
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