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Page last updated at 18:36 GMT, Saturday, 29 August 2009 19:36 UK

Man Utd   2 - 1   Arsenal

Wayne Rooney celebrates his equaliser
Rooney converted from the spot to register his fifth goal of the season

By Phil McNulty
Chief football writer at Old Trafford

Arsene Wenger was sent from the dug-out in fury after Abou Diaby's own goal gifted Manchester United victory at Old Trafford and wrecked Arsenal's flawless start to the new season.

Arsenal were on course for a fifth successive victory in domestic and European combat when Andrey Arshavin's magical finish gave them the advantage over the Premier League champions just before the interval.

Sir Alex Ferguson's side had struggled to make any impact against Arsenal's resilient rearguard - but the shape of the game altered dramatically in the space of five minutes around the hour mark.

Arsenal keeper Manuel Almunia needlessly fouled Wayne Rooney after 59 minutes to allow the England striker to equalise from the penalty spot.

606: DEBATE
Giggs' Curliest Chest Hair

And the transformation in the game and the atmosphere inside Old Trafford was complete when Diaby, in a moment from his nightmares, headed Ryan Giggs' free-kick into his own goal in front of an ecstatic Stretford End.

Arsenal were shattered as their previous good work was squandered and boss Wenger's misery was complete when he was sent from his technical area by referee Mike Dean for kicking away a plastic bottle in frustration when Robin van Persie's injury-time strike was ruled out for offside.

United keeper Ben Foster was culpable when he allowed Arshavin's 25-yard shot to fly in, but he was the hero when he prevented Arsenal taking what could have been an unassailable two-goal lead just after half-time as he blocked Van Persie from six yards when he seemed certain to score.

Arsene Wenger gestures after sending-off
Wenger initially attempted to stand above the dug-out after his dismissal

Van Persie also struck the bar before Diaby's calamitous own goal as a highly-anticipated encounter finally sparked into life after the break.

Ferguson surprisingly left Dimitar Berbatov and Michael Owen on the bench and opted for width in the shape of Nani and Antonio Valencia - a formation that failed to trouble Arsenal in a disjointed first 45 minutes for the champions.

Much rested on the shoulders of Rooney, and he almost fashioned an early breakthrough when he set up Darren Fletcher in the fourth minute, but the Scotland midfield man failed to find the target from 10 yards.

Arsenal were able to reintroduce Van Persie and Arshavin to their starting line-up after the midweek Champions League win against Celtic, and they posed the biggest threat to United in an opening period lacking in quality until the Russian's wonderful goal.

Van Persie created a chance for himself inside the area, but was blocked by Patrice Evra before Arshavin capped an eventful few seconds by giving Arsenal a lead they just about deserved five minutes before the interval.

Wenger finds defeat hard to swallow

Arsenal had clear penalty claims rejected by referee Dean when Fletcher appeared to handle when he challenged Arshavin in the area - but as play progressed the little striker stunned Old Trafford by regaining possession and unleashing a rising angled drive from 25 yards that flew beyond Foster.

It was a moment of joy for Arsenal and Arshavin, but miserable for England keeper Foster, who should have done much better after getting his hand on the ball.

Foster went some way towards making amends for his mistake two minutes after the restart, making a vital block with his leg as Van Persie stole in on more wonderful work from Arshavin inside the area.

Arsenal goalkeeper Almunia was the central figure when United equalised after 59 minutes, making an ill-judged dash from his line and felling Rooney as he went away from goal. Rooney recovered to send Almunia the wrong way from the spot and United's hopes were revived.

Referee Dean took the unusual - but correct - step of booking both Rooney and Wes Brown in the same incident as they hacked at Diaby. And Van Persie almost inflicted more punishment on United with a swerving free-kick that rebounded back off the bar with Foster beaten.

Abou Diaby
Diaby's own goal came five minutes after his side had surrendered the lead

If Arsenal were knocked back by conceding a penalty, Wenger was beside himself in his technical area after 64 minutes when his side gifted United a second goal.

Giggs could only direct his free-kick on to the head of Diaby who, with no other player in close attendance, inexplicably directed a header past Almunia into his own net.

The setback understandably knocked the stuffing out of Arsenal and Wenger made a change after 78 minutes, sending on Eduardo for Denilson. The striker received a hostile reception from the Old Trafford crowd in the wake of the controversy over his alleged dive in the Champions League against Celtic.

But their hopes of restoring equality suffered a blow shortly after when Arshavin limped off after appearing to sustain a muscle injury as he chased Van Persie's through ball.

As Arsenal pushed for the equaliser, they predictably left spaces at the back and United almost cashed in. Substitute Berbatov slashed a shocking finish wide and Nani was denied by Almunia.

But Arsenal's mood was summed up by the sight of a disbelieving Wenger being dispatched from the technical area after he thought Van Persie had equalised, only to see his joy cut short by a linesman's flag.

And the sight of Arsenal's manager being escorted towards the tunnel only increased the joy around Old Trafford as Manchester United celebrated a crucial three points.

Live text and stats

 

Saturday, 29 August 2009

Premier League

Home Team Score Away Team Time
Man Utd 2 - 1 Arsenal R
(HT 0 - 1)
  • Rooney (pen) 59
  • Diaby (og) 64
  • Arshavin 40

Man Utd

Substitutes

Arsenal

Substitutes

Ref: DeanAtt: 75095
MAN UTD
ARSENAL

Possession

  • Man Utd 47%
  • Arsenal 53%

Shots on target

  • Man Utd 4
  • Arsenal 3

Shots off target

  • Man Utd 6
  • Arsenal 6

Corners

  • Man Utd 6
  • Arsenal 5

Fouls

  • Man Utd 21
  • Arsenal 15
  • Final Result
  • Full Time
  • 90:00+7:16 The match has reached full-time.
  • 90:00+5:12 William Gallas is ruled offside. Ben Foster takes the free kick.
  • 90:00+5:03 The ball is sent over by Aaron Ramsey.
  • 90:00+3:56 Luis Nani takes a shot. Save made by Manuel Almunia. Luis Nani takes a shot from close range clearing the crossbar.
  • 90:00+3:45 Centre by Aaron Ramsey, Michael Carrick makes a clearance.
  • 90:00+2:13 The official flags Luis Nani offside. Direct free kick taken by Da Silva Eduardo.
  • 90:00+1:45 Dimitar Berbatov produces a mishit right-footed shot from deep inside the penalty area which goes wide of the right-hand post.
  • 90:00+1:22 The ball is delivered by Bacary Sagna.
  • 90:00+0:07 Alexandre Song Billong challenges Patrice Evra unfairly and gives away a free kick. Michael Carrick takes the free kick.
  • 88:20 Corner taken by Luis Nani from the right by-line, William Gallas makes a clearance.
  • 87:47 Vassiriki Diaby gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Patrice Evra. Ben Foster takes the free kick.
  • Correction - 86:49 Nicklas Bendtner sends in a cross.
  • 86:49 The ball is delivered by Nicklas Bendtner, clearance made by Nemanja Vidic.
  • 85:51 Unfair challenge on Ji-Sung Park by Aaron Ramsey results in a free kick. John O'Shea restarts play with the free kick.
  • 84:59 Substitution Dimitar Berbatov is brought on as a substitute for Ryan Giggs.
  • 84:13 Nicklas Bendtner crosses the ball, Nemanja Vidic gets a block in. Corner taken by Aaron Ramsey from the left by-line to the near post, Thomas Vermaelen produces a header from the edge of the box and misses to the left of the target.
  • 82:20 Free kick awarded for a foul by Ji-Sung Park on Bacary Sagna. Free kick taken by Bacary Sagna.
  • Correction - 80:21 Inswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Robin van Persie, Patrice Evra manages to make a clearance.
  • Correction - 80:21 Substitution Aaron Ramsey comes on in place of Andrey Arshavin.
  • Correction - 80:21 The ball is swung over by Bacary Sagna, Luis Nani gets a block in.
  • 80:21 Corner taken by Robin van Persie, Patrice Evra manages to make a clearance.
  • 80:21 Substitution Aaron Ramsey on for Andrey Arshavin.
  • 80:21 Bacary Sagna delivers the ball, blocked by Luis Nani.
  • 79:55 Ji-Sung Park is caught offside. Free kick taken by Manuel Almunia.
  • 78:09 Direct free kick taken by Gael Clichy.
  • 78:09 Substitution Da Silva Eduardo is brought on as a substitute for Neves Denilson.
  • 78:09 Free kick awarded for a foul by John O'Shea on Gael Clichy.
  • 76:24 Robin van Persie is ruled offside. Free kick taken by Ben Foster.
  • 75:43 The ball is crossed by Gael Clichy, clearance by Wes Brown.
  • 75:38 Neves Denilson delivers the ball, clearance made by Patrice Evra.
  • 74:30 Patrice Evra is caught offside. Free kick taken by Manuel Almunia.
  • 74:10 Booking Caution for Bacary Sagna.
  • 72:33 The official flags Wayne Rooney offside. Direct free kick taken by Thomas Vermaelen.
  • 71:45 The referee blows for offside. Alexandre Song Billong restarts play with the free kick.
  • 70:15 Ben Foster restarts play with the free kick.
  • 70:15 Substitution Nicklas Bendtner is brought on as a substitute for Emmanuel Eboue.
  • 70:15 Booking Emmanuel Eboue is given a yellow card.
  • 69:39 Shot by Patrice Evra. Save by Manuel Almunia.
  • 67:26 Effort from deep inside the area by Robin van Persie misses to the right of the goal.
  • 67:12 The referee blows for offside. Free kick taken by Gael Clichy.
  • 66:30 Long range effort by Wayne Rooney goes wide right of the net.
  • 65:50 Free kick awarded for a foul by Emmanuel Eboue on Ryan Giggs. Direct free kick taken by Ryan Giggs.
  • 64:19 Darren Fletcher concedes a free kick for a foul on Andrey Arshavin. Gael Clichy restarts play with the free kick. Effort from the edge of the area by Vassiriki Diaby goes wide of the right-hand upright.
  • Correction - 63:13 GOAL - Vassiriki DiabyMan Utd 2 - 1 Arsenal Headed own goal by Vassiriki Diaby. Man Utd 2-1 Arsenal.
  • 63:13 GOAL - Vassiriki DiabyMan Utd 2 - 1 Arsenal Headed own goal by Vassiriki Diaby. Man Utd 2-1 Arsenal.
  • Correction - 62:35 Free kick crossed left-footed by Ryan Giggs.
  • Correction - 62:35 Substitution Antonio Valencia leaves the field to be replaced by Ji-Sung Park.
  • Correction - 62:35 Foul by Neves Denilson on Antonio Valencia, free kick awarded.
  • 62:35 The free kick is swung in left-footed by Ryan Giggs.
  • 62:35 Substitution Ji-Sung Park is brought on as a substitute for Antonio Valencia.
  • 62:35 Neves Denilson concedes a free kick for a foul on Antonio Valencia.
  • 61:28 Robin van Persie produces a strike on goal direct from the free kick,
  • 61:28 Booking Wayne Rooney goes into the referee's book for unsporting behaviour.
  • 61:13 Booking Booking for Wes Brown.
  • 61:08 Vassiriki Diaby fouled by Wes Brown, the ref awards a free kick.
  • 59:43 Wayne Rooney takes a shot. Save made by Manuel Almunia.
  • 59:05 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Gael Clichy by Antonio Valencia. Free kick taken by Thomas Vermaelen.
  • 58:09 GOAL - Wayne RooneyMan Utd 1 - 1 Arsenal Penalty taken right-footed by Wayne Rooney and scored. Man Utd 1-1 Arsenal.
  • 57:16 Booking Manuel Almunia is shown a yellow card.
  • 57:11 Wayne Rooney fouled by Manuel Almunia, the ref awards a Penalty.
  • 56:51 Robin van Persie is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Free kick taken by Wes Brown.
  • 55:12 Emmanuel Eboue concedes a free kick for a foul on Patrice Evra. Michael Carrick takes the free kick.
  • 54:07 Short corner worked by Ryan Giggs.
  • 53:56 Michael Carrick takes a shot. Thomas Vermaelen gets a block in.
  • 53:30 Ryan Giggs takes a inswinging corner from the right by-line to the near post, William Gallas makes a clearance.
  • 53:02 Unfair challenge on Alexandre Song Billong by Darren Fletcher results in a free kick. Free kick taken by Thomas Vermaelen.
  • 52:30 Shot by Antonio Valencia from outside the box goes over the net.
  • 51:06 The ball is delivered by Bacary Sagna, John O'Shea makes a clearance.
  • 50:01 The ball is sent over by Gael Clichy.
  • 48:46 The assistant referee signals for offside against Robin van Persie. Ben Foster restarts play with the free kick.
  • 47:55 The ball is swung over by Andrey Arshavin, Robin van Persie takes a shot. Save made by Ben Foster. William Gallas fouled by Luis Nani, the ref awards a free kick. Thomas Vermaelen restarts play with the free kick.
  • 47:22 Luis Nani sends in a cross, clearance by Neves Denilson.
  • 45:31 Darren Fletcher concedes a free kick for a foul on Gael Clichy. Free kick taken by Manuel Almunia.
  • 45:01 The game restarts for the second half.
  • Half Time
  • 45:00+2:03 The ref blows to end the first period.
  • 45:00+0:49 Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Ryan Giggs, save by Manuel Almunia.
  • 44:39 Free kick crossed left-footed by Ryan Giggs, clearance by Alexandre Song Billong.
  • 44:39 Booking Robin van Persie goes into the book.
  • 44:33 Robin van Persie gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Ryan Giggs.
  • 43:44 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Luis Nani by Alexandre Song Billong. Free kick crossed left-footed by Ryan Giggs, William Gallas manages to make a clearance. Corner taken by Ryan Giggs from the left by-line played to the near post, Vassiriki Diaby manages to make a clearance.
  • 42:56 The ball is crossed by Luis Nani, William Gallas manages to make a clearance.
  • 41:21 Vassiriki Diaby concedes a free kick for a foul on Nemanja Vidic. Wes Brown takes the direct free kick.
  • Correction - 39:51 The assist for the goal came from Neves Denilson.
  • 39:51 Assist by Vassiriki Diaby.
  • 39:51 GOAL - Andrey ArshavinMan Utd 0 - 1 Arsenal Andrey Arshavin finds the net with a goal from a long way out to the top left corner of the goal. Man Utd 0-1 Arsenal.
  • 39:21 The ball is delivered by Bacary Sagna.
  • 38:22 The ball is crossed by Antonio Valencia, save by Manuel Almunia.
  • 37:16 The ball is sent over by Luis Nani, William Gallas makes a clearance.
  • 36:18 A cross is delivered by Bacary Sagna, clearance by Nemanja Vidic.
  • 36:05 Free kick awarded for a foul by Darren Fletcher on Emmanuel Eboue. Free kick taken by William Gallas.
  • 34:31 The free kick is swung in left-footed by Robin van Persie, clearance by Patrice Evra.
  • 34:31 Booking Patrice Evra is booked.
  • 34:26 Foul by Patrice Evra on Bacary Sagna, free kick awarded.
  • 32:47 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Alexandre Song Billong by Darren Fletcher. Neves Denilson crosses the ball in from the free kick. The ball is delivered by Andrey Arshavin, clearance by Nemanja Vidic.
  • 31:33 Shot on goal comes in from Wayne Rooney from the free kick.
  • 31:33 Booking William Gallas shown a yellow card.
  • 30:52 William Gallas concedes a free kick for a foul on Patrice Evra.
  • 27:34 Emmanuel Eboue fouled by Wes Brown, the ref awards a free kick. Andrey Arshavin takes the direct free kick.
  • 26:26 The ball is swung over by Gael Clichy, Nemanja Vidic manages to make a clearance.
  • 25:59 Michael Carrick delivers the ball, William Gallas manages to make a clearance.
  • 25:25 The ball is sent over by Antonio Valencia, Alexandre Song Billong manages to make a clearance.
  • 24:08 Robin van Persie takes a shot. Blocked by Patrice Evra. Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Robin van Persie, save by Ben Foster. Andrey Arshavin produces a right-footed shot from deep inside the penalty area which goes wide of the right-hand post.
  • 23:41 Centre by Patrice Evra, clearance made by Gael Clichy.
  • 22:48 John O'Shea takes the direct free kick.
  • 22:48 Booking Alexandre Song Billong is booked.
  • 22:42 Free kick awarded for a foul by Alexandre Song Billong on Antonio Valencia.
  • 20:48 Neves Denilson fouled by Michael Carrick, the ref awards a free kick. William Gallas restarts play with the free kick.
  • 19:35 Patrice Evra concedes a free kick for a foul on Neves Denilson. Direct free kick taken by Robin van Persie.
  • 18:42 Robin van Persie challenges Nemanja Vidic unfairly and gives away a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Michael Carrick.
  • 17:20 The ball is delivered by Patrice Evra, Foul by Antonio Valencia on Gael Clichy, free kick awarded. Manuel Almunia takes the free kick.
  • 16:24 Outswinging corner taken left-footed by Ryan Giggs played to the near post, clearance by William Gallas.
  • 15:38 Andrey Arshavin fouled by Antonio Valencia, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Manuel Almunia.
  • 14:33 Patrice Evra crosses the ball, Gael Clichy manages to make a clearance.
  • 12:23 Corner taken by Robin van Persie from the right by-line played to the near post, clearance made by Wes Brown. Corner taken left-footed by Robin van Persie from the right by-line, save made by Ben Foster.
  • 11:15 Michael Carrick challenges Emmanuel Eboue unfairly and gives away a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Thomas Vermaelen.
  • 10:46 Foul by Robin van Persie on Darren Fletcher, free kick awarded. Darren Fletcher takes the direct free kick.
  • 9:02 The ball is delivered by Wayne Rooney, Shot on goal by Darren Fletcher from inside the box goes harmlessly over the target.
  • 8:46 Luis Nani crosses the ball, William Gallas manages to make a clearance.
  • 8:31 The ball is swung over by Luis Nani, clearance made by Gael Clichy.
  • 6:51 Antonio Valencia concedes a free kick for a foul on Thomas Vermaelen. Direct free kick taken by Manuel Almunia.
  • 6:15 Andrey Arshavin crosses the ball.
  • 4:50 Nemanja Vidic challenges Vassiriki Diaby unfairly and gives away a free kick. Andrey Arshavin delivers the ball from the free kick right-footed from left channel, save made by Ben Foster.
  • 4:37 The official flags Wayne Rooney offside. Direct free kick taken by Neves Denilson.
  • 3:38 Andrey Arshavin gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Antonio Valencia. Ben Foster takes the direct free kick.
  • 3:04 Foul by Antonio Valencia on Gael Clichy, free kick awarded. Free kick crossed by Andrey Arshavin, John O'Shea makes a clearance.
  • 2:01 Emmanuel Eboue has shot on goal from a long way out that goes wide left.
  • 1:19 Bacary Sagna fouled by Michael Carrick, the ref awards a free kick. Manuel Almunia restarts play with the free kick.
  • 0:00 The game gets underway.

Live text and data provided by The Press Association.



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Premier League results

29 Aug 2009 23:59 UK

Home Team Score Away Team Time
Blackburn 0-0 West Ham R
Bolton 2-3 Liverpool R
Chelsea 3-0 Burnley R
Man Utd 2-1 Arsenal R
Stoke 1-0 Sunderland R
Tottenham 2-1 Birmingham R
Wolverhampton 1-1 Hull R

Premier League table snapshot

As it stood on 29 Aug 2009 23:59 UK

Position Team P GD PTS
1 Chelsea 4 8 12
2 Tottenham 4 7 12
3 Man Utd 4 6 9
4 Stoke 4 -1 7
5 Arsenal 3 7 6
6 Man City 2 3 6
7 Liverpool 4 2 6
8 Sunderland 4 -1 6
9 Burnley 4 -3 6
10 West Ham 3 1 4
11 Birmingham 4 -1 4
12 Wolverhampton 4 -2 4
13 Hull 4 -4 4
14 Aston Villa 2 0 3
15 Fulham 2 -1 3
16 Wigan 3 -4 3
17 Blackburn 3 -3 1
18 Bolton 3 -3 0
19 Portsmouth 3 -5 0
20 Everton 2 -6 0

see also
Wenger bemoans penalty decisions
29 Aug 09 |  Premier League


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