Manchester 13 London 3

Rooney leads the way to leave Wenger's side utterly humiliated while Mancini's side fire statement of title intent

After the heaviest defeat of his managerial career yesterday, Arsène Wenger (right) accepted he had been humiliated while insisting his record demanded he be given more time.

It was the day when Manchester became the capital of English football with first City crushing Tottenham 5-1 at White Hart Lane and then United winning 8-2 to condemn Arsenal to their biggest loss since 1927, when they were beaten 7-0 by West Ham. By the end, both Manchester clubs were leading the Premier League with a combined goal difference of +19 after three matches, while only a last-minute goal for Stoke at West Bromwich Albion prevented Arsenal from joining Tottenham in the relegation zone.

After Edin Dzeko's four goals had propelled him to a humiliation of his own, the Tottenham manager, Harry Redknapp, said Manchester City would push United "all the way" for the title. "We sent a signal to the other clubs," Samir Nasri said after his debut for City. "To win 5-1 at Tottenham, it is such a tough place to go. It is just the start of the season but I am convinced we have great, quality players here and that we can win things."

However, as United have done so often to their neighbours, that scoreline was quickly eclipsed by the champions' biggest victory since Nottingham Forest were disembowelled 8-1 by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer 12 years ago. It was their biggest victory at Old Trafford since Ipswich were thrashed 9-0 in 1995. Both those clubs were relegated.

The sales of Cesc Fabregas and Nasri may have raised £60m for Arsenal but while Wenger said that some money would be released to secure the South Korean striker Park Chu-young from Monaco, it is nothing like the scale of the reconstruction demanded by Arsenal's supporters.

"It is difficult when you lose 8-2," he said. "You don't talk too much because it hurts and you are accused of looking for excuses. At the moment I had better not speak too much.

"How much personally am I to blame? I don't know – as much as you want. I am in a public job and I have to accept that criticism. In my 15 years here I have brought some good players for Arsenal and you should give me more time before saying whether I have got it right. It is very painful but it is at the end of the season when you should make the judgement.

"In England you always think that signings are the solution," said Wenger, who admitted that Arsenal's refusal to pay top Premier League wages meant his task was harder. "I would remind you that we have eight players out injured. Manchester United had class and they punished us. I am very open to finding other players. We have the money, we have 20 people working on that but we have not found the solutions."

When Andy Cole's five goals sent Ipswich careering to their 9-0 defeat, Alex Ferguson told his then assistant, Brian Kidd, that he did not want a 10th because it would be too humiliating for the opposing manager, George Burley. He echoed those sentiments yesterday.

"I did not want them to score any more," he said. "It was a very weakened Arsenal team but we still had to get the result. I think the criticism Arsène Wenger has had is very unfair. By keeping to his philosophy he has given his team some fantastic players. He has sold well which has always helped the Arsenal coffers.

"We live in a terrible, cynical world and, when you lose a few games, the judge is out and you see managers going early in the season, very unfairly."

It was an afternoon in which Wayne Rooney continued his personal vendetta against Arsenal with a hat-trick. Yesterday he took his tally for the club to 152.

"I asked Ryan Giggs how many I needed to overtake Sir Bobby Charlton," said Rooney. "He said another 100 or so and that is my target now."

News
Sir David Attenborough
people
Life and Style
Young girl and bowl of cereal
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
'The Archers' has an audience of about five million
radioA growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried
News
Comic miserablist Larry David in 'Curb Your Enthusiasm'
peopleDirector of new documentary Misery Loves Comedy reveals how he got them to open up
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Henry VIII played by Damien Lewis
tvReview: Scheming queens-in-waiting, tangled lines of succession and men of lowly birth rising to power – sound familiar?
Sport
football
News
i100
Life and Style
Virtual reality headset: 'Essentially a cinema screen that you strap to your face'
techHow virtual reality is thrusting viewers into frontline of global events and putting film-goers at the heart of the action
Arts and Entertainment
Ready to open the Baftas, rockers Kasabian are also ‘great film fans’
musicExclusive: Rockers promise an explosive opening to the evening
Life and Style
David Bowie by Duffy
fashion
Arts and Entertainment
Hell, yeah: members of the 369th Infantry arrive back in New York
booksWorld War Z author Max Brooks honours WW1's Harlem Hellfighters in new graphic novel
News
advertisingVideo: The company that brought you the 'Bud' 'Weis' 'Er' frogs and 'Wasssssup' ads, has something up its sleeve for Sunday's big match
Arts and Entertainment
tv
News
i100
Environment
Dame Vivienne Westwood speaking at a fracking protest outside Parliament on Monday (AP)
environment
Life and Style
tech
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee
World War Z author Max Brooks honours WW1's Harlem Hellfighters in new graphic novel

Max Brooks honours Harlem Hellfighters

The author talks about race, legacy and his Will Smith film option to Tim Walker
Why the league system no longer measures up

League system no longer measures up

Jon Coles, former head of standards at the Department of Education, used to be in charge of school performance rankings. He explains how he would reform the system
Valentine's Day cards: 5 best online card shops

Don't leave it to the petrol station: The best online card shops for Valentine's Day

Can't find a card you like on the high street? Try one of these sites for individual, personalised options, whatever your taste
Diego Costa: Devil in blue who upsets defences is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

Devil in blue Costa is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

The Reds are desperately missing Luis Suarez, says Ian Herbert
Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Former one-day coach says he will ‘observe’ their World Cup games – but ‘won’t be jumping up and down’
Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness