|1||Van der Sar|
United are breathing down Chelsea's necks again after a maiden league win at the Emirates Stadium left Arsenal's title credentials in tatters.
The Reds raced into a 3-0 lead through Manuel Almunia's own goal, Wayne Rooney's 100th Premier League strike and a first notch of the season for Ji-sung Park. And although the Gunners scored late on through Thomas Vermaelen, it was to be no more than a consolation for the hosts in a game that started – and finished – in end-to-end fashion.
The first warning shot across United’s bows came from Andrei Arshavin but after running at Brown from the left flank, he failed to bend the ball inside the far post.
The same side of the pitch yielded the Reds’ first raids of promise when Darren Fletcher and then Nani played low balls into Arsenal’s six-yard box; William Gallas prevented Wayne Rooney from netting the first one, while Alex Song swept the second one out for a corner. Arsenal almost self-harmed at the setpiece, but Nasri was on duty at the near post to clear Denilson’s (own) goal-bound header.
Arshavin was again the outlet for Arsenal in the 14th minute but although Edwin van der sar was concerned enough to dive, the Russian’s second attempt from left to right flew wide like his first. A more central threat from Arshavin ended in disappointment for the home fans when he wildly sliced a shot from the edge of the area, and although it fell to Nasri, the Frenchman couldn’t follow up.
Nani was in the wars after starting on United’s right flank for the third game in a row, Song seeing yellow for a challenge that left the Portuguese winger limping. Happily he played on, and went close with two half-chances as the match neared the half-hour mark – one going wide, the other saved as Vermaelen closed in. Arsenal’s other centre-half, Gallas, took the ball off Scholes’ toes as he shaped to shoot.