Only Sir Alex Ferguson could leave out five-goal Dimitar Berbatov and beat Arsenal

How many managers would leave out a striker who has just scored five goals in one game? That's Sir Alex Ferguson for you.

It is why the man is such as master of his art.

King Fergie: The Manchester United manager was all smiles after his side's victory sent them top

King Fergie: The Manchester United manager was all smiles after his side's victory sent them top

He plays 4-4-2 against the lesser teams, but brought in an extra midfielder in what is his Champions League formation of 4-5-1 last night.

That meant no room for Dimitar Berbatov. Only Ferguson could do that. Astonishing.

Hands up

Hard done by: Gael Clichy

That was a dubious penalty for Manchester United. It's a grey area, because Gael Clichy was ball to hand, rather than hand to ball. I'm not sure how the officials could give that decision.

I guess justice was done when Wayne Rooney missed. He doesn't look confident at all.

That style of running around to create a different angle and put off the goalkeeper is not one I favour.

Park life

Park Ji-sung is a nightmare to play against and a joy to play with. He plays every game as if it's his last. His attitude is magnificent.

Park life:Park Ji-Sung celebrates his match-winning goal  with provider Nani to put United top of the league

Man of the moment: Park Ji-Sung celebrates his match-winning goal

He doesn't have the quality of a Giggs, Kanchelskis or Sharpe - illustrious players from the past in his role - but you will have to go a long way to find a player with as much heart and desire.

He's a massive player for them. His goal was a bonus.

Handy Anderson

Handy man: Anderson

I would not have enjoyed playing against Anderson. He is an explosive player who runs away from his marker.

I picked him out as one to watch when he first came over here, but he hasn't shown his best form consistently.

He wasn't helped by a serious knee injury, but there have been question marks about his fitness and attitude. I hope the penny has dropped for him now.

Falling down

Why were there so many players slipping all over Old Trafford? The blame has to rest with modern boots, with a number of players wearing moulded studs.

The passing was poor and even players known for their balance, such as Samir Nasri, were losing their grip.

Is it down to the fashion of needing the latest brands; a case of style over substance?

Centre stars

The biggest difference between the two teams last night was the central defenders. Imagine this Arsenal team with Tony Adams and Martin Keown defending for their lives.

Last line of defence: Nemanja Vidic clears Chamakh's first-half shot off the line

Last line of defence: Nemanja Vidic clears Chamakh's first-half shot off the line

The two current Arsenal centre backs look like they defend on the edge and it's luck rather than judgment. United have two gladiators in Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic, who were both excellent last night.

A plus for Arsenal was the young goalkeeper, Wojciech Szczesny.

Before the storm

Axed: Sam Allardyce

I know his is unrelated to the match, but Sam Allardyce losing his job is ridiculous!

I am more shocked than when Chris Hughton was sacked by Newcastle.

I've always liked Sam, because he has a deep passion and knowledge of football. He is trail-blazer with his sports science and training work.

This might be great news for Blackburn's relegation rivals.


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