Wayne Rooney hailed a “massive” win for Manchester United as a counter-attacking display earned them a 2-1 win at Arsenal.
A Kieran Gibbs own goal gave United the lead against the run of play and, as the hosts poured forward in search of an equaliser, Rooney took advantage of the acres of space at the back to make it two.
Olivier Giroud pulled one back deep into injury time but United sealed their first away win under Louis van Gaal.
“It’s a very important victory,” Rooney said on Sky Sports 1. “We weathered the storm at times, especially first half. Then we knew we could hit them on the counter-attack, we knew they were vulnerable on the break.
“We rode our luck at times, our goalkeeper (David De Gea) was fantastic.
“They had possession and we hit them on the break, which was our game plan.”
The win moved United into the top four.
“It’s been an indifferent start for us,” the England captain added. “We hope now we can go on a good run of games and judge the position we’re in after Christmas.
“We’ve got two home games coming up, we feel we should be taking six points out of them and we want to build a bit of momentum going into the new year. Today was a massive result in terms of starting that.”
Van Gaal refused to put too much emphasis on his side’s win.
“It’s only one victory, we have to confirm that with victories in the next two games when we play at home,” the Dutchman said on Sky Sports News. “Then we can say we have the spirit now and we go looking upstairs and not downstairs.”
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