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April 28, 2013
• Emirates Stadium, London
Referee: P. Dowd
• Attendance: 60112
T. Walcott 2'
R. van Persie 44'
So that's it from me on a decent afternoon for Arsenal. They fall to fourth because of that result, but should be pleased with a solid display against the champions. This is Nicholas McGee, signing off!
The referee blows for full-time following an entertaining game, Arsenal dominated the first half and lead through Walcott's early strike, but they could not do enough to take all three points after Van Persie's penalty evened things up before half-time.
90' + 2'
Two minutes into added time, and this one looks to be heading for a draw unless something drastic happens.
There will be four minutes of added time.
Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez
United break out on a rapid counter attack but substitute Ryan Giggs' effort is deflected wide by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
De Gea is called into action as he produces a strong save to keep out a curler from Cazorla.
More shouts for a penalty from the home fans but Phil Dowd is again unmoved after Gibbs goes down in the box.
Rooney has a go from distance but Sczcesny is untested.
Yellow Card Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain
Manchester United win their first corner of the game, that is a decent illustration of how good Arsenal have been defensively today.
United seem happy to sit back and allow Arsenal to attack them, but they remain a big danger on the counter. Finely poised this one.
Sagna, whose mistake led to United's equaliser, produces a fine bit of defending to prevent Evra from breaking into the box. Lots of enjoyable little battles in this one.
Arsenal pushing forward once more as they try and find a vital goal, another corner is well cleared by United.
Just over 20 minutes to play in this one and the chances have dried up. Can either team find a winner?
Santi Cazorla fires the resulting free-kick well wide.
Yellow Card Antonio Valencia
Huge shouts for a penalty as Valencia appears to handle after Kieran Gibbs chests down a long ball, however Phil Dowd correctly rules that the offence occurred outside the box.
A positive change for the hosts as Jack Wilshere comes on for Rosicky.
Proceedings have died down just a little in the last few minutes, still this is an enthralling contest which could definitely go either way at this stage.
Decent chance for the visitors, Rooney heading straight at Szczezny from a left-wing cross from Evra.
Rafael hits one over from the edge of the area. United look much better in this half.
End-to-end stuff at the moment, as a slick United attack ends in Rooney narrowly missing out on connecting with a ball across the face of goal from Van Persie.
Arsenal start quickly and go close through Rosicky, the Czech firing wide of the post with the outside of his boot.
Manchester United get the second half underway.
Half-Time at the Emirates, and despite bossing the vast majority of the opening period Arsenal have to settle for going in all square. Theo Walcott gave the Gunners an early lead, but Van Persie's confident penalty levelled things up before the break. Penny for Bacary Sagna's thoughts right now.
There will be three minutes of added time.
Penalty Goal Robin van Persie
AND SCORE against his former employers! There is no celebration from Van Persie but that will hurt Arsenal. They have been by far the better team but look destined to go in to the interval with the scores level.
Yellow Card Bacary Sagna
An absolute disaster for Bacary Sagna, who chops down Van Persie after passing the ball straight to the striker. The Dutchman is ready to step up...
Penalty to Manchester United!
Another chance for United and again it's Jones yet again. The defender who heads down into the ground and wide of the post after latching onto a cross from Antonio Valencia.
What a save from Wojciech Szczesny! The Polish stopper does brilliantly to deny Van Persie, keeping out the striker's header with a point-blank save.
Nani goes on a long, barnstorming run down the left before cutting in on his right foot. However the Arsenal defence stands tall with Mertesacker blocking the Portugal international's effort.
Yellow Card Theo Walcott
The free kick comes to nought but Arsenal are soon on the attack again, Podolski forcing a strong save from De Gea.
A bit of handbags following a foul from Johnny Evans, referee Phil Dowd quickly calms things down but Arsenal have a free kick in a dangerous area.
Yellow Card Jonny Evans
United just cannot get a moment's rest. They are being harried and pressed at every juncture. They are very much unsettled.
Yellow Card Robin van Persie
A little controversy as Van Persie is booked for a late lunging tackle on Mertesacker. Rash from the Dutchman.
Yellow Card Rafael
It's still Arsenal doing most of the pressing, United need to gain control of this one sooner rather than later if they want victory from this one.
A comedy of errors has just occurred as Cazorla loses control of the ball in attack only for Evra to accidentally run the ball out of play for a corner, relief for United though, as the set-piece comes to nothing.
A swift move from the visitors ends in Phil Jones heading well wide after a well placed cross from Van Persie.
Yellow Card Phil Jones
The visitors just haven't got going in the early stages of this one, could they be suffering from a bit of a hangover following their celebrations on Monday?
It's getting very physical in the middle of the park, with tackles flying in all over the place. Alex Ferguson is apoplectic after a challenge on Patrice Evra from Mikel Arteta goes unpunished.
United look to have settled things down a little here and are getting some time on the ball, no chances as yet for the visitors though.
Another chance for Arsenal as Santi Cazorla stings De Gea's palms with a fierce drive from range.
Manchester United look a little shell-shocked and can't seem to get a foothold in the game. Cracking start from the hosts.
Assist Tomas Rosicky
Goal Theo Walcott
It's only taken two minutes and we have our first goal through Theo Walcott. Lukas Podolski, exchanges passes with Tomas Rosicky, who feeds Walcott in down the left, the England winger takes his chance slotting the ball under David de Gea to send the Emirates into raptures.
Arsenal get us underway!
Patrice Evra leads out the newly crowned champions, they receive warm applause from the Arsenal players but the same cannot be said of the home fans who greeted United with a chorus of boos.
The teams are in the tunnel, we are moments away from that much talked about guard of honour...
Just over 10 minutes to go to kick-off. Will Robin van Persie find the net at his former ground or will Arsenal earn a vital three points in the fight for the Champions League.
So the obvious headline is that Robin van Persie starts against his former club, the Arsenal players are all set to form a guard of honour for United and their former team-mate, but will surely be more focused on their goal of finishing in the top four.
Manchester United: De Gea; Rafael, Evans, Ferdinand, Evra; Valencia, Carrick, Jones, Nani; Rooney, Van Persie. Subs: Lindegaard, Anderson, Giggs, Chicharito, Cleverley, Kagawa, Buttner.
Arsenal: Szczesny; Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Gibbs; Arteta, Ramsey, Rosicky, Cazorla, Walcott; Podolski. Subs: Mannone, Vermaelen, Jenkinson, Monreal, Wilshere, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Gervinho.
We start with the two team line-ups...
Good afternoon and welcome to Goal.com's live coverage of Arsenal's clash with Manchester United, I'm Nicholas McGee and I'm here to take you through the action as the Gunners aim to boost their Champions League hopes with victory against the newly-crowned Premier League winners.
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