Full-time - 90'
1 - 0
Capital One Cup
19:45 +00:00, December 1, 2004
Old Trafford, England
Referee: M Halsey
It is perhaps accurate to say that this matched reached its conclusion before a minute stood on the clock. The rest of the match was just pretty passing patterns and solid tackling. United, with their experienced players performing well, were the more robust, and deserved the win. Arsenal showed the odd flash but it was too little to make and impact. I, for one, am just glad it didn't go to extra time.
It's all over as Manchester United join Chelsea and Watford in the semi-final draw of the Carling Cup. 1-0 the final score.
Senderos is winded after falling awkwardly from an aerial tussel with Bellion. Flamini wants to make something of it but it's just a bit of posturing.
Van Persie flashes in across the penalty spot as Pennant goes down under pressure from Cregg (who did have a handful of shirt) but it comes to nothing.
The game meekly fades to an end with United dominating the possession for a spell. But Arsenal break and earn a free-kick dep in United territory.
Ball forward from Bellion. Same lineman, same decision. Offside.
Clever first time half volleyed pass forward wrong foots the Arsenal defence as Neville, hugging the touchline, gets away. But, you've guessed it, the flag goes up. Again, I'm not sure that was correct either.
Pennant and van Persie take a quick short free-kick with the United players all lined up for aq long one. Two against one for Arsenal allowed van Paersie to cut inside and shot on goal. Just wide as Howard watched it go. I'm almost certain that is the first shot either team have had this half.
Richardson the latest to be snared by the Arsenal offside trap - a successful tool for them tonight.
Arrowed ball down the right flank gives Bellion something to chase. Pulled up for offside when he looked comfortably on to me.
This game has been incident free if you discount the odd bit of pushing and shoving and is meandering meekly towards a 1-0 United win.
Substitution for Arsenal. on comes the versatile Daniel Karbassiyoon, Clichy makes way.
Kleberson receives an ovation as he is eventually taken from the edge of the pitch to the teatment room.
Rossi involved quickly, latching on to Richarson's lay off and sending over a dipping cross that Almunia does well hold.
Double United substitution. Off go Kleberson and Eagles; on come David Jones (yeah, I don't know either)and Giuseppe Rossi.
Neville needlessly concedes a corner; heading behind when he was under no pressure at all.
Doesn't look good for Kleberson as a stretcher makes its way round to where he is lying.
Some sloppy passing creeping into this game which is the last thing it needs.
Klebersen looks to be in trouble. He slipped and twisted an ankle when Clichy was shepherding him and he is off the pitch receiving treatment.
Arsenal on top in terms of possession at the moment but United's experienced back line and hard working midfield are nullifying any threat therein.
Second Arsenal substitution is Paul Cregg for Larsson.
Fortune puts in a lung bursting run to stride down an unprotected left wing but, with time then to pick out a man, sent his cross over the bar.
Crisp move from United started by Klebersen, helped on by Bellion and then fouled up by Richardson as, without any support, he had to stop and turn allowing Djourou to pick his pocket.
Djourou gets a boot in the face - an accident - from Bellion.
Senderos and Almunia hesitate dangerously in the area with a loose ball between them. The keeper takes decisive action in the end though. At least the ball got near the goal for a change.
Djemba-Djemba crahes in to Lupoli to concede a foul and that is the Italian's last contribution as he is taken off and replaced by Ryan Smith.
Lupoli, who is working hard without much in the way of reward or service, almost benefits from a lucky break as van Persie is tackled. As he was about to burst through on goal though, he was fairly sandwitched out of it.
Van Persie is harshly peanilsed for a challenge on Fortune. Didn't look a foul but he tests his luck, and draws indignation from the home fans, by hurling the ball at Fortune. Temper, temper...
Larsson and Miller get tangled up together twice in thirty seconds. The referee has an increasing amount of work on this half.
It seems to be transmitting itself to the pitch, though, with a few meaty tackles flying about now here and there.
Crowd are getting into it more vocally now. I suspect it is due to boredom rather than anything else.
Van Persie in the wars as a stray boot from Fortune misses the ball and catches him on the thight. Looks painful but he is back on his feet promptly.
Eagles send san effort soaring high into the sky (do you see what I did there). He had done well to get to the by-line and make roam for a cross/shot but sent it into orbit. In his defense it did take a nasty bobble just as he was about to strike it.
Honestly, it is like a practise match. Almost the reserves against the youth team. Oh, right....
Really is nothing of note happening at the moment. Nice turn and pass follows loss of balance and possession turned over at the moment.
Senderos, bearing in mind the first team's defensive frailties at the moment, is doing plenty to suggest he is ready for the step up. He is mopping up all the hopeful long balls United are playing forward with depressing regularity at the moment.
Period of midfield play with both sides snapping into tackles and denying the opposition space to play.
Arsenal showing more directness and penetration now with the spritly Lupoli coming deep and van Persie getting further forward.
Eagles demonstrates a willingness to take on Clichy if not, on this ocassion, the ability. Good defending from the Frenchman.
First three minutes of the second half promise much more than the last 44 of the first delivered in terms of excitement.
Owusu-Abeyie fed a lovely ball wide left by van Persie. He should have headed straight for goal but instead cut back, allowing Neville to make a solid covering tackle.
'Ere we go again! Second half explodes into life with some good old fashioned handbags at dawn. Van Persie body checked Richardson like an ice hockey player. Richardson didn't like it and had an go back at hime. Players scuffled. A yellow card a piece and on with the game.
Second half starts with both sides resisting the temptation to change player.
Half-time arrives with not much of note having happened outside the first 20 seconds. An explosive start - a United goal aided by some charitable Arsenal defending for Bellion - raised expectations but since then there has been nice enough football but no ummphh. United are in control of midfield and so in control of the match.
Flamini feeds van Persie down the centre. Lupoli looked to have made the perfect arced run round the back of the United defence and only needed a reverse pass to put him clear on goal. Instead, van Persie went for goal and found the torso of a United man. Wasteful.
Snap shot from Richardson, 20 yards out, is blazed high and wide.
Forward long pass aimed at van Persie finds its way to Lupoli with only Fortune in front of him. Shows good feet to skip round him but Fortune's strength is enough to just force him out of play.
Neville, in the absence of Reyes, hacks through the back of Owusu-Abeyie to concede a foul. Owusu-Abeyie just getting up and Neville shaking his hand remind us how far we have come from the last Arsenal visit to Old Trafford.
Pennant strikes it well enough but Howard is the equal of it.
Arsenal inch forward 10 yards like an American football team. Lupoli playing the willing quarter-back, happy to dive over any leg in front of him, if you follow. Free kick on the edge of the box.
More patient football from Arsenal this time brings a reward as Lupoli is felled unfairly when he was surrounded.
Perhaps bouyed by hios positive contribution Almunia is back in action again; this time sliding out of his area to clear like a sweeper, and a good one at that.
Almunia, who hasn't looked the flakiest keeper on the pitch only because of Howard's obvious discomfort, pulls off a wonderful save to deny Richardson's rasping drive. great save.
Miller got the better of van Persie after a poor pass out from Almunia. Shot looked on but instead he tried to just cushion it through to Bellion who hadn't read it.
Miller looked certain to make it two by powering in to the box to get on the end of a vicious Richardson cross from the right before the impressive Senderos put in a vital defensive header.
A mark of the balance of the game comes with van Persie helping out in defence, clearing, but then there being no one to get on to chase as it should have been he.
Fantastic flick and turn from Owusu-Abeyie to beat Fortune but his cross was not of the same standard.
Really is United's game. Their midfield players are working hard to stop Arsenal getting anywhere near the defence and that platform makes them the likelier of the two to score anytime soon.
Good recovering tackle from Senderos after a lack of communication between him and Famini almost put Richardson away.
More heart in the mouth stuff from accident prone Howard. Showed himself for a pass from Brown then hesitated with the clearance allowing van Persie to get in and tackle him. Luckily for the American it went behind for a goal kick. Very shaky.
Pennant swings over a decent enough free kick from a wide position but O'shea wins the aerial contest with Senderos.
Arsenal making pretty patterns with the ball across the width of the pitch but not getting anywhere in the process.
Van Persie and Miller continuing a bit of a feud, the Dutchman pulling back the Scot. That's about as exciting as it's got for the last 15 minutes I'm afraid.
Richardson corner from the right is well met by O'Shea. Almunia was wrong footed for a moment but recovered well to save (a little theatrically in truth).
Arsenal really labouring to make any penetration. Epitomised by a Pennant cross that sails harmlessly into Howard's grateful hands.
No sooner said...Van Persie does his best to get things fiery. A late challenge on Miller was allowed to go by the ref as United had the advantage but when play stopped Van Persie got what looked like his final warning. No card though.
Not much bite in this game yet and a bit of a flat atmosphere.
Another corner to United is played short but Richardson couldn't pick a cross when he had time and space.
Definitely United's game so far. Eagles (despite his miss) and Richardson are dragging the Arsenal midfield and defence wide and using their pace to good effect. Arsenal's midfield - with the exception of Owusu-Abeyie - yet to get going.
Opportunity to make it two nil spurened by Eagles. Delightful one two with Bellion and he was clear of the Arsenal defence bearing down on Almunia. Had a lot of time to pick his spot but dragged it well wide of the far post from a tight(ish) but not difficult angle.
Poor clearance from Howard - that won't do his fragile confidence any good.
Owusu-Abeyie really does look up for this. United are forced to double up on him down the left wing but he still manages to get a pass away. Van Persie can't control but Owusu-Abeyie looks Arsenal's most potent threat.
Almunia again ahs to be alert to leave his line and claim a Miller cross.
Free kick draws a corner and, after the first cross is cleared Neville lofts in a dangerous looking cross that Almunia does well to pluck out of the air.
Richardson takes on Hoyte and looks to have got round the back of him before being felled from behind right on the edge of the box. Free kick given when it could have been much worse for Arsenal.
Owusu-Abeyie is a livewire coming in off the flank for Arsenal but his attempted one-two with van Persie is crowded out by the United defence.
Pennant looks to get something going for the visitors. His purposeful drive gets him to the by-line but the ball ran out of play before he could hook it across goal.
After the blistering opening the game has settled with United stroking the ball around well.
Hoyte slipped in the first place to turn possession over to Bellion in the first place, then Glichey went the same way before Bellion's low effort slipped through the keeper's hands when it looked like a routine save. Big stage jitters for kids?
What a start! I don't know if the surface has been greased but a series of slips followed by a goalkeeping blunder gifts Bellion a goal on 20 seconds. 1-0 United.
A youth team against a reserve set up. Doesn't sound like much of a match does it? Except this is Arsenal and Manchester United we're talking about. Forget 'Battle of the Buffet II' there are enough quality players out there to make it a good game of football.
Battle of the Buffet Part II? Err, with completely different squads! Get ready for the drama to unfold and join us for live commentary from 19.45 GMT