Millennium Post

Arsenal land knockout blow on Man Utd

Arsenal land knockout blow on Man Utd
Danny Welbeck claimed revenge for his departure from Manchester United by scoring the winner as holders Arsenal reached the FA Cup semifinal with a 2-1 away victory on Monday. The Manchester-born United academy graduate, who joined the club at the age of eight, left in a £16 million deal last September after being deemed surplus to requirements by new manager Louis van Gaal.

And he returned to haunt his former club as Arsenal claimed a first victory at Old Trafford since September 2006. “Tonight I thought we played well and deserved to win the game,” said Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, whose side were drawn to face either Championship side Reading or third-tier Bradford City in the last four.

Welbeck pounced on a mistake by Antonio Valencia to score a 61st-minute winner after Wayne Rooney had cancelled out Nacho Monreal’s opener, and United’s evening ended in ignominy when Angel di Maria was sent off after receiving a second yellow card for manhandling referee Michael Oliver. United’s wait for FA Cup success will now stretch into a 12th year and their sole objective is now the race for Champions League qualification, in which they currently trail Arsenal by a point.

With Jonny Evans beginning a six-game ban for spitting at Newcastle United’s Papiss Cisse, Luke Shaw came into the United defence, but although that was the only change to the hosts’ line-up, they displayed uncertainty from the off. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain started on the right for Arsenal, with Mesut Ozil in the centre, and in the 26th minute the England midfielder marked his return to the starting XI by creating the opening goal.

Having earlier been granted the space to put a cross-shot wide, Oxlade-Chamberlain wriggled between Daley Blind, Shaw and Valencia before stabbing a pass to Monreal, who beat David de Gea at his near post. United’s fans were quick to voice their annoyance, but they were off their feet just three minutes later when Rooney met Di Maria’s right-wing cross with a fine diving header to claim his 14th goal against Arsenal.
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