Sing along Reds, Oooh Robin van Persie! Oooh Robin van Persie!
Nine years ago, it was one Dutchman serving revenge on Arsenal for assaulting him the season before, yesterday it was another returning the favour to Arsenal for the disrespect they've shown since his move to United.
Robin van Persie chose not to celebrate last season's goals against Arsenal and the Arsenal fans returned that respect with jeers. Last night, there would be no letting back as the Dutchman let rip of a pile of emotion that this fixture has always conjured up. That, however, was only a minor plot to the whole context of the EPL's main event this weekend.
Manchester United's season was up for examination last night and they needed to tick all boxes to keep their domestic season relevant going into winter and boy did they ace it! In a performance that laid bare their mettle, United put a halt to everything about Arsenal that has made them the toast of English football in the early part of the season to haul themselves back into the reckoning for the season's title race.
On a weekend in which all our traditional rivals dropped points, the importance of a victory on the night was not lost on United who went about their business with the kind of professionalism that has typified them in games of reckoning. That we managed to win 1-0 was all the more sweeter since our defending has not been up to speed so far this season. Phil Jones was in particular exceptional both in his holding position and when he had to replace the Captain in defence. But it was Wayne Rooney's miles on the turf that made the difference in the end. David Moyes has been criticised for the manner in which United conducted themselves in the transfer market but it has to be said that keeping Wayne and getting the best out of him this season is something that even Sir Alex wouldn't have managed to do if he were still in charge. David Moyes is starting to make the team his own and he appears to have picked Wayne as the player around whom his first team will thrive. The England striker did play 'leader of the pack' by planting seeds of doubt in Arsenal ahead of the tie and backed that up with a performance that scared the daylights out of Arsenal's happy-party boys that have since been trick or treating on the doors of EPL sides for 3 points. Last night, they knocked on one of those doors where resident owner opens with a cocked gun.
Fifth place is by no means reason to pop the champagne but considering that we're having our worst season since the start of the EPL and that Manchester City who are title favourites are in 8th, we can't be too unhappy about how our new manager is coping. Wayne Rooney has laid bare the target is to be top or thereabouts by the turn of the new year and you get the feeling that if we soldier on to the top by January, we might be involved in a most unlikely title race.
Next up is the International break so there's a whole 12 days or so in which to package DVDs of the game and send to your Arsenal supporting neighbor, colleague and workmate!