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Sunday 13 April 2014

On this day in 2008: Hargreaves secures crucial United win

Looking back at Premier League history, we recall Man Utd beating Arsenal at Old Trafford

  • Owen Hargreaves curled in a superb free-kick to give Man Utd a 2-1 win over Arsenal

  • The comeback victory gave Man Utd a six-point lead at the top of the league

  • Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo levelled the match at 1-1 from the penalty spot

  • Earlier, Emmanuel Adebayor had given Arsenal the lead at Old Trafford

Premierleague.com rifles through the annals of the Barclays Premier League to find significant events.

13 April 2008 - Manchester United 2-1 Arsenal

Owen Hargreaves scored a superb 25-yard free-kick to help Manchester United come from behind to beat Arsenal 2-1 and move a step closer to retaining the Barclays Premier League title.

Hargreaves struck in the 70th minute to complete a United comeback started by a Cristiano Ronaldo penalty after Emmanuel Adebayor had given the Gunners the lead.

The result stretched United’s lead at the top of the table to six points over Chelsea and nine ahead of their third-placed visitors.

United manager Sir Alex Ferguson said: “It was a fantastic match, absolutely outstanding. You won’t see a better match anywhere this season. Arsenal were very unlucky to lose, they gave it their biggest effort of the season and were magnificent, but we’ve still managed to win.”

Arsenal had the better of the first half, with Cesc Fabregas, Adebayor and Gilberto Silva all coming close.  At the other end Jens Lehmann denied Wayne Rooney before Adebayor shot straight at Edwin van der Sar. 

The Gunners took the lead two minutes after half-time when Adebayor bundled in Robin van Persie's cross. They held the lead for just four minutes before William Gallas handled Hargreaves's ball in the penalty area and Ronaldo scored his 28th Barclays Premier League goal of the season from the spot.

The winner came after Patrice Evra was fouled and Hargreaves stepped up to score his second goal of the season with a spectacular free-kick. 

“My team is amazing," Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said. "They keep going and I am so proud of all of them. We had plenty of chances and we were very unlucky not to win it, but we have to accept what happened.”

United ended up winning the title but not without a scare as they drew their next fixture and lost at Chelsea before winning their final two matches. They finished two points ahead of the Blues with the Gunners, who won their final four matches, a further two points back in third.

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Key Points

  • Premierleague.com looks back through the annals of history of the competition
  • A memorable event or match from each day of the year will be selected
  • We remember when league leaders Man Utd came from behind to beat Arsenal 2-1 at Old Trafford