Chris Smalling was a surprise scorer on derby day, putting in United’s fourth of the afternoon and equalling Danny Welbeck’s goal tally for Arsenal.
The United defender has revealed that Ryan Giggs, who has played in more Manchester derbies than any other player, had a few words for them at half-time to motivate them for the second half.
We weren’t ourselves in the first 15 minutes, but we dominated from there on. We came in at half-time and Giggsy said it was a good show of character to come back from a goal down, but in the second half we needed to get the ball down and take a few more risks. We were a bit cautious and didn’t try to play out [from the back] too much, but in the second half we really kicked on and made a print on the game. It’s massive [to win six in a row]. I think a lot of people probably saw our fixtures as the hardest of the lot, but if you play teams like Tottenham and Liverpool and win, they’re real six-pointers. It makes a massive difference, and I think confidence comes from beating these top teams.