In an excellent piece by Amy Lawrence in today’s Guardian, Francis Coquelin described how it felt to be involved in that match at Old Trafford.
As much as we try to forget that horrific day, I don’t think Gooners are ever going to be able to fully erase our 8-2 loss at Old Trafford from our memories. In fact, I remember the day so vividly I feel as if Wayne Rooney’s hattrick celebrations are tattooed onto the insides of my eyelids.
Stricken with injury, the best 11 we could field, through no real fault of our own, was nothing short of embarrassing. Those were dark times.
Coquelin was among the unlucky bunch who had to walk out onto that pitch as if they didn’t know they’d already lost.
“The team was not ready for a game like that. It was basically the reserves playing. To be honest they could shoot from anywhere that game, it was going top corner. It was one of those games you want to forget,” the Frenchman says.
Later in the interview, he admits that returning to Old Trafford in the FA Cup this season, where we beat Manchester United 2-1 to progress to the semi-finals, was a personal highlight.
“It was nice to go back to Old Trafford,” he ‘grinned‘.