In the first 20 minutes, Arsenal played football from another planet, the kind of football we all know they are quite capable of playing, to blow Manchester United away in the English Premier League on Sunday.
With all the pressure on Arsenal, following their Champions League loss to Olympiakos, Arsene Wenger's men answered that pressure in the best possible manner, playing some irresistible football to leave Manchester United, league leaders going into this weekend in the Premier League, befuddle and shell-shocked and crashing to a 3-0 defeat at the Emirates.
Every single Arsenal player in the attacking third had a brilliant game – Theo Walcott played his role as the centre-forward to perfection, while grabbing a couple of assists, Mesut Ozil was more like the Mesut Ozil everyone wants to see in the big games, Alex Sanchez was his usual, unstoppable self, while Aaron Ramsey, Santi Cazorla and Francis Coquelin ran that midfield.
The first goal came just after the five-minute mark, and what a goal it was too. Some beautiful play from Ozil and Ramsey, eventually allowed the Germany international in space near the right touchline. Ozil waited, and then picked out Sanchez, who put the ball into the net with a wonderful back flick at the near post, leaving even David De Gea completely stranded.
A minute later and Arsenal were 2-0 up, with the beauty of the goalscoring just going up a notch. Again, Ozil was heavily involved in the buildup, with Sanchez also there with another beautiful flick. The Arsenal playmaker then played Walcott through in the right channel, with the England international, justifying his place as the central striker, picking out Ozil perfectly for the German to provide the kind of finish everyone has been asking him to do more often.
Arsenal were just unstoppable now, with Manchester United barely getting a kick in, and it came as little surprise when the home team went 3-0 up in the 19th minute. Hardly need be said that it was another peach, with Ramsey finding Walcott in the centre just outside the box, before the Englishman shifted the ball to Sanchez, who cut inside Matteo Darmian, the right-back who had to be taken off at halftime because he was given such a torrid time by the Chilean, before absolutely smashing the ball into the top of the net.
A little while later Arsenal should have gone 4-0 up as Ramsey missed a sitter from seven yards, but it was Manchester United who nearly scored the fourth goal of the game, just before halftime, as Martial, with a nice turn and strike forced a splendid save from Petr Cech, a mere spectator until then.
Van Gaal, expectedly, made changes at halftime, going to his Plan B (read Marouane Fellaini), and while Manchester United had the bulk of the possession in the second 45, with Arsenal happy to sit back, there weren't enough alarms to ever put the result in doubt.