Last Updated: 28/08/11 5:55pm
ALL OVER: United win 8 (eight)-2. A completely remarkable match. Surely this is rock-bottom for Arsenal. Ferguson said in the build-up his team would show Wenger's men respect. They showed no mercy. Rooney scored a hat-trick. Young was also excellent. Stay with us for what promises to be vicious post-match reaction.
This is brutal, but brilliant, exposure of Arsenal's shortcomings by United. Young scores another stunner as he cuts in from the left to curl a sumptuous effort into the far corner. Extraordinary, rampant and ruthless from United.
United have not given up hope of an eighth. Smalling sends a low cross in from the right and Hernandez arrives just a split second too late to apply the finish.
Cleverly lifts a pass forward in the direction of the charging Giggs, but Szczesny is off his line to collect on the edge of his box.
Ramsey attempts to bend one into the top corner from inside the D-line of the box with the outside of his boot. But he cannot generate the necessary swerve and De Gea can watch the effort drift wide.
I cannot remember ever seeing a team bullied in such an extent as today. United have sensed blood and gone for the jugular. The question is, where do Arsenal go from here? Morale will be in absolute tatters.
Rooney made no mistake. Talk about Arsenal getting kicked when they are down. Chants of 'you're getting sacked in the morning' boom out of Old Trafford in the direction of Wenger. This is miserable, painful humiliation for the Gunners.
Keep ball for United. They are passing and moving around midfield at will. Rooney is playing in a free role. Ironic cheers.
From the resulting free-kick, Rooney, surprisingly for his form this afternoon, curls the set-piece narrowly wide of the post.
The young Arsenal defender was again out of position and hauled down Hernandez, who was breaking forward towards goal. Referee Webb has no choice but to show a second yellow card. Jenkinson had a wretched afternoon.
What a ludicrous match! Van Persie now shows the sort of composure that was lacking with his penalty as he keeps cool at the back post to volley Jenkinson's cross into the roof of the net. Both defences have had days to forget.
Arsenal are getting completely and utterly pummelled. Shortly after coming off the bench, Park is awarded the freedom of Old Trafford as he drifts into the box, collects a pass and rolls a shot across Szczesny and into the back of the net at the back post.
United are really rubbing salt the Arsenal wounds. After mimicking Beckham, Rooney now takes on Cantona as he chips from outside the box and hits the post.
Inexcusable defending from Arsenal as their defence is split when attempting to play offside. Rooney threads a pass to Nani with the minimum of fuss and the Portuguese finishes with an outrageously audacious chipped finish over Szczesny. Humiliation for Wenger and Arsenal.
Sloppy from Rooney after kick-off as he gives away a corner from inside his own half. Smalling can head clear Van Persie's set-piece.
In a copy of Rooney's free-kick in the first half, Rooney is teed-up by Young and this time beats Szczesny with his eyes, sending the Arsenal goalkeeper the wrong way as he curled into the far post. David Beckham-esque. That was superb.
Nani goes past Traore as if he was not there with a brilliant bit of tap-dancing. Djourou is able to clear the cross from under his own crossbar.
Cleverley plays a one-two with Hernandez to give himself space inside the Arsenal box. But his shot is very tame when attempting to go for placement and is an easy save for Szczesny.
United are in danger of allowing complacency into their game. Ferguson is likely to be thinking of a substitution, with the experience of Giggs a likely option.
Wenger is again shaking his head on the touchline. Arshavin does well to muscle his way into the box and past Jones, but he then hopelessly drags his shot wide. Maybe a slight deflection of Jones, so Arsenal have corner.
Lovely cross from Young from the left. Just a bit too much pace on the ball for Rooney. Young has been superb today.
Fine, low save from Dea Gea as he gets down quickly to his left to palm away a first-time Van Persie effort from an excellent Rosicky pass.
Arsenal's defence is so disorganised. At a United corner Koscielny first heads out of the hands of Szczesny before then hoofing the ball clear just as the goalkeeper was about to pick the ball up.
Free-kick to Arsenal inside his own half. Evra thrust his shoulder into the back of Walcott. Blatant foul.
Cheeky attempt from Nani as he leaves Traore in his wake before attempting a dinked finish from close to the byline. Rooney is not happy in the middle that there was not a cross.
Dipping effort from the excellent Young, which is well saved by Szczesny. Arsenal's defence allow Young to be the first man to the follow up and he strikes across the face of goal. Terrible defending.
Jenkinson almost gets to the byline with a chance to cross, but Evra's pace allows him to get back block.
Van Persie's control lets him down on the edge of the United box when collecting a pass from Ramsey.
John E says: "My poor old Arsenal are in freefall , we need defence and with the 60 million plus in the kitty and with quality defenders available like Samba and Cahill why has Wenger not spent , perhaps i ask you are the board members more in it for the money???"
Looking back at replays, Walcott's goal went straight through De Gea's legs. Not the most impressive goalkeeping and his penalty save should not be sensationalised. Van Persie's spot-kick was poor. Walcott has been the best of a bad bunch of Arsenal players.
Alex Williamson says: "Great half of football, one thing I see as a very promising progression for English football players. To say both sides are dominated by foreign players, it's nice to see all 4 scorers been English. Im looking forward to the Euros!"
What an eventful, and excellent, half. United's goals came courtesy of Welbeck, who then hobbled off with an apparent hamstring injury, a stunning Young strike and a brilliant Rooney free-kick. De Gea saved Van Persie's weak penalty before Walcott pulled a goal back on the stroke of half-time. Problems mount for Wenger. Let me have your thoughts at email@example.com or via twitter @SkySportsPeteF.
Excellent pass from Rosicky threads in Walcott in the inside right channel. With plenty of room, the England international makes no mistake. De Gea's footwork was not too clever when attempting to save.
As an example of United's swagger at present, Rooney tries his luck from well inside his own half. Szczesny can get back in time to prevent himself from being lobbed.
Jenkinson crosses into the United box, but Walcott and Van Persie do not stand a chance against Jones and Evans.
Ramsey has the ball in the United box after the game restarts. But he is crowded out and then loses his footing. It is not a good day for North London teams against rivals from Manchester.
Brilliant curling effort from Rooney. He tapped the ball a few yards to Young, who trapped the ball to give it a change of angle and Rooney did the rest by sending the ball into Szczesny's top right corner. This is getting embarrassing for Arsenal.
Coming together between Jenkinson and Young when chasing a long ball. The Arsenal youngster was out of position and is punished with a yellow card. He is having a difficult afternoon against Young.
After Rooney runs over the ball at the free-kick, Nani strikes over the crossbar. That was an optimistic effort.
Evra earns warm applause as he has too much strength for Walcott before jinking past Arshavin. But the ball eventually goes out for a throw-in to Arsenal on the opposite touchline.
Ironic cheers ring around Old Trafford as Arshavin tries his luck with a 25-yard effort, but he only finds the stands. Poor effort.
Hernandez comes on for Welbeck. Not a bad replacement to have on the bench. Replays show Arshavin clattered Young in the build-up to Welbeck's injury. It should have been a second yellow card.
Welbeck pulls up when chasing a long ball. It looks like he has damaged his hamstring. He is hobbling off the pitch and down the tunnel. That probably means he is out of the England squad. That is very bad luck. He had started excellently.
Going back to Van Persie's penalty, he never looked confident when striking the ball. Wenger is not happy, but remains seated in the dugout.
Arsenal attempt to find an immediate response, but De Gea saves from Arshavin and Van Persie's follow-up. United then counter-attack and Welbeck's diving header from Rooney's cross is just wide. Fast-paced, end-to-end stuff at the moment.
Stunning goal. From De Gea's penalty save, United attack and Young, using Coquelin as a shield, sublimely curls a 20-yard effort into the top corner with his right foot. Szczesny dives, but can only wave at the ball as it floats into the top corner. Sensational strike. Old Trafford goes crazy.
An abysmally weak spot-kick from Van Persie. De Gea's nerves will be settled as he dives low to his right to palm away for a corner. United then defend.
Walcott's pace got him inside Evans. He made the most of it, but Walcott's shirt was pulled by Evans. Referee Webb's assistant, Darren Cann, on the near touchline gives the spot-kick. Evans is booked.
Arsenal are all over the place at the moment. Smalling drags a shot just wide on a another adventure from right-back. Walcott and Jenkinson had been involved in an argument in the build-up to Welbeck's goal. Not a good sign.
Truly woeful defending from Arsenal. Anderson's chipped pass from outside the box is inventive, but Koscielny and Djourou haplessly allow the ball to bounce inside the six-yard area and Welbeck shows the most desire to dink a header past Szczesny.
Walcott's trademark pace gets him past Evans, but the Arsenal forward then seems to get caught in two minds as his cross-shot does not harm. Cleverley is back on.
Cleverley is told by referee Webb to leave the pitch, because he has a cut above his right eye. Rosicky did the damage with an accidental arm to the face in an aerial challenge.
Koscielny meets Van Persie's set-piece, but he is falling backwards and can only head well over the bar when off-balance.
Szczesny punches at the set-piece. It goes high rather than far before Arshavin can volley clear. Not the most convincing goalkeeping.
Arshavin is the first man to go in the book after raking his studs down the ankle of Jones. The centre-back is hobbling, but is back on his feet. That was a nasty one and a correct yellow card.
Welbeck has been a source of non-stop kinetic energy so far this afternoon. He is constantly running the inside channel against Koscielny.
Rooney is shouting for a penalty as Young goes down under a Coquelin challenge inside the box. It was shoulder to shoulder and referee Webb is not interested. Correct decision.
A roar goes around Old Trafford as the ball falls invitingly for Young on the edge of the Arsenal box, but the winger is crowded out by Djourou.
Mistake from Koscielny as he lets in Welbeck is a poorly executed offside trap. Credit the Arsenal centre-back, he got back in time to put Welbeck off his shot and he put it wide of the far post from inside the box.
Nani is giving Traore a tough opening. The Portuguese crosses in the direction of Rooney, but there is too much height on the ball.
Nice exchange of passes between Coquelin and Van Persie in the centre of midfield before the Frenchman sprays a pass out wide. That will help his confidence.
Clever, flicked corner from Welbeck in return to a Nani pass, but the winger was not expecting the one-two. Excellent start from United.
Smalling, who has really impressed me as a right-back, charges forward and gets inside Traore. He then sets up Cleverly, but the young midfielder has to stretch and drags his 18-yard effort just wide.
Lots of possession for United in the opening 120 seconds. Arsenal are struggling to get close to Ferguson's team.
United then move up the pitch and Welbeck is again a livewire as he closes down Szczesny at a back-pass
KICK-OFF: United get the game going and immediately go back to De Gea to give the young Spaniard, who has looked nervous, an early touch.
United look like they will be lining up as a 4-4-2, which shows they do not fear the Arsenal midfield. They usually face up against with a three-man system in the centre. I can't think of a time when Wenger took on Ferguson as such an underdog.
Here come the teams. Evra leads United out of the tunnel at Old Trafford, while Van Persie is of course now the Arsenal captain.
Gary Neville said in the papers this morning that United managed to beat Arsenal in the past by bullying Wenger's men. Not sure that is such a revelation, those tactics were obvious in the past. I'll be interested to see how the new crop of United players approach this match.
A very good point made by Richard Wiles. He says: "You only have to look at the benches for the outcome of this one. United have got numerous options whereas Arsenal only really have Chamakh should they need to change things. Wenger really needs to strengthen if Arsenal are to have any hope of a top-four finish, whilst Fergie must be delighted with the way his youngsters are performing early on this season!"
Despite Ferguson's talk of respect, I fancy United will want to send a message today after watching Manchester City state their intent by dismantling Tottenham earlier this afternoon.
Gavin Kelleher says: "With Man City having won 5-1 already today, Utd and Rooney in particular will aim to score at will. Utd to win 4-2 with Rooney getting a hat-trick."
Ferguson insists United will show a stretched Arsenal team 'respect' this afternoon. But the United boss did have a dig at Wenger in his pre-match press conference earlier this week when he said a six-year trophy drought would not happen at Old Trafford.
I am getting a lot of feedback. Apologies if I do not publish all of your comments. Keep them coming at firstname.lastname@example.org or via twitter @SkySportsPeteF.
Wenger has just been on television and thinks his team have the 'mental strength' to have a good day in the wake of the win over Udinese, where they played under pressure.
Ron Wiener says: "Being an Arsenal supporter these days is a little embarrassing. With all the current injuries, and suspensions, i think today will also be embarrassing with a 5 - 0 win for Utd! Vermaelen out as well does not help the cause. Let's hope Wenger buys a couple of quality players in the transfer window, but it does not look very positive."
The bookies have been in touch. Sky Bet say: "United are 2/5 to maintain their perfect start to the season with victory over Arsenal, who are 6/1 outsiders, while a draw is 4/1. Wayne Rooney is 4/1 favourite to break the deadlock while Robin van Persie is 15/2 to net first."
Jack Drury says: "Well, Man u certainly impressed against reasonable opponents - arsenal on the other hand have been abysmal. As I'm a Chelsea fan, I would like arsenal to win. However I see another win for Man u - 2-0 with Rooney and Young to score. I will have a bet on a red card to arsenal!"
Chris Harris: "Arsenal have been in poor form this season, and it hasn't helped their cause that 2 key players (Nasri and Fabregas) have left. However, with many an Arsenal fan on the back of Wenger I am optimistic of a surprise victory from the Gunners. A 3-1 victory for the Gunners will leave Old Trafford and Fergie shocked."
Tom Symons says:" I think the united youngsters cope because Alex ferguson puts trust and faith into them from the off, getting them involved in big games and introducing them to the pace and pressure of the EPL. Jones, Smalling, Evans and the Da silva twins will put genuine pressure on vidic, ferdy and evra, but what a future we have."
Arsenal are dealt a blow this afternoon as defensive duo Bacary Sagna and Thomas Vermaelen are both ruled out. The twin absence is part of five changes for the Gunners, with Coquelin handed his Premier League debut in midfield as Wenger tries to arrest a dismal start that has brought them just a single point from two games so far. In contrast, United have six, and so certain is Ferguson of his young players' ability that he feels able to leave fit-again Rio Ferdinand on the bench as Phil Jones and Jonny Evans take their place in an unchanged line-up.
Lots of tweets coming in predicting a United win. Have to say, I agree. Fairly obvious, but I think United will have too much power in the centre of midfield for a makeshift Arsenal. Thoughts on Francis Coquelin playing for the Gunners? He is a 20-year-old defensively-minded French midfielder.
Donald Mackintosh says: "I think Man Utd will destroy Arsenal today, United will win 3-0 with Rooney, Cleverley and Nani on the score sheet, Come on Man U."
Arsenal team news: Szczesny; Jenkinson, Djourou, Koscielny, Traore; Coquelin, Ramsey, Rosicky; Walcott, Van Persie, Arshavin.
United team news: De Gea; Smalling, Jones, Evans, Evra; Nani, Cleverley, Anderson, Young; Rooney, Welbeck. Subs: Lindegaard, Ferdinand, Giggs, Park, Berbatov, Chicharito, Fabio
Interesting statistic ahead of kick-off and following the 0-0 draw with Newcastle and 2-0 defeat to Liverpool - Arsenal haven't failed to score in their opening three league games since the 1953/54 season.
Plenty of talking points in the build-up to this match. How impressed have you been with Manchester United's youngsters in their fine start to the season? Will the pressure mount on Arsene Wenger this afternoon? Who will play in midfield for Arsenal amid their injuries and suspensions? What about Sir Alex Ferguson's rant at the FA? You can get in touch at email@example.com or via twitter @SkySportsPeteF.