Wayne Rooney says he didn’t enjoy Manchester United’s 8-2 demolition of Arsenal in 2011, admitting the manner of the victory left him feeling “uncomfortable”.
Rooney scored a hat-trick on a remarkable afternoon at Old Trafford as a rampant United side inflicted Arsenal’s heaviest league defeat since 1927.
The Gunners, who were struggling for form and depleted by injuries and suspensions at the time, were put to the sword by Sir Alex Ferguson’s side.
It was a far cry from their competitive meetings in the early years of Rooney’s time at Old Trafford, when the two clubs battled it out for major honours.
While Rooney was the stand-out player of the match, Ashley Young also bagged a brace – with Danny Welbeck, Nani and Park Ji-sung the other scorers for the home side.
The result, which then Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger described as “humiliating”, highlighted the gulf in quality that had opened up between the two teams.
Speaking ahead of Sunday’s Premier League match between the two clubs at Old Trafford, Rooney admits he didn’t enjoy the victory back in 2011.
He told the Sunday Times: “By 2009, though, the fixture was not quite the test of old.
“First Chelsea and then [Manchester] City became our closest rivals and Arsenal weren’t the Arsenal you used to play against – not because they didn’t have quality, but because they didn’t have the characters they had before.
“This was summed up when we beat them 8-2 in August 2011.
“I scored a hat-trick but 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 being mocked by fans with 8-2 on the scoreboard was not something I enjoyed.
United thrashed Arsenal at Old Trafford in 2011 (Image: Alamy)”Even Nani’s goal, when he lobbed Wojciech Szczesny, felt like taking the mickey.”
Arsenal travel to face United on Sunday in a crucial match at the top of the Premier League.
A resurgent Gunners side are currently one point clear of defending champions Manchester City at the top of the table, having played a game less.
United, meanwhile, are eighth but could move up to fourth with a win, if Brighton fail to beat bottom side Leicester.