Manchester United

David de Gea

Every United player congratulated him on the penalty save, the Stretford End sang his name after a fine double-block, but he should not have allowed Walcott's goal through his legs 7

Chris Smalling

His enforced conversion to right‑back continues to pay rich dividends. Attacked Traoré at every opportunity and was alert to the few threats that came his way 8

Phil Jones

Composed in possession, strong in the challenge and, with the exception of a few wayward headers, completely dominated Van Persie 7

Jonny Evans

The focus has been on Jones and Smalling this season but the Northern Ireland defender looks much improved and provides a good vocal presence 8

Patrice Evra

Added to Jenkinson's unease on the counterattack but guilty of several lapses in concentration, one of which led to Arsenal's consolation 6

Nani

Over-elaboration earned him the wrath of Rooney but, as his final, exquisite touch of the game demonstrated, it did not dispirit the showman 7

Anderson

Provided further evidence that the imposing, intelligent central midfielder that United thought they had purchased has finally arrived 8

Tom Cleverley

Dovetailed perfectly with Anderson in central midfield. Took an accidental elbow in the eye from Rosicky but relished the contest 8

Ashley Young

Produced two exquisite finishes and revelled in the space and astonishing naivety of the Arsenal back‑line 9

Danny Welbeck

Ferguson rightly kept faith in the forward and was repaid with another purposeful, goalscoring contribution until injury cruelly struck 7

Wayne Rooney

Left to his own devices throughout and duly punished Arsenal, two fine free-kicks beyond Szczesny – neither with back-lift – plus a penalty 9

Substitutes

Javier Hernández (for Welbeck, 35) 7

Park Ji-sung (for Nani, 68) 7

Ryan Giggs (for Anderson, 68) 6

Arsenal

Wojciech Szczesny

Finally established as No1 and beaten eight times without once being at fault. Who would be an Arsenal keeper behind this defence? 6

Carl Jenkinson

No protection in front of him, no guidance to the side of him and gave a hapless display as a consequence. Rightly dismissed 3

Johan Djourou

Feeble challenge on Welbeck for United's opening goal illustrated everything that is wrong with this Arsenal team. No character whatsoever 3

Laurent Koscielny

Made a few timely interceptions but another lightweight centre-half who raises serious questions about Arsenal's transfer policy 4

Armand Traoré

At least Jenkinson could offer inexperience as an excuse for his tactical indiscipline. Granted Nani and Smalling the freedom of Old Trafford 3

Aaron Ramsey

It took a hard heart not to feel sympathy for the young midfielder, who at least tried to take the game to United but had no outlet 6

Francis Coquelin

A dreadful day to make your league debut, and especially in this company. Overcame a nervous start but was overrun in the second half 5

Tomas Rosicky

Delivered several incisive passes into the United penalty area but not the industry or fight that the Arsenal midfield desperately required 5

Theo Walcott

Scored one and made the most of Evans's pull to win the penalty but gradually lost his appetite for a losing cause and faded badly 5

Robin van Persie

Captain in armband only. His head dropped from the moment De Gea saved his penalty and lifted only to bury Arsenal's second goal 4

Andrey Arshavin

Wasted a great chance to make it 2-3, fortunate to avoid a second yellow card and appeared averse to passing to Ramsey throughout 4

Substitutes

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (for Coquelin, 62) 6

Marouane Chamakh (for Van Persie, 83)

Henri Lansbury (for Walcott, 83)