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PREMIER LEAGUE: Rooney hat-trick as Man Utd put eight past ten-man Arsenal

Arsenal's defensive woes were cruelly exposed by a rampant Manchester United who took the Gunners apart at Old Trafford in a comprehensive 8-2 victory. Arsenal's only win in their last nine league games came when these two met at the Emirates Stadium on May Day, but any hopes this was a lucky omen for a change in fortune for the Gunners was quickly dispelled as Arsene Wenger's men found themselves 3-1 down at the break.

Woeful defending by the North London side was taken advantage of at every opportunity by a dominate Old Trafford outfit who never let Arsenal settle.

Danny Welbeck set the goal fest on its way as the visitor's dithered at the back but then came the turning point of the game as Arsenal were given the opportunity to level the scores from the penalty spot after Theo Walcott was pulled back.

But a weak effort from Robin Van Persie was easily saved by David De Gea and within a minute the host's had doubled their advantage.

Ashley Young collected the ball 20 yards out and curled a delightful effort past Wojciech Szczesny. On 41 minutes Wayne Rooney scored the first of three then Walcott gave Arsenal hope with a strike in first half injury time.

But any hopes Arsenal had learnt lessons from the opening 45 minutes were quickly dispelled as United went goal crazy.

Rooney made it four just after the hour then Nani dinked a cheeky chip over Szczesny with the Gunners rearguard in disarray.

Substitute Ji-Sung Park had barely made an appearance before he was on the score sheet.

Van Persie pulled another goal back for the visitor's but this was hardly a consolation as United continued to score at will.

If Wenger thought things couldn't get any worse Carl Jenkinson was shown red for a second yellow card for hauling down Hernandez.

Rooney claimed the match ball by dispatching a penalty after Patrice Evra was fouled and Young completed the scoring with his second of the afternoon in injury time.

Old Trafford was in raptures with chants of 'you're getting sacked in the morning' directed at the Arsenal boss who side's shortcomings were well in evidence.

Referee: Howard Webb

Venue: Old Trafford

Attendance: 75,448

Man Utd scorers: Welbeck 22, Young 28, 90, Rooney 40, 64, 82(pen) Nani, 67, Park 70 Arsenal scorers: Walcott 45, Van Persie 74

Yellow cards: Djourou (ARS), Jenkinson (ARS), Arshavin (ARS), Young (MAN U), Evans (MAN U) Red Cards: Jenkinson (Ars)

 It's the home stretch! 24/7 click for the best coverage of Arsenal's final transfer market moves


 It's the home stretch! 24/7 click for the best coverage of Manchester United's final transfer market moves

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Dave Williams

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