MANCHESTER UNITED

David de Gea 6

Never really stretched but for a couple of decent punches, and the Spaniard's handling was sound when called upon

Chris Smalling 8

Excellent defensive display, especially in the second half. One wild cross, though, and might have scored with a header

Jonny Evans 7

Distribution was a couple of notches below the quality of his defending, notably in the first half, but a reliable presence

Nemanja Vidic 7

Decent, no-frills defending, doing well in the air against Giroud, but forced off at half-time with a head injury

Patrice Evra 6

The left-back was troubled by Sagna in the second half, with several crosses coming into United's box from his flank

Phil Jones 8

Fantastic first half in midfield, defending well and breaking at times, and good when pushed into central defence after that

Michael Carrick 6

Could not stem as much of the passing as he would have liked but calm, used the ball tidily and broke up play on occasion

Antonio Valencia 6

Involved only in little bursts but his pace occasionally stretched Arsenal and the winger provided a handful of dangerous crosses

Wayne Rooney 8

Muscular, non-stop effort. Not everything worked – he wasted a chance – but set up the goal and never allowed Arsenal any peace

Shinji Kagawa 5

Display of defensive hard work and useful simplicity rather than exhilaration, but faded as the match went on and was substituted

Robin van Persie 7

Well-taken header was the decisive moment against his former club. Much brighter in general play after the interval than before it

ARSENAL

Wojciech Szczesny 6

Could not be blamed for Van Persie's goal and was otherwise untroubled. Reliable when taking high balls

Bacary Sagna 8

Dangerous attacking presence after the interval, providing several good crosses from the right. Defended solidly

Thomas Vermaelen 7

Did well in his first Premier League start of the season, the central defender helping to restrict United from open play

Laurent Koscielny 6

Had to adjust to not having the ill Per Mertesacker with him. Defended decently but passing let him down at times

Kieran Gibbs 6

Did not have the impact of Sagna going forward and a mixed bag defensively. Van Persie's goal drifted over him

Mikel Arteta 7

Accurate passing helped Arsenal to dominate possession in the second half and broke up play at times, but no major influence

Mathieu Flamini 5

Looked the squad player many expected when he rejoined. Taken off, having been booked, as Arsenal sought more thrust

Aaron Ramsey 6

Failed to replicate his usual attacking menace but had two shots – one blocked, one weak – and drifted in search of the ball

Mesut Özil 4

Firing wide when given the chance to set someone up, or hit the target, summed up an underwhelming performance

Santi Cazorla 5

Another Arsenal player who failed to have the expected attacking influence, showing only flashes of his talent

Olivier Giroud 5

Hold-up and link play were below par, though he mostly lacked good support. Partly to blame – with Ramsey – for the goal