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On This Day In 2011: Manchester United Demolished Arsenal 8-2 With This Team

On This Day In 2011: Manchester United Demolished Arsenal 8-2 With This Team

If there was ever a game that epitomised Sir Alex Ferguson's 26 year reign as Manchester United manager, then this is it.

On August 26, 2011, the king of motivation and man management fielded a relatively weakened side at Old Trafford, naming the likes of Tom Cleverley, Anderson and Danny Welbeck in the starting XI.

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Oh, and not to mention the back four of Chris Smalling, Phil Jones, Jonny Evans and Patrice Evra.

Image: Futbol TV/Premier League
Image: Futbol TV/Premier League

But somehow, someway, that questionable United line-up knocked eight goals past Arsene Wenger's side in one of the most one sided games in Premier League history.

It was a humiliating day from start to finish for The Gunners, who originally fielded a relatively strong starting XI.

The likes of Robin van Persie, Aaron Ramsey and Laurent Koscielny featured but it wasn't enough.

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Wayne Rooney scored a hat-trick, Ashley Young smashed in two long range efforts while Danny Welbeck, Nani and Ji-Sung Park also found the scoresheet in an 8-2 rout.

Months earlier, Ferguson fielded an even weaker side in their FA Cup quarter-final against Arsenal, naming Brazilian brothers Rafael and Fabio in midfield.

John O'Shea pulled the strings in midfield as United opened the scoring through Fabio in the 27th minute.

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney then sealed the tie just four minutes into the second half.

Image: ITV
Image: ITV

Plenty doubted the strength of United's line-up before kick-off and you can understand why.

The likes of Jack Wilshere, Samir Nasri and Laurent Koscielny couldn't stop United from securing victory, but is this the worst midfield Manchester United have ever fielded?

Image: Zonal Marking
Image: Zonal Marking

Sir Alex was blessed with some of the world's best players during his time at Old Trafford.

From Cantona and Giggs to Scholes and Keane, but in 2007 the newly-crowned Premier League champions fielded another weakened team, this time against Chelsea.

The likes of John Terry and Claude Makelele lined up before-kick off to give Sir Alex Ferguson's side a guard of honour, as captain Gabriel Heinze led his team out.

It was a bizarre spectacle. Plenty of outlets reported that these teams were weakened because of the forthcoming FA Cup final in mind, but it was most likely a ploy by Sir Alex to make a spectacle.

Image: Premier League
Image: Premier League

Dong Fangzhou, who's time at Old Trafford was far from eventful, managed to get a rare game, but was brought off with 18 minutes to go after failing to get the better of Chelsea captain John Terry.

Kieran Lee and Chris Eagles also 'earned' starts in a forgettable 0-0 draw at Stamford Bridge.

That being said, Sir Alex's decision to field these unusual sides will forever remembered.

Topics: Football, Manchester United, Premier League, Arsenal

Jack Kenmare

Jack Kenmare is a writer at SPORTbible. He's interviewed some of the biggest names in sport, including Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Pele, Carles Puyol and Tim Henman. He dabbles in all things sport but football is his biggest passion. He was once hit in the head by a wayward strike from Nicky Butt and lived to tell the tale.

 

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