Friday 31 January 2014
Premierleague.com rifles through the annals of the Barclays Premier League to find significant events.
Wayne Rooney and Nani inspired Manchester United to victory at the Emirates Stadium and kept up the pressure on Chelsea at the top of the Barclays Premier League.
Arsenal and United went into the game with just a point and a place separating them but the win left Sir Alex Ferguson's side, in second spot, only a point behind leaders Chelsea, having played one more match.
Nani was responsible for the visitors' 33rd-minute opener as he tricked his way past Cesc Fabregas and raced into the area before his cross was turned into his own net by Arsenal goalkeeper Manuel Almunia.
Four minutes later the visitors turned defence into attack as Rooney, in the middle of his own half, set Nani free down the right. The England striker raced on to receive the return pass just inside the Arsenal area before coolly slotting home his 100th Barclays Premier League goal.
Seven minutes after half-time the contest was over as Park Ji-Sung ran unchallenged from his own half to slide the ball past Almunia.
Thomas Vermaelen scored a consolation for Arsenal in the 80th minute when his falling volley was deflected past Edwin van der Sar by Jonny Evans.
"Maturity is why we are seeing the best of Nani now," said United manager Ferguson. "His last three matches have been absolutely first-class but today was his best. Rooney was the key player in the sense they just couldn’t handle him."
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger lamented his side giving United "too much room". He said: "We were naïve and it is difficult to say straight after the match why we were not at our level. It is a massive blow and a massive disappointment. The players wanted to win and they are really down."
Neither side saw their title dream come true at the end of the season with Ferguson's side finishing second, one point behind champions Chelsea and 10 ahead of the Gunners.