Football

World class Rooney helps United set the standard

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Sir Alex Ferguson saluted Manchester United's all-star performance against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium and challenged his side to keep the same standard until the end of the season.

The United manager believes the 3-1 demolition of the Gunners was his side's best display of the campaign and - while he singled out Wayne Rooney and Nani as the players who caught the eye - he was equally effusive about United's defence.

Ferguson said: "Wayne is fantastic. He was world class again. Every time the ball went towards him, we were on the attack.

"He turned the defenders so many times. It was a really top performance. Jonny Evans is a fantastic player and Wes (Brown) is an unbelievable defender. He has done well. He was sick at half-time. He had been feeling unwell."

Rooney and Ji-Sung Park scored United's goals after Nani's chip had been palmed into the Arsenal net by goalkeeper Manuel Almunia.

While Thomas Vermaelen scored a late consolation for Arsenal, Ferguson revealed his side were sparked into such an impressive display by their pulsating victory against Manchester City in the Carling Cup semi-final last Wednesday.

Now he is hoping Arsenal can do United a favour by going to Stamford Bridge on Sunday and beating Chelsea, whose lead at the top of the Premier League is now down to a single point, albeit with a game in hand.

Ferguson said: "It gives us all a good boost. There is no question about that. We have a lot of tough games coming up. We hope Arsenal take points off Chelsea next Sunday.

"We will be rooting for Arsenal. Now we need to show real consistency to the end of the season. It has been a great week.

"This was the best performance of the season. We were galvanised by the performance on Wednesday. They were ready for it. They were really up for it. Their mental sharpness was fantastic.

"When you play Arsenal you have to take your opportunities because they are a very good team and our counter-attacking was very good."

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Topics:
Football
Premier League
Manchester United
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