Brilliant! Absolutely brilliant! I think we'd have to go back to 1999 for the last time United scored 8 in the league but I'm not sure how far back we'd have to go for the last time United destroyed the opposition with 8+.
First things first; Sir Alex Ferguson was aware of the number of players the Gunners were missing for this game and despite the fact they still had quality about them, I think he couldn't pass on this opportunity to give his young team a sort of litmus test against a side with the pedigree of Arsenal. I was therefore pleased that he maintained the same squad that beat Spurs on Monday night. But it has to be said, not even he would have thought the they would go on and produce a performance that would steal all the headlines from their noisy neighbours when it seemed dead certain that after the weekend, all the positive press would be saved for the blue quarter of Manchester.
I struggle to think of a better performance I've seen lately from United. I mean even the 7-1 rout of Blackburn last season was not particularly as enthralling as what we saw today. Our young lads seemed to have that hunger in them that made them unwilling to settled for any scoreline till the final whistle was blown. I've known United to customarily back off when the opposition raises the white flag. Arsenal raised it within the opening half hour but this United side were having none of it. They relentlessly attacked with brute force and class that made it impossible for Arsenal to digest proceedings. I mean at some point of a thrashing, you're allowed to toy with your opponents, well not today at Old Trafford. United went for the kill each time they went forward. Its therefore no wonder that Sir Alex told the BBC that we could have scored more goals despite harvesting 8.
Individually, there weren't enough balls to award the more than one outstanding player in the side. Wayne Rooney's hat-trick (that saw him overtake the 150 goal mark) obviously helped him claim it in the end but Phil Jones, Chris Smalling, Ashley Young, Tom Cleverely and David De Gea could, on any other day have walked away with the champagne themselves.
Critics will point to the weakness in the Arsenal team in a bid to tone down United's victory, but for how long shall we watch this team before giving them the benefit of the doubt. After that stunning comeback in the Community Shield, we've hardly been in any sort of danger on the pitch with this team. They seem to be up for it; and its a testament to their efforts that, until Welbeck's unfortunate hamstring injury, this team had kept out Javier Hernandez, Dmitar Berbatov, Park Ji Sung, Ryan Giggs and the like.
I certainly hope they continue to give the manager reason to trust them when the stakes are higher as the season goes on.
I blogged in my preview that this was a big test for Fergie's fledgings and boy did they pass it with flying colours.
We've got a very difficult month of the league out of the way with maximum points so far. Our difficult start will continue with a stern test at the Reebok after the International break and then the visit of Chelsea at Old Trafford. On this form, we should go in confident but we know too well the effect Internationals can do to one's rhythm.
On the upside, its good to see Tom, Phil and Chris get called up for National team duty.
Finally, let me just point out that the FA fixed the League Cup draw and gave us rivals Leeds United at Elland Road. What I'm sure of is that Leeds will not want to play against the youngsters on this form.
Take a deep breath everyone, August has gone by with no damage suffered!