Full-time - 90'
1 - 0
20:00 +00:00, December 13, 2010
Old Trafford, England
Referee: Howard Webb
Thanks for following all the action with me, Michael Da Silva, tonight. Join me for live coverage of the Europa League this Wednesday and Thursday, as well as a full program of Premier League action next weekend, including Chelsea vs Manchester United. Bye!
With Arsenal beaten, Chelsea struggling, City divided and Spurs not the finished article, this could be a huge win in United's quest to regain the title. They are now 2 points clear at the top of the Premier League with a game (vs Blackpool) in hand.
Far from a classic, but a crucial win for Man United who now have the exact number of points they had at this stage last season.
Indeed, it is. The full-time whistle blows and Man United have beaten Arsenal 1-0 tonight.
Evra gets the ball away for United and that could be that.
You get the impression Arsenal wouldn't score if we played for another hour.
A deep cross by Van Persie is flicked on to Walcott, who volleys just over at the far post.
We will have another 3 additional injury time minutes here...
Arsenal trying to craft an opening but's not going to happen for them tonight. United have looked resolute and are squeezing any urgency out of Arsenal's approach play in the closing stages.
Walcott, who has been bright since coming on, whips in an early Beckham-esque cross but Ferdinand does very well to flick it out of play.
Another long ball for Rooney, this time by Giggs, causes trouble for Arsenal - but Koscielny is alert to the danger this time and heads back to Szczesny.
Long ball from Rafael finds Rooney, who was behind the Arsenal defence. Rooney tries an audacious chip from 20 yards but Szczesny does well to palm the ball away. A rare moment of class tonight.
Giggs on, Anderson off
Song chops Evra down and goes into the book. He nibbled at Evra about three times before he finally succeeded in flooring the Frenchman.
United have got all their players behind the ball at the moment and Arsenal are struggling to break them down. United have done a great job of nullifying their key players.
Nani and Fletcher combine well and Clichy is momentarily behind the play, but he sprints back into position and does well to get the ball out of danger.
Arsenal win a free kick halfway inside the United half. Fabregas lofts it into the box but Chamakh's on target header is tame.
Walcott is involved straight away and sidesteps Carrick far too easily from a United perspective. Walcott lets fly with a low effort from 25 yards but Van der Sar wasn't worried by that.
Arsenal running out of time here. Final throw of the dice as Walcott comes on. He will inject some much needed pace to Arsenal's attacks in the last 12 minutes.
Stat: Arsenal have given away a penalty in five of their their last eight Premier League trips to Old Trafford.
Walcott on, Arshavin off
Arsenal are preparing Theo Walcott for their final change...
Clichy was yellow carded for the handball, by the way.
Wayne Rooney blasted that high over the bar and justice is done. Nani kicked the ball straight into Clichy's hand as he was already on the ground. Should never have been a penalty in the first place.
Rooney to take...
Clichy has handballed the ball in the box. Very, very harsh.
Man United penalty!
Stat: Ji-Sung Park has scored in each of his last three starts against Arsenal.
In the last 10 minutes, United have had 70% possession.
The ball goes in but is headed clear. As Sagna and Ferdinand go for the header, Ferdinand flys into the aerial challenge like Bruce Lee and somehow gets away with it! Fabregas is complaining to Howard Webb, pointing at the huge rip in Sagna's shirt after that challenge. Rio's a lucky boy.
United have won a free kick on the right wing, near the corner flag. Nani to take...
Scary moment for United as Van Persie causes problems straight away. Sagna's ball into the box falls to the Dutchman in the six-yard area but, as he tries to turn, Vidic boots the ball clear of danger.
Fabregas on, Rosicky off
Van Persie on, Wilshere off
The Gunners are bringing on their, er, big guns...
The pendulum is swinging back United's way. Successive corners at the Stretford End...
Arsenal are preparing a substitution: Cesc Fabregas is stripping off.
Rooney went absolutely mad at Nani after his decision to shoot rather than supply a cross for the United No.10. Rooney has a point.
Suddenly this has become a good game! Anderson dispossesses Wilshere on the edge of the United box which allows United to counter attack with searing pace through Nani. Clichy holds Nani up but the Portuguese regains possession but fires some way over the bar, with support in the box.
Arsenal looking a lot lot better though.
Great chance for Arsenal! Nasri makes a fool out of Ferdinand with some fancy footwork, before shooting left-footed at goal. Van der Sar parries the shot to Chamakh, whose shot from 5 yards out is blocked by Vidic. Great block, but Chamakh has to score there. Big miss.
Incisive play by United as Rooney finds Anderson with a delicate through ball, but Szczesny comes out brilliantly to save! Superb save. Really, really good by Szczesny.
The game has really opened up as United counter attack through Nani. But Nani delayed his cross and gave Clichy the time to stick a foot in.
Sagna picks it up on the right and forces a corner after Rafael had no option but to head behind. Lovely build-up by Arsenal.
Nasri, who has 5 goals in his last 6 games, has already seen more of the ball in the second half than the whole of the first.
Arsenal break and sweep the ball out to Nasri on the right wing, but his low cross is gathered well by Van Der Sar.
Arsenal eventually get out of their own defensive third after Anderson's shot from the corner was blocked.
Song plays Arsenal into trouble and Rafael forces a United corner...
Rosicky, who hasn't scored since January, toe-pokes an effort from just outside the box but that was always going wide of Van der Sar's right-hand post.
Van Persie and Walcott warming up on the touchline for Arsenal. The Gunners could do with Walcott's pace tonight, that's for sure.
We're off again at Old Trafford. Fingers crossed for a little more goal-mouth excitement, and a little less aggression, eh?
Park put United ahead
Join me again in, well 12 minutes or so, for the second half. And remember you can follow me on Twitter right here
Some of the Chilean miners have been invited to Old Trafford for tonight's game.
Let's hope for better in the second period.
Neither side have been anywhere near their best so far, with each looking more concerned with preventing the other from scoring (by any means necessary) than scoring themselves.
With that, we have the half time whistle. Manchester United lead Arsenal 1-0 at half time.
This game has been nothing more than succession of bad fouls, mostly by Arsenal. (Although Fletcher has been stirring it up)
Arshavin is booked for an awful two-footed lunge on Fletcher. Clearly a yellow.
Fletcher had a sniff of goal there but Song did well to slide in and divert the ball back to Szczesny.
Fletcher and Wilshere squared up after that challenge and Webb had to part them.
Chamakh has caught Nani and goes into the book. Definitely late, definitely a yellow.
Park gives United the lead with a superb header! Nani does well to cut inside Clichy on the right, crosses for Park with his left foot and twists his body to improvise a header over Szczesny.
GOAL 1-0 Man United!
Webb is having to deal with some handbags here. Fletcher feels he was blocked by Song, who has employed the puppy eyes. Song has got away with that, Fletcher is livid. Sir Alex is out of his technical area.
Chamakh comes deep to claim the ball, Vidic follows him halfway into the Arsenal half and fouls him. That's been the story of the game so far, I'm afraid. The first 36 minutes have not been the most memorable.
Rooney takes a petulant little swipe at Clichy after losing the ball to the Frenchman. Some things never change.
Song tangles with Park.
Stat: The last Arsenal keeper to make his league debut v Man Utd was Stuart Taylor in 3-1 win at Highbury in Nov 2001.
At least Chamakh is at the centre of the action. Nasri has been largely anonymous so far.
Chamakh has been at the centre of penalty claims at bothe ends now.
Penalty claim for United! The ball is played short to Nani, who whips a low cross in from the right which definitely strikes Chamakh's hand, albeit accidentally.
Sagna gets his foot in to stop Anderson from advancing into the box, but at the expense of a corner...
Another dodgy backpass by Sagna! Szczesny again has to sprint out to save Arsenal's blushes.
But United clear and get the ball up to the lone striker, Rooney. But Arsenal are on to Rooney like a disease and deny him any time to craft a chance.
Arsenal have the first corner of the game...
Squillaci floats a free kick forward which Chamakh flicks on unchallenged, but it goes beyond Rosicky.
United are beginning to dominate the game here. Triangular passing going nowhere in particular, but making Arsenal work.
Penalty claim for Arsenal! Rafael appears to drag Chamakh down in the box as Nasri's cross is cleared. Penalty? It is for me.
Great chance for United, The best of the game so far! Fletcher's cross for Rooney is headed out by Koscielny but only as far as Nani who volleys it first time towards to the far bottom corner, narrowly missing the post.
Szczesny claims an overhit Park through ball. Szczesny doing well so far.
The players seem to be having trouble with the Old Trafford surface tonight. Wilshere, Evra and Nasri have all slipped over already!
Stat: Rio Ferdinand last conceded a foul in the Premier League on April 11 2010 vs Blackburn, 246 days ago.
Carrick wins the ball from Wilshere again and launches a United attack. Nani plays it back to Carrick, who finds Anderson in a dangerous position, but Anderson is offside.
Wilshere slips in his own half and Park takes advantage and runs at Sagna. But the Korean captain delays his cross and Song gets across and deals with the danger. Park a little too ponderous there as Rooney lurked in space in the box.
Wilshire runs into some space and tries a one-two with Rosicky, but the Czech's ball is just behind Wilshere and the chance is gone.
Rosicky dives in recklessly on Ferdinand and is correctly cautioned by Mr Webb.
Nani cleared the wall but his dipping free kick was gathered easily by Szczesny.
Howard Webb is having to deal with some rough tackles at the moment. He's awarded a free kick against Song some 35 yards out. Nani to take...
David Beckham is in the crowd for this one. He looks cold.
Chamakh stoops to get his head on a cross from the right but he can't trouble Van der Sar with the header.
Rooney is looking sharp. He must be if he's relegated Berbatov to the bench.
United launch an attack in very direct fashion. Van der Sar punts it downfield to Rooney, who turns Koscielny and Squillaci before unleashing a good effort from 25 yards. But Szczesny gets down well to save. Exciting start to this one.
Arsenal looking dangerous on the break. Rosicky finds Sagny on the right wing, but his cross from the right is too deep for Chamakh and Rafaek gets it away after almost giving away a careless corner.
United, incidentally, wasted the resulting free kick and Arsenal clear their lines.
Clichy gets caught out of position and is all over the back of Nani and eventually concedes the free kick. Poor by Clichy, who gets a ticking off by the referee.
Arshavin makes a strong darting run down the left and finds Song, who is tackled on the edge of the box by Park before he can get his shot away.
An even start to this one so far, neither side developing into their rhythm yet.
Szczesny, 20, is half the age of his opposite number, Edwin Van der Sar. When was the last time that happened? Answers on a postcard.
Sagna plays a nervy backpass to Szczesny, which he clears. Not what the young goalkeeper needs on the biggest night of his life.
United are shooting from left to right. Arsenal, in their yellow and burgundy away kit, shooting to the left.
Here we go, Man United kick us off. Hold on tight!
Gloves? Check. Snoods? Check - We are just five minutes from kick off at Old Trafford, as the players emerge from the tunnel on a very cold night at Old Trafford.
Manuel Almunia is on the bench after recovering from an elbow injury and he is joined by captain Cesc Fabregas following hamstring trouble. Robin van Persie is also among the substitutes. Not a bad bench.
Meanwhile, Arsenal hand a shock call up to third-choice 20-year-old goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny.
Rio Ferdinand is back after hamstring trouble but there is no place in the squad for Paul Scholes who has returned to training after a groin problem.
So the big news for Manchester United is that Sir Alex Ferguson has left Dimitar Berbatov on the bench with Wayne Rooney playing up front on his own.
ARSENAL: Szczesny, Sagna, Squillaci, Koscielny, Clichy, Song, Rosicky, Wilshere, Nasri, Chamakh, Arshavin. Subs: Fabianski, Fabregas, van Persie, Walcott, Denilson, Djourou, Bendtner
Let me waste no time in giving you the latest team news. MAN UTD: Van der Sar, Rafael Da Silva, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra, Fletcher, Carrick, Anderson, Nani, Rooney, Park. Subs: Kuszczak, Brown, Berbatov, Giggs, Smalling, Hernandez, Obertan.
Hello everyone, Michael Da Silva here. Welcome to live coverage of the small matter of Manchester United vs Arsenal from Old Trafford. Should be a cracker.
Live comments will appear here from 1945 GMT.
Arsenal's young goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny could well start in one of the most anticipated Premier League fixtures of the season. Check out our preview here.