Premier League

January 22, 2012



1 - 2

Manchester United

Premier League

16:00 +00:00, January 22, 2012

Emirates Stadium, England

Referee: Mike Dean


    Shockingly, Wenger's getting booed by Arsenal fans. Are there many greater managers in the world? Very harsh, and if he were to ever leave there's no doubt they'd regret it.


    For United, the win maintains the pressure on Premier League leaders Manchester City but it gets harder for them, with Jones and Nani suffering injuries today.


    Arsenal very much need the returns of Sagna, Gibbs and Wilshere to give them more width and make them more clinical in midfield.


    That said, United were clinical and played the right way, but it's a result that could have been very different.


    Arshavin is the villain yet again for Arsenal, with the home side deserving at least a point from the afternoon.


    Full-time: Arsenal 1-2 Manchester United

  • 94'

    Welbeck very wasteful there! Rooney counters and plays the striker in but Welbeck had too much time, couldn't decide what to do and wasted the shooting opportunity by losing possession. Should have been 1-3.

  • 94'

    And again! This time Evans manages to clear away Mertesacker's header, but the ball's cleared off the line.

  • 93'

    Close for Arsenal there! Some confusion in United's box and Van Persie tries to head the loose ball in before Smalling manages to connect and just clear

  • 92'

    United just looking to run the clock down, clearly. Very frustrating for Arsenal.

  • 90'

    Arshavin may just complete a length of the pitch in that time...

  • 90'

    Five minutes of added time to be played...

  • 89'

    Evra booked for the challenge

  • 89'

    Horrible tackle from Evra on Walcott! Seems to have hurt himself at some point but there's no doubt he's guilty. Arsenal free-kick.

  • 88'

    Hopeful chip towards Welbeck is collected by Yennaris and Arsenal begin to push forward, looking for the equaliser.

  • 87'

    United free-kick.

  • 86'

    Rosicky booked for an obvious foul on Rooney

  • 86'

    Arsenal goal-kick.

  • 85'

    Van Persie booked for dissent

  • 84'

    Park on, Ramsey off

  • 83'

    Ramsey warned about the challenge after accidentally elbowing Rooney in the back

  • 82'

    Rooney now down in some pain after hurting his back

  • 81'

    Arshavin largely to blame following some sluggish defending from the lazy winger, though Valencia did well in the build-up, and Wenger could really rue that substitution.

  • 80'

    GOAL Arsenal 1-2 Manchester United! Welbeck scores, and probably the winner!

  • 80'

    Walcott's still on the pitch after appearing to recover, though how long he'll last is a different matter.

  • 79'

    Yennaris crosses far too high and deep, and Lindegaard collects.

  • 79'

    Foul by Evans on Ramsey. Ramsey takes quickly and Arsenal look to launch an attack...

  • 77'

    Superb goalkeeping from Lindegaard to collect the ball with Walcott looming, but the winger's head hits the floor firmly immediately afterwards and he appears to have lost consciousness...

  • 76'

    United currently looking rather lethargic - if anything, Arsenal are the more likely to win the game.

  • 76'

    Parkon for Rafael (the sub is subbed, and the defender is clearly unhappy at coming off...)

  • 75'

    Evans takes the free-kick for the foul on Nani...(terrible news for United for Jones and Nani to suffer injuries, particularly in the same game)

  • 74'

    Nanioff, Scholes on

  • 74'

    Wenger booed for bringing on Arshavin, especially given OC's performance today.

  • 73'

    Oxlade-Chamberlain off, Arshavin on

  • 72'

    Nani now down in pain...

  • 71'

    Following Koscielny's challenge, OC passed superbly for Van Persie who found and shot at a superb angle to squeeze the ball across the face of goal and past Lindegaard. The 'keeper managed to get fingertips to the ball but it's a superb finish.

  • 70'

    GOAL Arsenal 1-1 Manchester United! Van Persie equalises!

  • 70'

    Superb defending from Koscielny! He's improving all the time for Arsenal. Rafael through on goal and in a position to shoot but the defender times his tackle superbly...

  • 69'

    He's certainly proving to be an outstanding goalkeeper for Arsenal (though it's perhaps overdue)

  • 69'

    Giggs crosses and Szczesny collects well again.

  • 69'

    Corner to United...

  • 68'

    But the danger's not gone as Yennaris gives the ball away, gifting United the ball.

  • 68'

    Szczesny catches United's corner superbly. Very authoritative.

  • 67'

    Through-ball to Welbeck isn't controlled well enough by the striker and Szczesny does well to recover and save, but he's in some pain.

  • 66'

    Nani and Rooney now attacking for United...

  • 65'

    Van Persie's cross is just too high for Walcott and Lindegaard manages to clear

  • 65'

    Arsenal now looking to break after dispossessing Rooney...

  • 63'

    Welbeck, through on goal, managed to poke the ball past Szczesny but the German defender managed to race back and clear the ball off the line. Pace not one of his attributes but he did well there.

  • 63'

    Brilliant defending from Mertesacker!

  • 62'

    Arsenal clearly encouraged by their improved start to the second half...

  • 61'

    And OC fires just wide! Did well to create some space after Koscielny's forward run and he connected well before dragging the ball just wide.

  • 60'

    Brief lull in the game... innocuous possession of the ball leads to a United goalkick.

  • 58'

    Shooting opportunity for Rosicky and he connects well with the ball but the effort's blocked. Arsenal the more positive team so far in the second-half...

  • 58'

    Good again from Arsenal!

  • 56'

    Woeful shot from Valencia! Well wide! Arsenal had switched off there, though.

  • 55'

    And Ramsey fires over! Great wingplay from OC who creates Ramsey's shooting opportunity but the midfielder just fails to keep it down. Decent effort though, and better from Arsenal.

  • 54'

    Lindegaard comes out to collect Rosicky's pass towards Walcott. Decisive from the United keeper...

  • 53'

    United free-kick after Mertesacker's foul near the half-way line. No chance of shooting from there.

  • 52'

    The Arsenal crowd seem boosted, though...

  • 51'

    Rosicky managed to break and created a two-on-two but, after passing to Van Persie, and the Arsenal captain being in a great position, he managed to somehow fire wide. Possibly the miss of the weekend. What a chance that was.

  • 51'

    What a miss by Van Persie!

  • 50'

    Rosicky looks to curl a pass in towards Van Persie and, though it's weighted correctly, it's not quite close enough to the striker. United goal-kick.

  • 49'

    OC juggling with the ball well down the left wing before passing to Rosicky. Arsenal with the ball in midfield.

  • 48'

    Yennaris clears the danger well with Nani looming. United throw-in.

  • 47'

    Valencia accidentally studded him after an attempted tackle from the Dutchman.

  • 47'

    That's a sight Arsenal fans will loathe: Van Persie on the floor in pain...

  • 46'

    Despite Djorou's poor first-half performance, it's still a surprise to see Wenger sub him. The Swiss international can't complain though - not one of his finest days.

  • 46'

    Djorou off, Yennaris on

  • 46'

    Arsenal kick-off for the second-half...


    Gary Neville at half-time: "United would probably have scored sooner but for some sloppy crossing from Nani"...In fairness, he's right.


    Little to shout about for Arsenal in a disappointing first-half. Oxlade-Chamberlain has impressed throughout on his full Premier League debut, but United have had far more conviction and belief. It's no surprise to see them in front.

  • 45'

    Half-time: Arsenal 0-1 Manchester United

  • 45'

    Giggs, gifted far too much space by the underwhelming Djorou, crosses beautifully for Valencia, leaving the Ecuadorian with the simple task and nodding the away side in front. The goal had been coming...

  • 45'

    GOAL Arsenal 0-1 Manchester United! Valencia heads United in front!

  • 45'

    ...As he does so again following another United break. United threatening with more frequency now...

  • 45'

    Evra breaks and brieful threatens but Szczesny collects the cross...

  • 45'

    Van Persie unhappy with Smalling's challenge their but Dean ignores his cries and continues...

  • 44'

    OC does well to create a shooting opportunity for Rosicky and, though it's a good effort, the midfielder fires wide.

  • 44'

    Rafael booked

  • 43'

    United again being more patient in defence, taking their time on the ball...

  • 42'

    Ramsey booked for the foul

  • 41'

    Very selfish play; the winger had lots of time and space in the United area but instead of looking to create a goal, decided to shoot and fired horribly wide. Bad decision making and execution.

  • 40'

    Very poor from Nani!

  • 39'

    But Vermaelen tackles superbly from Valencia. Authoritative defending, it's no surprise Arsenal missed him so much last season (especially with Squillaci his replacement)

  • 38'

    ...United also break, with Rooney finding plenty of space in central midfield...

  • 37'

    Ramsey's cross to Van Persie headed clear! Good break by the home side though - better from them.

  • 37'

    Superb control by OC, collecting and bringing down a high ball. Passed several tests so far today

  • 36'

    Only one team looking like scoring, currently. United gradually making more progress.

  • 35'

    Good save from Szczesny following Rooney's shot Rooney down in the area but Mike Dean waves penalty appeals away...

  • 34'

    Mertesacker again clears another Nani cross. Looking genuinely composed today for the first time in an Arsenal shirt.

  • 33'

    Evra looking like the player he's been in the past today, as opposed to the declining force he's appeared this season.

  • 32'

    Nani and Evra combining well to create space down the left for United. Good pressure and build-up but they fail to create a real chance as Mertesacker clears.

  • 31'

    Arsenal throw-in, deep inside their own half after a stray United pass..

  • 30'

    Rosicky's through-ball, looking for Van Persie, is intercepted by Evans...

  • 29'

    Giggs curls the ball in towards Evans, and it's a good delivery but the Northern Irishman fails to threaten with the header. Arsenal goal-kick.

  • 28'

    Free-kick to United. Giggs finds space on the right and cuts inside, looking to cross or shoot but Vermaelen and Ramsey sandwich him and the free-kick is given.

  • 28'

    And Arsenal again give the ball away. Carrick collects in midfield.

  • 28'

    Lindegaard kicks long, looking for Rooney but the ball's overhit - Szczesny collects.

  • 27'

    United throw-in.

  • 27'

    Alex Song gives the ball away in midfield. Uncharacteristically uncomposed from him.

  • 25'

    OC's made a good start. Could impress the present Fabio Capello and earn an England call-up if Wenger starts him more often.

  • 25'

    OC does well to set up a shooting opportunity for Walcott but the latter shoots terribly - it's nowhere near on target - despite both time and space.

  • 25'

    And then by Rosicky on Rooney...

  • 25'

    Good tackle from Ramsey in midfield, Arsenal now looking to attack...

  • 24'

    Rafael overhits the pass to Valencia and the ball runs out for an Arsenal goal kick.

  • 23'

    Well saved at the near post from Szczesny following a decent effort from Giggs...

  • 22'

    Mertesacker heads away but Arsenal still haven't completely cleared the ball...

  • 22'

    United corner. Smalling comes forward. Nani to take..

  • 21'

    United again passing the ball around patiently at the back. Carrick again joining Smalling and Evans, the two centre-backs, to create a back three when United have time and space on the ball.

  • 18'

    Arsenal clear and look to break. Great pace by Oxlade-Chamberlain (who from now on will be called OC) to beat Rafael to the ball, though the Brazilian challenges well.

  • 17'

    Evra's cross headed out for a corner by Vermaelen. Well defended - took the safe option which too many Arsenal defenders have failed to do over recent years.

  • 16'

    Jones off, Rafael on...

  • 16'

    Jones removed from the pitch on a stretcher (Not "stretchered off").

  • 15'

    Jones down and clearly in some discomfort. Looks like he may be replaced. Rafael (or Fabio) warming up.

  • 14'

    Walcott's run ends disappointingly. He seems to run out of ideas and crosses unconvincingly, which United defend with ease.

  • 14'

    United cross headed clear by Mertesacker and Arsenal look to break...

  • 13'

    Valencia slips when crossing and consequently really overhits the ball. Flies out for a goalkick. Szczesny to take.

  • 11'

    Walcott does well to control a superb pass from Laurent Koscielny before cutting inside and shooting at Lindegaard, and though it's a decent effort the 'keeper collects with relative ease.

  • 9'

    United now exchanging possession at the back, with Carrick dropping from midfield to provide an extra option.

  • 8'

    Ramsey's shot deflected and collected by Lindegaard. Initially looked like a decent effort. The Welshman scored the only goal in this same fixture last season to win it for Arsenal, and rejected a move to United to join Arsenal.

  • 7'

    Very good pass from Rosicky. Creates a crossing opportunity for Oxlade-Chamberlain but the winger's cross is collected by Lindegaard.

  • 6'

    Arsenal looking comfortable in possession in midfield. Patient on the ball, and United aren't applying to much pressure to dispossess them.

  • 5'

    United back in possession...

  • 4'

    Well defended by Djorou. United had found the overlap with Nani but the defender, again playing out of position at right-back, recovered to win the ball.

  • 3'

    Arsenal instantly looking to follow up that initial attack with Rosicky, perhaps uncharacteristically (at least of late) looking lively.

  • 2'

    Oxlade-Chamberlain makes an early impact on his full Premier League debut. Very positive from the young winger who nearly sets up Van Persie for a simple tap in, though his cutback is cleared. A bright start.

  • 1'

    Early Arsenal goal-kick. Lindegaard's clearance was overhit for Nani to control.

  • 1'

    United kick-off...


    Both teams are out on the pitch, kick-off is imminent...


    Paul Scholes is on United's bench again today, but it'd be no surprise to see Dimitar Berbatov, Paul Scholes or Javier Hernandez make an appearance at some point.


    Arsenal are also slightly more defensive than they were last week against Swansea, with Vermaelen replacing Miquel and Rosicky over Benayoun.


    Lindegaar continues with De Gea on the bench, while Welbeck continues instead of Hernandez. Giggs and Carrick in central midfield suggests Ferguson wants to keep possession, which makes sense given the relative inexperience of their back four...


    Some interesting calls in this game. Vermaelen and Oxlade-Chamberlain start for Arsenal, though it's no surprise to see Arshavin left out.


    Manchester United side: Lindegaard; Smalling, Jones, Evans, Evra; Valencia, Carrick, Giggs, Nani; Rooney, Welbeck. Subs: De Gea, Rafael, Fabio, Scholes, Park, Berbatov, Hernandez.


    Arsenal side: Szczesny, Djourou, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Vermaelen, Ramsey, Song, Rosicky, Walcott, Van Persie, Oxlade-Chamberlain. Subs: Almunia, Park, Squillaci, Arshavin, Benayoun, Miquel, Yennaris.


    ESPNsoccernet will bring you live minute-by-minute commentary of Manchester United's trip to Arsenal, which kicks off at 16.00 GMT.