Search

Arsenal fail to go back above Chelsea after stalemate against Manchester United

21:39 12 February 2014

Arsenal

Arsenal's Laurent Koscielny and Manchester United's Wayne Rooney battle for the ball

PA Wire/Press Association Images

Premier League: Arsenal 0 Manchester Utd 0

Arsenal missed their chance to reclaim top spot in the Premier League as they were held to a frustrating draw by the defending champions.

Victory would have lifted the Gunners back above Chelsea at the summit, but they failed to make inroads against a United side who came closest to breaking the deadlock through ex-Arsenal captain Robin van Persie.

Both sides should have scored inside the first three minutes, with Van Persie seizing the ball from Mikel Arteta on the edge of the penalty area, only to fire straight at Wojciech Szczesny.

At the other end, Jack Wilshere won a corner and Olivier Giroud got clear of Nemanja Vidic to meet the cross, but completely miscued his header and the ball sailed wide of the far post.

It was the first of four chances that fell to the French striker in the first half – and he directed the next three off target as well as Arsenal probed but failed to penetrate the Red Devils’ defence.

United goalkeeper David de Gea had just one save to make, which involved a late scramble to his left after Tomas Rosicky’s drive had spun off Vidic and threatened to wrongfoot him.

The visitors looked solid and occasionally posed a danger on the counter-attack, but created nothing apart from a half-chance that Van Persie fired wide.

With the stalemate continuing in a scrappy start to the second period, the tension began to rise among the home crowd, although their side almost made the breakthrough just after the hour mark.

Santi Cazorla’s corner picked out Laurent Koscielny, but his looping header was cleared off the line by Antonio Valencia and United survived a penalty appeal in the aftermath when Vidic appeared to floor Giroud.

With 15 minutes remaining, Giroud teed up Rosicky for a pop at goal that floated wide – and that was the Czech midfielder’s last contribution as he made way for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

But the best chance of a breakthrough fell to United as Michael Carrick and Wayne Rooney combined to set up Van Persie for a far-post header that Szczesny did superbly to claw onto the crossbar.

The crafty Cazorla almost won it late on for the Gunners, forcing two diving stops from De Gea in the last five minutes, but it was not to be on a night that raised further questions about Arsenal’s title credentials.

Arsenal: Szczesny; Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Gibbs; Wilshere, Arteta; Rosicky(Oxlade-Chamberlain 74) , Ozil, Cazorla; Giroud.

Manchester Utd: De Gea; Rafael (Ferdinand 45), Smalling, Vidic, Evra; Valencia (Young 82), Cleverley, Carrick, Mata (Januzaj 75); Van Persie, Rooney.

You can rate the Arsenal team’s performance by clicking here

Related articles

0 comments

Latest Sport Stories

The first of the three pitch invaders takes a 'selfie' with Kyle Naughton. Pic: Nick Potts/PA Wire.

Harry Kane admits he was amused by the first of the three pitch invaders during night’s Europa League match but hopes such interruptions can be kicked out of the game.

07:25
Jordan Nobbs of Arsenal Ladies scores against Everton. Pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO

Jordan Nobbs is relishing the opportunity to link up with new signing Lianne Sanderson when Arsenal head to Japan for the International Women’s Club Championship.

Tottenham's Roberto Soldado (right) tries to grab the second of the three pitch invaders at White Hart Lane. Pic: Nick Potts/PA Wire.

Tottenham’s 1-0 Europa League victory over Partizan Belgrade at White Hart Lane was halted for 10 minutes due to three first-half pitch invasions tonight.

Yesterday, 07:30
Saracens' Jamie George (left) is tackled by Northampton's Stephen Myler

Hooker Jamie George is looking to put the disappointment of the weekend’s defeat to Northampton Saints behind him as Saracens prepare for Saturday’s trip to Exeter Chiefs in the Aviva Premiership.

Most read sport

Word for word, has anyone ever read one of those website T&Cs documents? Politicians presume not.

The 38-year-old triggered a manhunt after two bodies were found at an address in Surrey.

The mayor is meant to be convincing Singapore to invest in London – but he clearly has a bigger plan.

Dave’s on the immigration back foot. So does his crackdown on migrant benefits ring true?

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Hampstead & Highgate Express e-edition today E-edition