‘We were taking the mickey, I didn’t appreciate it’: Wayne Rooney admits Man United’s 8-2 thrashing of Arsenal in 2011 left him ‘uncomfortable’ as Arsene Wenger was mocked by the Old Trafford crowd… with the two rivals preparing to meet today
- Manchester United beat Arsenal 8-2 at Old Trafford in August 2011
- Wayne Rooney scored a hat-trick as Arsene Wenger’s side were humiliated
- But the former United striker admitted the result left him uneasy
- Rooney relished the big battles between the two Premier League rivals
Wayne Rooney has admitted to Manchester United’s 8-2 demolition of Arsenal in 2011 and the Old Trafford crowd’s mockery of Arsene Wenger left him “uncomfortable”.
Sir Alex Ferguson’s side inflicted the Gunners’ heaviest league defeat since 1927 on a stunning afternoon at Old Trafford in which Rooney scored a hat-trick.
The former United striker relished the battles – which often determined who would win the Premier League title – between the two sides.
Wayne Rooney scored a hat-trick as Manchester United memorably beat Arsenal 8-2 in 2011
But Rooney felt United were ‘taking the mickey’ and he didn’t like Arsene Wenger’s teasing
But when the threat from Wenger’s team waned, Rooney resented the fans “taking the mickey away” from their rivals.
The two sides meet at Old Trafford on Sunday afternoon with Arsenal winning all five of their games so far under Mikel Arteta.
Writing in the Sunday Times, Rooney said: “In 2009, however, the game was no longer quite the test of old.
“First Chelsea, then [Manchester] City became our closest rival and Arsenal weren’t the Arsenal you played against – not because they didn’t have quality, but because they didn’t have the characters they had previously.
“It came down to when we beat them 8-2 in August 2011.
Arsene Wenger walks away with Sir Alex Ferguson after his side were beaten in 2011
It hurt Wenger to suffer such a heavy defeat against one of Arsenal’s biggest rivals
“I scored a hat-trick, but I look back on the game with mixed feelings. It was a bit uncomfortable, really.
“I love Wenger and have a lot of respect for him and seeing him mocking him with 8-2 on the scoreboard was not something I liked.
“Even Nani’s goal, when he lobbed Wojciech Szczesny, felt like taking the mickey.”
Danny Welbeck opened the scoring for United that afternoon, before Ashley Young doubled their lead. Rooney scored the first of his hat-tricks just before half-time, before Theo Walcott pulled one back.
United went wild in the second half, with Rooney getting fourth, Nani fifth and Park JI-Sung sixth.
Rooney scores his hat-trick from the penalty spot to score United’s seventh goal of 2011
Robin van Persie provided consolation for the visitors before Gunners defender Carl Jenkinson was shown a second yellow card.
Rooney completed his hat trick from the penalty spot before Young finished with an eighth in stoppage time.
United were propelled to the title by City thanks to Sergio Aguero’s spectacular late winner on the final afternoon, while Arsenal finished third.
A repeat of that 8-2 scoreline on Sunday seems highly unlikely after a rejuvenated Arsenal started the season in stunning form.
United, however, have won their last three games as the era of Erik ten Hag takes shape after defeats to Brighton and Brentford to kick off the season.
Wayne Rooney admits Man United’s 8-2 win over Arsenal left him ‘uncomfortable’