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Injury-time goal gives Arsenal 2-2 draw with United
November 03, 2007 20:46 IST
Last Updated: November 03, 2007 22:58 IST
An injury-time goal by skipper William Gallas gave Arsenal a 2-2 draw with Manchester United at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday to preserve their unbeaten record this season and keep them top of the Premier League.
Gallas's strike was adjudged to have crossed the line by the linesman and referee Howard Webb as the match reached a frenetic finale.
It was even more special for Gallas who had scored an own goal at the end of the first half to give United the lead.
With only a minute of stoppage time remaining, Arsenal had looked destined for defeat after Cristiano Ronaldo [Images] put the champions 2-1 up from close range in the 82nd minute.
Instead, Arsenal stay top with 27 points from their 11 matches, while United, who have scored fewer goals, remain second on 27 from 12 games.
A vast global television audience watched Arsenal's 25th match in all competitions without defeat, a club record, while the draw ended United's run of eight successive league wins.
While United went in 1-0 up at the interval it took Arsenal only three minutes of the second half to equalise when Cesc Fabregas chose his spot for his 11th goal of the season.
Cristiano Ronaldo appeared to have sealed the win for United with his 82nd minute strike before Gallas saved the day for the league leaders.
Both teams created scoring chances, with United having the first after 16 minutes. Ryan Giggs shot wide from close range with only keeper Manuel Almunia to beat after a Ronaldo cross eluded defender Bacary Sagna and left Giggs with the goal beckoning at the far post.
Giggs went close again when he turned and shot just over the bar after 23 minutes.
Although Arsenal had played some neat approach work in midfield, their first real attempt did not come until the 36th minute when Gallas powered in a header from a Cesc Fabregas free-kick which Van der Sar did well to parry with his legs before United cleared.
Stunned by Gallas's own goal, Arsenal were more threatening after the break.
They were level within three minutes of the second half with Fabregas scoring his fourth goal in his last three matches.
Van der Sar appeared to have done enough to block a shot from Emmanuel Adebayor, but the ball ran free to Sagna whose quick pass gave Fabregas time and space to score.
Van der Sar had to make another good save after 59 minutes from another Fabregas free-kick at the edge of the box.
Rooney and Giggs then combined at the other end, with Rooney heading wide after a clever exchange of passes with Giggs. Ronaldo restored the champions' lead with a cool finish after a sweet passing move involving substitute Louis Saha and Patrice Evra split the Arsenal defence wide open.
But Gallas came to Arsenal's rescue, earning a draw that was a fair result between the champions and the team most likely to press them all the way this season.