Title dreams end, but even Fergie admits that Arsenal were unlucky
PUBLISHED: 12:05 16 April 2008 | UPDATED: 14:57 07 September 2010
Arsenal s title dreams finally died at Old Trafford - despite producing one of their best performances of the season against the champions-elect. The Gunners fought back magnificently after their loss to Liverpool in midweek with a display brimming with c
Arsenal's title dreams finally died at Old Trafford - despite producing one of their best performances of the season against the champions-elect.
The Gunners fought back magnificently after their loss to Liverpool in midweek with a display brimming with confidence and technical brilliance.
But, as has happened so often this season, rudimentary errors and a lack of concentration was their undoing.
Arsenal have taken the lead at Chelsea and Manchester United this season and should have earned at least a point on both occasions.
Emmanuel Adebayor could have had a first half hat-trick alone before he gave the visitors the lead three minutes after the change of ends when he appeared to bundle home Robin van Persie's cross with his arm.
It was scrappy and illegal but the goal stood.
Arsenal, however, appear to be afraid of taking the lead these days and, after nearly an hour of mesmerising football, allowed United back in when William Gallas needlessly handled in the box.
Cristiano Ronaldo was forced to re-take his first successful spot-kick - and promptly buried it to level.
Still, Arsenal's passing was crisp and sure but United had now called upon Carlos Tevez and Anderson from the bench to influence matters and step up the tempo.
The champions won it when Patrice Evra was felled on the edge of the area and Owen Hargreaves sent a delightful free-kick over the wall and inside Jens Lehmann's post.
It was a worthy winner - but Arsenal were desperately, unlucky. A gracious Sir Alex Ferguson admitted: "Arsenal and ourselves have been competing for trophies for 15 or 16 years and the games are always so emotionally tight and this was another one.
"The quality of this game was outstanding. There won't be a better game this year. They were the better team in the first-half.