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  • Date: Sun 31 January 2010
  • Venue: Emirates Stadium
  • Ref: Foy, C
  • Attendance: 60,091
Arsenal

Arsenal

Vermaelen (80)

1 - 3
Manchester United

Manchester United

Nani (33)

Rooney (37)

Park (52)

Arsenal vs Manchester United

Team Lineups

Arsenal

Manuel Almunia
Bacary Sagna (Nicklas Bendtner, 72)
Thomas Vermaelen
William Gallas
Gael Clichy
Cesc Fabregas
Tomas Rosicky (Emmanuel Eboue, 72)
Samir Nasri
Pereira Neves Denilson (Theo Walcott, 61)
Alexandre Song
Andrey Arshavin

Manchester United

Edwin van der Sar
Patrice Evra
Wes Brown
Da Silva Rafael
Jonny Evans, J
Ji-Sung Park (Luis Antonio Valencia, 87)
Michael Carrick
Luis Carlos Nani (Dimitar Berbatov, 89)
Paul Scholes (Ryan Giggs, 71)
Darren Fletcher
Wayne Rooney

Match Report
Manchester United moved within a point of Chelsea at the top of the Premier League table with a convincing 3-1 mauling of Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium. Goals from Nani, Wayne Rooney and Ji-Sung Park were enough to see off the home side, whose limp reply came from a deflected Thomas Vermaelen shot when the game was, to all intents and purposes, already over. The first real chance fell to Andrey Arshavin after a delightful ball over the top of the Manchester United defence for the Russian to run on to on the left flank. The diminutive attacker cut inside to try and curl a shot into the far post. The effort went wide and Samir Nasri, who was unmarked on the penalty spot, was furious. United, playing with Rooney on his own in attack were nonetheless a clearly potent force. Gael Clichy was struggling on the right side again Nani and the Portuguese winger beat the Gunners left back twice within a matter of seconds in the seventh minute to deliver two dangerous crosses into the box. The first required a toe-poke from William Gallas to get the ball away from Rooney and the second somehow eluded a crowd of players before eventually being hacked away by Denilson. Nani nearly punished the Gunners, but put a shot just wide of the right post under pressure from two defenders, before getting his reward in the 33rd minute. He skinned Clichy and Denilson on the right flank and lifted a ball into the area. A back-pedalling Manuel Almunia reached back and turned the ball into his own net for United to take a 1-0 lead. Arsene Wenger's side were all over the place for United's second two minutes later. From defending an Arsenal attack, a loose pass set the visitors on a swift counter-attack with Rooney sneaking in to run on the a ball from Nani to fire a first-time low drive into the bottom left corner. Nani had the chance to kill the home side off in the 40th minute when teed up to shoot on the edge of the area, but he pulled his right-foot shot wide of the left post. Manchester United came out first after the interval looking calm and confident and made it 3-0 with another breakaway goal. Ji-Sung Park raced away from his own half to latch on to a lofted ball from Paul Scholes. The Korean kept his cool, accelerated into the box and passed the ball into the net beyond Almunia. Theo Walcott was brought on for a poor Denilson in the 60th minute, before Nicklas Bendtner and Emmanuel Eboue entered the fray. A slip by the latter in the 75th minute almost gave Rooney another goal, but the United striker's shot went wide. The Gunners did pull one back in the 80th minute through an acrobatic effort from Vermaelen, whose shot from the edge of the area was deflected off Johnny Evans past Edwin Van der Sar. With the clock ticking down to full-time, Gallas had a free header with his back to goal, but directed the ball well wide from three yards out and the final whistle blew shortly afterwards.
Live Text Commentary
Full time
 

FULL TIME ARSENAL 1-3 MANCHESTER UNITED: Manuel Almunia's own goal, Wayne Rooney and Ji-Sung Park score to put United a point behind Chelsea in the title race as Thomas Vermaelen's late goal was a mere consolation for the Gunners.

90

United break and Luis Antonio Valencia sets up Dimitar Berbatov whose effort is blocked and it rolls out to Wayne Rooney who fires wide of the post.

90

Theo Walcott does excellent down the left but his subsequent cross into the middle is too heavy for Nicklas Bendtner to get on the end of.

90

There will be five minutes of injury time to play here so all maybe not lost for Arsenal if they can get a goal quickly.

90

Jonny Evans can only head a cross into the middle up in the air and William Gallas somehow heads wide from just a couple of yards from goal.

89
Substitution
 

The impressive Nani is going off and Dimitar Berbatov will get a run out for the final few moments of the match.

89

Da Silva Rafael concedes another corner which is played in to the area but Nicklas Bendtner is crowded out by United players.

87
Substitution
 

Ji-Sung Park is going off with Luis Antonio Valencia the man coming on for United.

86

The subsequent corner is played in and Thomas Vermaelen gets his head to it but Patrice Evra flicks it away from the line.

85

Ryan Giggs opts to play the subsequent corner short as United aim to run down the clock now. It fails as Arsenal break and win a corner off Da Silva Rafael.

84

Manuel Almunia has a nightmare here as his poor clearance goes straight to Nani but the United man takes too long and his effort is blocked.

82

Arsenal win a corner off Andrey Arshavin's trickery and United are looking nervous here as Theo Walcott heads the ball down before the visitors finally clear.

80
Goal
 

ARSENAL 1-3 MANCHESTER UNITED: Spoke too soon again as THOMAS VERMAELEN hits an effort at goal which goes in off Jonny Evans.

78

Arsenal are trying to conjure up a goal from somewhere as we approach the final 10 minutes but United's defence has held firm throughout.

76

Gael Clichy crosses in from the left and Nicklas Bendtner's weak header fails to trouble Edwin van der Sar.

75

United break at goal through Wayne Rooney who races into the area cuts back on to his right foot and shoots the wrong side of the post.

74

Patrice Evra concedes a corner down the right, Cesc Fabregas plays it in but Patrice Evra is again on hand to clear the danger.

72
Substitution
 

A third change in quick succession as Bacary Sagna is going off to be replaced by the more attack minded Nicklas Bendtner.

72
Substitution
 

Arsenal make a switch too as Emmanuel Eboue is on for Tomas Rosicky.

71
Substitution
 

Ryan Giggs is coming on in place of Paul Scholes into the United midfield.

71

Another promising Arsenal move breaks down as Bacary Sagna chips a ball to the back post but it goes out of play.

69

United break at speed again with Ji-Sung Park playing the ball to Wayne Rooney whose cross goes out ahead of Nani.

68

Cesc Fabregas tries to take a quick free kick into the box for Andrey Arshavin but United's defence is alert to cut out the danger.

66

Nani whips a cross in from the right but this time Manuel Almunia takes the catch with nobody up in support of the Portuguese wing man.

64

Arsenal take a quick corner down the right but Patrice Evra cuts out Bacary Sagna's cross before Cesc Fabregas hits a left foot shot high and wide.

63

United may be three-up here but there are no signs that they will be happy to just sit back and defend that handsome lead.

61
Substitution
 

Arsene Wenger has seen enough here as Pereira Neves Denilson is going off to be replaced by Theo Walcott.

60

United can't clear a Bacary Sagna cross into the middle and Andrey Arshavin's overhead kick falls to Alexandre Song whose first time shot is just wide.

59

Patrice Evra wins a corner down the left side for United. The ball is played into the middle but it is easy for Manuel Almunia.

58

Alexandre Song has another effort on goal for the Gunners but it is straight down the throat of Edwin van der Sar.

56

Arsenal are not giving up the ghost and are pouring forwards as Cesc Fabregas has Edwin van der Sar diving to his right to make the save.

54

Cesc Fabregas' effort from the edge of the area brushes off Michael Carrick and goes inches over the crossbar, but no corner is awarded.

52
Goal
 

ARSENAL 0-3 MANCHESTER UNITED: It looks game over already as JI-SUNG PARK gets on the end of a Michael Carrick ball over the top and is allowed to run about 50 yards before firing low past Manuel Almunia.

50

Wayne Rooney is to the left of the area and about 30 yards from goal as he looks to catch out Manuel Almunia who needs two attempts to collect the ball.

49

United take a corner with Wayne Rooney off the pitch but the short one between Nani and Ji-Sung Park comes to nothing. Wayne Rooney is now back on the field.

48

Arsenal struggle to clear their lines and Wayne Rooney takes a blow to the knee off a Bacary Sagna challenge which ses the action held up while he is treated.

47

Gael Clichy gets past Da Silva Rafael down the left and puts a cross into the middle but Edwin van der Sar comes out to gather.

Second half
 

The action is back underway and Sir Alex Ferguson will want more of the same from his players. Arsene Wenger will hope his side can convert any chnaces they make as they look to get into this clash.

Half time
 

HALF TIME ARSENAL 0-2 MANCHESTER UNITED: Nani has been influential for United as he forced Manuel Almunia's own goal before setting up Wayne Rooney to grab his 100th Premier League goal at the Emirates.

45

Alexandre Song almost bustles his way through in the area but he can't wrap his foot around the ball and the strike goes wide.

43

Arsenal have a corner down the left side which comes in but it is comfortable for Edwin van der Sar to gather.

42

The stats show how clinical United have been as Arsenal have had as many chances but wasted them in this half.

40

United should be three up here as Wayne Rooney's persistence sees him pull the ball back to Paul Scholes who then sets up Nani. His strike goes wide possibly hitting the hand of Thomas Vermaelen on the way out.

38

Arsenal get a great chance to pull one back straight away but again Andrey Arshavin is the guilty party as he fires the wrong side of the upright with Edwin van der Sar to beat.

37
Goal
 

ARSENAL 0-2 MANCHESTER UNITED: Arsenal go close from a corner before United break at great speed through Nani, who threads a ball in to WAYNE ROONEY and the onrushing striker sweeps the ball into the net.

35

Arsenal are pressing now as they look to get straight back on level terms.

33
Goal
 

ARSENAL 0-1 MANCHESTER UNITED: Spoke too soon there as magical skills by Nani down the right as he goes past three players before his cross is flapped into his own net by MANUEL ALMUNIA.

31

For all the attacking play on show we have still yet to see a real threat on either goal after half an hour of the match.

29

Nani gets another chance off Paul Scholes in the box from an angle but Thomas Vermaelen does enough to block the shot for Manuel Almunia to gather.

28

Nani gets on the end of a Pereira Neves Denilson block but his snap shot is the wrong side of the Arsenal goal from a tight angle.

27

Wayne Rooney gets an opportunity now for United but his effort lacks the power to trouble Manuel Almunia who gathers.

26

Good defending by Arsenal as both Ji-Sung Park and Paul Scholes are denied chances to pull the trigger in the area.

24

Bacary Sagna puts a low ball in from the right which Samir Nasri flicks away from Cesc Fabregas who was behind him and shaping up to fire in at goal. William Gallas then gets a chance but blasts his effort high over the bar.

22

Patrice Evra fouls Cesc Fabregas as Arsenal get a chance to put a free kick in the box but the Spanish star's kick is behind everyone.

20

Andrey Arshavin is played in by Cesc Fabregas and makes a hash of his shot at goal as the ball goes back towards his team-mate but United clear. Once again Samir Nasri was better placed to the left of the Russian for a pass.

18

The Arsenal fans are now booing Nani every time he touches the ball following that yellow card incident.

17
Yellow Card
 

Alexandre Song goes in strongly with Nani and, after the United man goes down rolling about, the referee Chris Foy harshly decides to book the Arsenal man.

15

Almost 15 minutes an it's been a good opening to the game with plenty of attacking play from both camps.

13

Andrey Arshavin goes up against Wes Brown and gets into the area before bendinmg a shot at the far post which is inches wide. Again though Samir Nasri was waiting to be teed up.

11

Sir Alex Ferguson will be delighted with the way United have started in the opening ten minutes as they are doing well down that right-hand side.

9

The corner comes in from the left and Pereira Neves Denilson almost heads the ball into his own net but Samir Nasri is on hand to hack it off the line.

8

Another great United break through Nani as he gets past Gael Clichy and puts in a cross which Alexandre Song puts out for a corner.

7

Nani plays the ball wide to the over-lapping Darren Fletcher who whips a low cross into the middle where William Gallas does enough to put off Wayne Rooney a certain goal as the ball hits the United star's heel.

5

Both sides are showing plenty of attacking intent in these early exchanges but no clear cut chances yet.

3

End to end stuff here as Arsenal break through Andrey Arshavin down the left and he cuts in and fires wide of the far post, despite having two team-mates in the middle waiting for a pass.

1

Jonny Evans had to be on his guard after 10 seconds to cut out a throughball which was destined to send Andrey Arshavin clear on goal. A lively start here.

Kickoff
 

A massive game in the title race is up and running at the Emirates Stadium as Arsenal can jump above United into second place and two points behind Chelsea with a win. United will be a point off top spot with three points here.

Awaiting Kickoff
 

Man Utd starting XI: Van der Sar, Rafael Da Silva, Jonathan Evans, Brown, Evra, Scholes, Carrick, Fletcher, Nani, Rooney, Park.

Awaiting Kickoff
 

Ji-Sung Park replaces Ryan Giggs, while Nani gets a start ahead of Antonio Valencia.

Awaiting Kickoff
 

Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson is without the suspended Rio Ferdinand, while Nemanja Vidic is also still out despite being tipped to return from injury. Therefore Wes Brown starts in central defence alongside Jonny Evans.

Awaiting Kickoff
 

Arsenal starting XI: Almunia, Sagna, Gallas, Vermaelen, Clichy, Fabregas, Song Billong, Denilson, Nasri, Arshavin, Rosicky.

Awaiting Kickoff
 

Sol Campbell misses out completely on the title clash at the Emirates Stadium, but Alex Song and Samir Nasri are back in the GunnersÂ’ starting XI.

Awaiting Kickoff
 

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is boosted by Thomas VermaelenÂ’s availability for the visit of Manchester United after it was feared he broke his leg at Aston Villa in midweek.

Awaiting Kickoff
 

Arsenal face Man Utd at 4pm on Sunday, January 31st.