Arsenal Snatch Draw

  • 5 November 2007

William Gallas equalised in injury-time to salvage a draw and keep Arsenal on top of the Premier League after an absorbing clash with Manchester United.

The opening 45 minutes proved an anti-climax until Gallas diverted Rooney's tame shot in on the stroke of half-time.

Arsenal had reasonable penalty claims ignored by referee Howard Webb after 15 minutes when Nemanja Vidic tugged Alexander Hleb's shirt as they tangled in the area.

United had a good chance seconds later when Bacary Sagna failed to react to Ronaldo's cross and Ryan Giggs, perhaps caught by surprise, could only turn a close-range effort wide.

Owen Hargreaves was outstanding in shielding United's defence from Arsenal's attacking threat, but he was powerless as the Gunners almost went ahead after 35 minutes.

Gallas escaped the attentions of the United rearguard to glance Fabregas' free-kick against the legs of Edwin van der Sar.

United staged a smash-and-grab in first-half stoppage time, Ronaldo crossing for Rooney, who failed to make a proper connection but saw Gallas provide a crucial deflection past Manuel Almunia.

The gauntlet was thrown down to Arsenal - but they picked it up to equalise two minutes after the restart. Emmanuel Eboue played in Emmanuel Adebayor, who was blocked by Van der Sar, but Sagna crossed the loose ball for Fabregas to slide in a composed finish.

Both managers made changes in the final 15 minutes, Wenger sending on Theo Walcott for Eboue, while Ferguson replaced the subdued Carlos Tevez and Anderson with Louis Saha and Michael Carrick. The changes worked better for United as they took a vital lead with nine minutes left.

Walcott failed to track Evra, and when Saha played him in he crossed perfectly for Ronaldo to score. Evra then enjoyed a huge piece of luck when he sliced substitute Eduardo da Silva's cross against his own bar with Van der Sar helpless.

Arsenal pressed forward and got the draw they deserved when Clichy's cross sparked a goalmouth scramble which ended with a shot from Gallas which, even though Van der Sar clawed it out, had clearly crossed the line.

Man Utd: Van der Sar, Brown (O'Shea 71), Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra, Ronaldo, Anderson (Carrick 76), Hargreaves, Giggs, Tevez (Saha 76), Rooney.

Subs Not Used: Kuszczak, Nani.
Goals: Gallas 45 og, Ronaldo 82.