Date: 3rd November 2012 at 6:02pm
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David De Gea: As comfortable a game as he would have liked, made routine catches and saves as Arsenal failed to produce any real threat today. Unlucky not to pick up a clean sheet. 7

Rafael: Easily had the better of Lukasz Podolski as the German forward was largely anonymous, so his best moments came as he got forward. Working in tandem with Valencia, overlapping, he made Santos’ afternoon even harder. 7

Patrice Evra: Patrice appears to have pulled his socks up, stringing together a few decent displays. Ramsey tried to threaten early but fizzled out and he helped keep Sagna pegged back with his forward runs. Managed to get on the scoresheet, scoring what proved to be the winner, heading home in the second half. 8

Rio Ferdinand & Jonny Evans: Rarely tested by Arsenal, mopped up any spillage and handled any threat Arsenal posed well. 7

Michael Carrick: It was said that the midfield would be where Arsenal would win the game but Carrick’s work made this a non factor. Sat in front of the defence offering a shield and made timely interceptions to put a lid on any Arsenal attacks. Always made himself an option for the pass as United worked out from the back. 7

Tom Cleverley: Started off well and put himself about but didn’t quite get to grips with the game as hoped. Squandered a chance for United when his cross failed to beat the first man after United broke with intent. Could have seen red. 6

Antonio Valencia: Valencia is unstoppable when he hits form as Cole found out last week, but today wasn’t one of his better performances and he was still way too much for Santos. Had the beating of the Brazilian almost every time, but sadly didn’t make as much of his dominance as he should have. Guilty of a horrendous miss at the start of the second half when RVP left him with the goal at his mercy. 7

Ashley Young: Still getting back to fitness and it showed. Made himself a part of United’s attacking play coming in off the left but apart from a few bright moments, struggled to have an impact on the game. 6

Wayne Rooney: Again employed in a deeper role as United went 4-4-2 and it worked as he helped nullify the supposed advantage Arsenal’s midfield gave them. Sparkled both in an attacking and defensive sense, playing some good football but his penalty miss was disappointing. 7

Robin Van Persie: Man of the moment Van Persie was always going to be a headline in this game and made sure of this only minutes into the game. His right footed finish gave United the lead and had it not been for Vito Mannone he could have had more than his one goal. A threat infront of goal as well as in the wide positions, the signing of the Dutch forward continues to be a masterstroke. 8

Subs

Anderson: Was unlucky not to start after his showing against Chelsea (was probably still getting his breath back!) but again impressed today with the time he had.  Had a goal ruled out for offside but his energy and neat passing made things easier for United. 6

Nani: N/A

This result bodes well for United having beaten Liverpool, Chelsea and now Arsenal.

Van Persie’s signing continues to be a master stroke and if United end the season with silverware, the Dutch striker will have played a huge part in this, having scored 10 already. United are now the bookies favourites to win the league and whilst it is only November, were he still at Arsenal then the league would probably already read very differently. Speaking of the North London club, they now sit 6th and can put this down as another year out of the title picture. A bet on Wenger’s side would be akin to splashing a few quid on online slots and hoping for a pay out; even for 4th place their rivals Tottenham look to stand a much better chance.

For a bet on the top scorer this season Van should probably be your man. If you’re looking for something with a bit more excitement however (because let’s be honest, who else stands a chance for the Golden Boot), then check out the football themed slots game at Lucky Nugget. Whereas it’s pretty different from betting on the men on the pitch the football theme can still entertain the most avid fans. Maybe give it a go whilst waiting for the end of the season when the title comes back to Old Trafford and RVP retains his top-scorer title.
A bet on these 2 factors really could make for a sweet month in May . . .