By Derrick Kiplagat
Manchester United succumbed to a 2-1 loss in their FA cup clash against Arsenal at Old Trafford on Monday night. The victory helped Arsenal sail through to the semi-finals. This is the first win for Arsene Wenger’s men against the red devils since 2011 when Arsenal beat United at the Emirates Stadium 1-0 through an Aaron Ramsey goal assisted by Robin Van Persie.
Arsenal striker claimed revenge for his Manchester United exit earlier this season by scoring the winner as the FA cup defending champions sailed through to the semi Finals. Danny Welbeck joined Manchester United at the age of eight and sailed through to the senior team before moving to Arsenal for a reported £16 million in September.
Welbeck capitalized on a mistake by Ecuadorian winger Antonio Valencia to score Arsenal’s winner in the 61st minute, after United skipper Wayne Rooney cancelled out Nacho Monreal’s opener with a diving header. Things went from bad to worse as Argentine winger Angel Di Maria received his matching orders from referee Michael Oliver after two bookable offenses.
United’s FA cup drought now extend to 12 years and for now their only consolation is to try and stay within the top four for a chance to participate in next season’s UEFA champions league. Luke Shaw came in to the United’s defense to replace Jonny Evans who is serving a six-match ban. Belgian Marouanne Fellaini played the support striker role just behind Rooney with the absence of Radamel Falcao who was in the bench and Dutch Robin Van Persie who is injured.
England’s winger Alex Oxlade Chamberlain showed quick feet to beat the red’s defense teeing up Nacho Monreal for Arsenal’s first. United fans were off their feet minutes later when their captain equalized with a clinically placed header after a well calculated cross from Di Maria to level matters. The header extended Wayne Rooney’s goal tally against Arsenal to 14. After the goal, United gained momentum with Rooney, Di Maria and Fellaini testing Arsenal’s stopper, on the other end Santi Carzola forcing a save from David De Gea with a free kick.
United made a double change just after half time with Michael Carrick and Phil Jones replacing Ander Herrera and Luke Shaw respectively. Arsenal replaced Alex Oxlade Chamberlain who limped off with a hamstring injury with Aaron Ramsey. There were more chances in the second half with De Gea saving a deflected shot from Alexis Sanchez and Di Maria Shooting wide before Welbeck pounced on a mistake to steal the win.