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Arsenal win sets up final twist

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Phil McNulty | 19:49 UK time, Sunday, 1 May 2011

The Emirates

The Premier League season that refuses to go quietly is offering up the enticing possibility of the most dramatic twist of all after Arsenal deservedly beat Manchester United at the Emirates.

If the unseemly scramble and bunching at the bottom is not enough to ensure nerves will be tested fully in the final three games of a less than vintage season, United and Chelsea now meet at Old Trafford next Sunday with the title on the line.

Arsenal's role in the plot that unfolded with Sunday's fine victory will have been a source of delight, optimism, frustration and disappointment for manager Arsene Wenger, his players and their supporters - all in the space of 90 minutes.

Delight and optimism at a performance that proved Arsenal, as they have done against the likes of Chelsea and Barcelona at the Emirates, can get it right against the toughest opponents. Frustration and disappointment because they know carelessness and faultlines running through the side have cost them so dearly.

For United, there is still the not inconsiderable comfort of knowing their fate is in their own hands and it will be played out at their Old Trafford fortress, but also suddenly the knowledge that Carlo Ancelotti's side present a shadow on their shoulders.

Sir Alex Ferguson remains in prime position to claim United's 19th title but in a campaign of unpredictability it should come as no surprise that the race is going down to the last few yards.

Wenger fully expected this to be a day of impact on the destination of the title, irritatingly for him it was ultimately about what Arsenal could do for Chelsea rather than what they could do for themselves.

Aaron Ramsey

Ramsey celebrates his goal for Arsenal against Manchester United at the Emirates

Of course Arsenal are mathematically still in the hunt, but Wenger almost admitted defeat and knows when the most serious damage was done, saying: "If you ask if I will look back at the end of the season and wonder where the title was lost, I would say last week.

"We were 1-0 up in the 97th minute against Liverpool and drew, we lost a 3-1 lead at Spurs and then missed chances to go 2-1 up against Bolton and ended up losing.

"If we could have made nine points from those games we would be ahead of Manchester United - so that was the time. I felt so strongly that we would win this championship"

Arsenal's display provided evidence that Wenger does not need to blitz his side in the summer, but make tweaks to his team and philosophy to ensure they are more fit for purpose over an entire season and in differing circumstances.

In so many aspects this did not tell us anything about Arsenal that we did not already know. Wenger's team has the talent to beat the best but also the unaddressed flaws that mean they can lose to the rest.

It also offered a glimpse into the possibility of life without Cesc Fabregas, which many think is an eventuality that will confront Arsenal sooner rather than later. Aaron Ramsey deputised for the injured captain and his match-winner was just reward for his team and for himself after a 14-month rehabilitation from the broken leg he suffered at Stoke City.

Ramsey and Jack Wilshere offer rich potential for the future, but Wenger must add some iron will and leadership around them if it is to be fulfilled. Fabregas' absence was overcome and the youngsters flourished as he watched in his black leather jacket form the sidelines.

United's players were silent as they trooped away, although substitute Michael Owen tweeted their dissatisfaction with how they performed in an uncharacteristically timid offering, a sharp contrast to the threat and thrust their Champions League semi-final win against Schalke in Germany.

Wayne Rooney followed suit on his Twitter feed by stressing the title is still in United's hands, but this was not a game he or United will recall with pleasure.

Ferguson has enjoyed much success by setting up his side to lie deep before punishing Arsenal on the counter. Here they were lying very deep but rarely offered a threat on the counter, perhaps a tell-tale sign for a side with only five away wins in the league this season.

Yes, United were below their best, sorely missing the experience and quality in possession of influenza victim Ryan Giggs, but it would be doing Arsenal a grave injustice to attribute the result to his absence alone. They were good value for a result that appeared to have Ferguson chomping his way towards the world gum-chewing record, especially during a first half that was virtually an uninterrupted tale of Arsenal domination.

This was Arsenal's day and although Ferguson had a justifiable grievance about not getting a late penalty when Owen was fouled by Gael Clichy, Wenger could trump that by offering up Nemanja Vidic's blatant - bizarre almost - handball that escaped the notice of the officials.

As Arsenal celebrated joyously at the final whistle, there may just have been a few cheers drifting across from west London as Chelsea and Ancelotti sense an opportunity to regain their crown that looked to have escaped them a few weeks ago.

Chelsea remain outsiders and Ancelotti still has Fernando Torres-sized tactical equations to solve before they travel to Old Trafford but they are in with a much bigger shout now than they were before kick-off at the Emirates.

United have it all in their grasp and have the experience of going course and distance, so the smart money remains on them - but it is no surprise this season threatens to play one last trick.

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  • Comment number 1.

    This was a below par performance by Manchester United.
    Arsenal were the better side and didn't really get under pressure.
    The strange thing was that when Arsenal had possession they didn't really look threatening as United didn't look any threatening when they had possession in the second half themselves. Vidic tricked me too in the penalty incident. In the end, the best team on the day won.

    Chelsea find themselves back in the title race. Suddenly, a win at Old Trafford can see them as major threat to United's dream of a 19th Premiership title. It's going to be a big week for a tiring Manchester United team.

    There are positives for United, in the form that you can see reinforcements are needed, especially in Giggs's position who was missed yesterday. Although it's still in their hands, complacency could follow fatigue and reach a climax they wouldn't want to remember.

    All to play for, both at the top and the bottom of the table.
    Three match-days before the end of the season, every week is still fascinating.

  • Comment number 2.

    After watching this game, it just highlighted something that I already believed: Arsenal should've claimed the Premier League crown with ease this season, and they only have themselves to blame for not doing so.

    All of the top 3 sides are missing something, whether it be Chelsea's complete lack of creativity, Arsenal lack of a tough leader/centre back, or whatever it is Uinted are missing (I can't put my finger on it, but they are missing something for sure). However, when I look at both the starting XIs and the entire squads, I firmly believe Arsenal have the best in both categories.

    I still believe that Manchester Untied will emerge from this season as champions, purely because they are a much better side than Chelsea, and they are much more efficient, demonstrated by their Champions League quarter final clashes. There is no hiding Chelsea are a poor team, and the sole reason they are back in the title race is due to their recent favourable run of fixtures.

    Also, I was very disappointed with Fergie's claim that Man United don't get the big decisions? Is he serious? United get most, if not all of the big decisions in their favour. Yes they should've had a penalty yesterday, but that claim was half the claim of the blatant, deliberate Vidic handball. Vidic on his own has had a couple of lucky escapes this season. He should have seen red against West Ham, which would've meant that United would have probably lost the game, and he should have conceded a penalty (which, due to Robin Van Persie's profligacy in the penalty box would probably been converted) and seen red yesterday, and this wouldve changed United's goal difference and he would have been missing for the Chelsea clash. In the end, contrary to Ferguson's false claims, it may well be refereeing decisions that give United their 19th title

  • Comment number 3.

    torres to score the winner at old trafford... anyone?

  • Comment number 4.

    Can't wait for next week, schalke and chelsea for what is the defining moment in United quest for a double. Mouthwatering

  • Comment number 5.

    Very nice article Phil. Ive often been highly critical of your position in the past but I think you summed up the game, the atmosphere and the implications of it quite well there.

    Ive said it all season - this United team has been below par and unspectacular for most of it, and Chelsea look like they are hitting top gear now.

  • Comment number 6.

    At the start of the season any manager in the Premiership would have snapped your hand off if you offered a 3 point lead in the league with 3 games to play (and 2 of those at home) and a 2-0 lead in the champions league semi final with the home leg to play. United will win the league and will be in the champions league final (where they will start as underdogs but who knows what will happen there). This is all just the press trying to drag some excitement out of a poor and one-sided run-in to the league finale. They should be concentrating on the relegation battle instead where the real excitement lies.

  • Comment number 7.

    This game actually showed two main characteristics of both Arsenal and United, quite blatantly:

    a) you can have as much creativity and possession as you want but, without dangerous strikers it counts to nothing against strong opposition;
    b) you can have as much dangerous strikers as you want but, without creativity in midfield, it also counts to nothing against strong opposition.

    If Chelsea had their internal problems sorted out (including their attack), they might be prime candidates now. They still showed flaws on Saturday. Even if they win at Old Trafford, United could more easily increase the goals difference in their favour, in the remaining matches.

  • Comment number 8.

    I am a delighted Chelsea fan who just can't believe we have got ourselves back into a position to win the title.

    It is still a massive outside chance, because even if were to beat United, our remaining two games are harder than United's, and even if we won them both, they could easily outscore us to win the title on GD.

    I also think we will need to play better than we are at present to beat United next week, but its football, you just never know, and if we did end up as Champions this season,it would be the best comeback of all time surely?

  • Comment number 9.

    Arsenal yesterday should have been playing to go 3 or more points clear at the top, but no, as is the Arsenal way, they were playing to cement third place.

    Arsenal have had several monkey's on their back for some time when it comes to standing toe to toe with the top team in the league and in Europe, now they can finally say that they are capable of beating the best. (irelevant of other fans loathing of Man Utd, they must be considered right up their).

    I think Wenger was correct in his assessment that they lost the title due to sloppy play against the teams below them. I think the draw against Blackburn summed up Arsenal and their season, all the possession, pretty passes and beautiful over lapping runs up to the final third only to be thwarted and denied. A free scoring Arsenal should have buried them and the writing was on the wall from that moment on.

    Phil, how can this you call this season less than vintage?

    'If the unseemly scramble and bunching at the bottom is not enough to ensure nerves will be tested fully in the final three games of a less than vintage season, United and Chelsea now meet at Old Trafford next Sunday with the title on the line'.

    As a fan, I must say that this season will go down in my memory as one of the most exciting seasons in premier league history. If anything, it shows that the teams at the bottom are capable of beating the teams at the top making for an unpredictable and exciting finalé to the season for every fan of every team.

    The last time it was so tight (at the top) was 1989, this is what keeps people from all around the world watching our league, which lest we forget brings obscene amounts of money from TV rights back to the UK.

    Phil, the biggest question come the end of the season will be, can Wenger adapt his policy and tactics and bring in the players that will give them the much needed defensive experience on the field!

  • Comment number 10.

    Ha ha....the title of this tab on my Chrome Browser is "BBC -Phil McNulty: Arse...."

  • Comment number 11.

    With Premiership survival to think of, a Blackpool win at Old Trafford to give Chelsea the title and give Blackpool another season at the top. Of all the teams that have come up in the recent past, they more than most deserve it. Plus, for every fan, the possibility of some classic and almost always hilarious press conferences from the funniest man in football.......... Ian Holloway. He is sooo funny, they named a prison after him!

  • Comment number 12.

    Even though I am a Chelsea fan, I agree with 99% of what you wrote, we have just three creative players this season.

    One has been injured for most of it, the others are Drogba and Luiz, but this says all you need to know about our midfield this season, all power and absolutely no guile.

  • Comment number 13.

    Arsenal and Spurs should look to SAF at where they have gone wrong. Regie's treatment of past MUFC goal keepers has been downright cruel, but there is no way he was going to put up with second raters in that position.

    The former teams have the worst keepers in the prem, it should have been dealt with.

  • Comment number 14.

    "Wenger's team has the talent to beat the best but also the unaddressed flaws that mean they can lose to the rest."

    Sums up the whole article !

  • Comment number 15.

    Deserved win for Arsenal.Utd never seemed to really get going.I'm getting a bit sick of these refs lately.Every game now there are messing it up.OK it worked out today.But what about yesterday at the Spurs match,both Chelsea goals.
    I followed your feed a little yesterday Phil.
    I'm happy for you as well.You nailed your Arsenal colours to the mast.
    Exciting fot next week now.

  • Comment number 16.

    Also, I was very disappointed with Fergie's claim that Man United don't get the big decisions? Is he serious? United get most, if not all of the big decisions in their favour. Yes they should've had a penalty yesterday, but that claim was half the claim of the blatant, deliberate Vidic handball. Vidic on his own has had a couple of lucky escapes this season. He should have seen red against West Ham, which would've meant that United would have probably lost the game, and he should have conceded a penalty (which, due to Robin Van Persie's profligacy in the penalty box would probably been converted) and seen red yesterday, and this wouldve changed United's goal difference and he would have been missing for the Chelsea clash. In the end, contrary to Ferguson's false claims, it may well be refereeing decisions that give United their 19th title

    100% correct!

    Honestly, Fergie's attempts to re-write history, and paint United as always the victims of match official decisions is just laughable.

    He again infers that refs are bias against United, after just serving a 5 match ban from the touchline for a similar offence.

    Will the FA have the guts to take further action against him again?

    Don't hold your breath on that one.

  • Comment number 17.

    Arsenal!!!! Arsenal!!! Arsenal!!! Arsenal!!!

    Win the title or not - beating Man U always feels better.

  • Comment number 18.


    quite agree with your comment. You need bit of creativity and bit of finishing to be the winner

    However the league has now become knockout league. It all depends on one match. Man U vs Chelsea. Almost like last season. If Chelsea win this game there I think there is no stopping for them. Chelsea will score more goals than Man U. And once the smell the blood its too difficult to stop them. Remember the end of last season. The confidence made them destroy other teams.
    I really hope Chelsea wins this time. Than will be the best twist seen in my life.

  • Comment number 19.

    What is everybody complaining about? True, Man U did not play very good football yesterday and Arsenal deserved to win. But everybody seems to forget that at the start of the season and halfway through nobody gave Man U positive odds to fight for the title let alone win it. This was because of the squad they had and also because of the turmoil surrounding Rooney and his supposed departure. Other than for Rooney and Berbatov, there were no proven strikers and Rooney was having the worst form of his life since the World Cup and if I recall correctly, he had seen better times at Everton. It was only towards the end of the season that he regained a little bit of his touch and only Berbatov's goals kept ManU within touch of the leading pack during the first half of the season.
    All the other teams had big signings and star strikers and attacking mid fielders.
    Another factor has been the number of matches and the number of injuries. If you look at all the teams, Man U would have the most in both. Also despite this loss, Man U have beaten Chelsea twice at the Champions league and Arsenal twice. So I am confident that they will prevail through to win the title.
    Final hope is that they sign an attacking midfielder, probably Sneijder and some star strikers cause we sorely missed the likes of Christiano Ronaldo and the quality of Giggs in the center will not remain for ever.

  • Comment number 20.

    Man Utd had their worst two centre mids starting today in Carrick and Anderson, both who I would expect to be leaving at the end of the season for Sneijder and Sanchez.

    No wonder Arsenal won! I feel sorry for the United fans now that Cheslea are going to win the league.

  • Comment number 21.

    The two poor refereeing decisions did not even out - they massively favoured Man Utd and possibly saved their season. Vidic should have been sent off (and received a one-match ban) and Arsenal awarded a penalty. Arsenal would have run rings around a 10-man United who would have done well to escape with 1-0 and remain even on goal difference with Chelsea.

  • Comment number 22.

    There have been some interesting points that were shown again this weekend:

    a) at the top, it seems as no one wants this title - Arsenal did their work towards that in prior weeks, United are trying their best right now, while Chelsea are also trying their best, by not stopping to attempt to play politically-correct starting XI;

    b) at the bottom, even now when it's vital, no team seems to be winning, to pull themselves out of the drop-threat;

    c) City make hard work in trying to dribble themselves with performances like yesterday's, where they were always close to losing points, while Spurs were more efficient on that, against West Brom.

    d) it could be argued that the in-form teams of the second half of the season are Liverpool, West Brom, Everton and Fulham.

  • Comment number 23.

    And Fergie, going on and on about Drogba's off-side goal last season is yet just another example of his one eyed bias.

    Chelsea were winning the game 1-0, if purple nose had any decency (it makes a joke of his knighthood that he doesn't) he would concede that Macheda's goal was handball, and that it could have denied Chelsea a title that was rightfully theirs on merit.

    2-1 to Chelsea was the right result for the better team on the day, and the best team of that season, so get over it Fergie, and start acting like a knight of the realm, instead of a myopic terrace fan.

  • Comment number 24.

    Phil, you said, 'Arsenal's display provided evidence that Wenger does not need to blitz his side in the summer, but make tweaks to his team and philosophy to ensure they are more fit for purpose over an entire season and in differing circumstances.'

    I feel that they, Arsenal, need more than tweaks. On the evidence of this match and others I have seen Arsenal need to score when the chances arise. They should have beaten Man U by 3 or more. Why didn't they?
    They lacked a decisif striker, Van Perse looked like a misfit the whole match also the midfield didn't even attempt the chances that came to them Wilshere had at least 3 chances to fire a shot in and perhaps secure a more comfortable win but didn't take them.
    As soon as they went 1 up the defense backed off letting us see why they have drawn so many games after going ahead.

    I would say that more than a tweak is needed Arsenal need a striker and more experience in midfield and defense that makes 3 players already. Then what can they do without Nasri and Walcott, Arshavin goes missing just until he is in a position to commit a foul or have a chance at goal.
    Admittedly Wilshere looks good but if Arsenal lose Fabregas I think they will have to replace him.
    Then there's the question over Arsenals goalkeepers who, admittedly, can pull off good saves but don't seem to boss their areas like they should.
    So 4-5 players doen't seem like a tweak to me and with Wenger still working on sell to buy where are these players going to come from?
    Talking of Wenger don't you think he's had enough? So don't you think he might step down?

    Don't forget next season we'll be back to the 4 dog race with Liverpool and King kenny having more of a say and who knows Tottenham might come into the equation as well. What do you think?

  • Comment number 25.

    @ 21, Doris,

    I wouldn't disagree much with your comment, except that you end it up reflecting on how it affects Chelsea.

    While it would have to be seen whether Arsenal would run rings around them, had Vidic received a second yellow, the final outcome of the match wouldn't have changed. The referee could also have given the penalty without a red card, as Vidic's arm was up as he jumped, as it could be argued that the ball met the hand rather than the hand moved to the ball. In the past, such decisions have gone in favour of Arsenal too (most notably on an extended hand of Fabregas while defending a Liverpool corner).

    What prompted me to reply is that you omit mentioning that Chelsea scored two goals that shouldn't have been on Saturday. Why consider of Chelsea's non-gain, forgetting Saturday completely? :)

  • Comment number 26.

    Typical Ferguson tactic to complain that United never get the big decisions, especially after an insipid performance from his team. The claim is particularly risible this time, since Arsenal should have had a penalty and Vidic would have been sent off as a result !!
    Really, people should have learned to laugh off such comments by now - it's so predictable. United, suddenly are vulnerable, so he deliberately builds up the pressure on the officials for the crunch match with Chelsea to try and affect the outcome in the officials' minds. Classic mind games stuff - he's basically a slightly less unhinged version of Mourinho.

  • Comment number 27.

    Arsenal outplayed Manchester United and if this how they're gonna play against Barcelona they certainly have no chance of winning the Champions League at Wembley. I can see Chelsea beating Manchester United if United continue to miss flu-stricken Ryan Giggs. Goal difference might come in handy in the end and ManU matches against Blackpool might go a long way to decide whether Chelsea defends their title or not. For all the praise showered on Sir Alex he might going trophyless this season.

  • Comment number 28.

    I really don't know what the experts are talking about here:

    - The Vidic handball was never spotted by ANY of the commentators at normal play speed - without having the advantage of seeing it again and again. In fact they were lauding Vidic's 'great defending'! Souness, Shearer and Dixon are just hilarious that it was the assistants 'fault'!

    - Evra and Owen - both were penalties at first sight.

    Man U did not play their game of the midfield. That's it.

    Now coming to three games left, let's see:

    - United need max seven points against Chelsea and Blackpool at home; Blackburn away.

    - Chelsea have to win ALL their matches to make a case - with United and Everton away; Newcastle home.

    For that, United have to totally collapse and Chelsea have to fire optimus for latter to win.

    But, United shall win!

  • Comment number 29.

    As an Arsenal fan was delighted with the result but baffled by the
    United Fergie sent out. Fergie has shown allready just how easily ManU can deal with us in a 451/433 when he equals our numbers in central midfield and hits us on the counter, why abandon it now? I know the Rooney Hernandez partnership has been promising lately and with fletcher and scholes unavailable and Giggs needing a rest putting togeter a 3 man central midfield would be difficult but surely not impossible. Perhaps the Ireland manager is right if SAF doesn't trust to use Gibson in a game like this where the opposition midfield are all younger then him and where SAF would usually always meet us man for man than perhaps it's time for Gibson to move on.

    This match may do ManU a favour as I think it pretty much proved that the Rooney Hernandez partnership will have to be abondoned for the CL final, 2 in central midfield doesn't work against Arsenal and would be a disaster against Barcelona.
    For me it was also further evidance (alongside the majority of the start of the season) that Arsenal can play without Fabregas, I don't want him to go but if he wants to go then it's time for Wenger to let him. Losing your best player can hurt, but much less when the position he plays in is one were your best stocked, considering that we have Nasri, Ramsey, Wilshere, Diaby and RVP all capable of filling Fab's part of the pitch but only one proper DM in Song...even Barca have three

  • Comment number 30.

    I can see now United playing Berbatov and Owen up front on Wednesday, keeping Giggs out too, using perhaps Fletcher to rest Carrick in midfield. I don't think Schalke 04 will be much of a threat on Wednesday. While having fresh all those three would be vital for the match against Chelsea on Sunday.

    The United line-up on Wednesday is a very delicate matter now.

  • Comment number 31.

    Man Utd are still clearly in the driving seat. Chelsea need a win to keep their title chances open as I can't see Utd dropping points in their last 2 games. However Utd are looking a little jittery & may have their eyes set on Wembley & the Champions League final so it is a definite chance for Chelsea.

  • Comment number 32.

    @RichAbey, who do you think you are kidding?

    "All the other teams had big signings and star strikers and attacking mid fielders."

    Who was the 'big signing' in Arsenal's team?

    "Another factor has been the number of matches and the number of injuries. If you look at all the teams, Man U would have the most in both."

    Erm, Arsenal have been without their best defender ALL SEASON, their captain and best striker for large parts of the season, not to mention a littany of others who have spent more time on the Physio's bench than on the pitch. (Diaby, Ramsey, Djorou, etc.) and have been so short of goalkeepers since Christmas we've had to get Lehman out of retirement!

    You must be as blinkered as Ferguson clearly is!

  • Comment number 33.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 34.

    gunnerslovver2007 , the problem with losing Fabregas is the replacement he (Wenger) brings in will not be in at the same level as what we have. Wenger as always will go with youth and this inevitably will tell as injuries mount up through the course of the season. We now more than ever need reinforcements in key areas as you pointed out. Losing Fab at 35 million which is under his true value (IMO) would be a disaster.

    Very true about the formation SAF played as it really did give us the advantage defending the counter attack.

  • Comment number 35.

    Man Utd suck, Chelsea suck, Arsenal suck.

    But Man Utd suck harder..

    Utd to win this leauge of suckers.

  • Comment number 36.

    Well done Arsenal, we desperately needed you to come up with the goods and you delivered! Still can't see Chelsea winning the title on goal difference what with leaky Blackpool still to play United but it'll be fun watching it go down to the wire if we beat them at OT next week.

    Why is it always Man U that has the experience of a title run in? Haven't Chelsea any experience after winning 3 out of the last 6 titles?

  • Comment number 37.

    lets just blow the arsenal / wenger nonsense out of the water - only a maximum of 3 teams can win domestic trophies every year. recently, one team has been picking up 2 of those. so to say a trophy-less season is a disaster when you finish in the top 4 consistently with little spending is utter rubbish. would leciester, middlesbrough, spurs, birmingham, portsmouth all not gladly swap their trophies for arsenals position. winning trophies is not a mark of success. consistency is, especially in the league. neither is success measured in equal terms. have not west brom had more success than spurs this year / chelsea/man city even, given their spending. if man u win the league, mind, i think its fair to say it will be the weakest team to do so since leeds.
    what do i know about trophy-less seasons? - up the toon.

  • Comment number 38.

    What a fantastic season it has been this year. As an arsenal fan it was good to see them play without fear yesterday. I certainly don’t think we are far away from great things and I wonder if loosing cesc in the summer (however big a loss that may seem) might in its own way turn out to be beneficial for the club. It was great to see wilshere and ramsey play together and there are excellent players out there who arsene could buy to benefit the team and enable them to take that final step to silverware.
    My prediction for top 5 next season...
    Man U
    Man city

  • Comment number 39.

    The trouble is with refs is that they seem to think two wrongs make a right rather than judging each decision by it's merits and deciding accordingly.

    Yes they missed the Vidic incident, but that was missed by most until the replays. But the Owen penalty claim was stone wall and the can't be any doubt the ref saw it. It's looks obvious that he evened up rather than gave the correct decision.

    As a Utd fan, I say fair play to Arsenal, they were clearly the better side yesterday and deserved the win. Mind you, you often don't get what you deserve in football as Tottenham found out Saturday.

    I reckon Wenger should swap Fabregas for Mascherano (and a few million euro), buy Gary Cahill & Phil Jones plus a keeper to back up Mr unpronounacable and Arsenal will walk away with the league next year.

  • Comment number 40.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 41.

    Arsenal need at least four players in the summer. Two strong, dominant centre backs. A defensive midfielder in the Vieira mould. A world class striker. Had they signed those last summer then they'd already have the title wrapped up. If they don't sign them this summer then serious questions need to be asked about Wenger's future in the job.

    If they can sweep out the detrius like Bendtner, Rosicky, Almunia and Denilson at the same time then so much the better.

  • Comment number 42.

    For Arsenal's sake, don't fall into the trap of Ramsey replacing Fabregas and all being nice and good in Arsenal's midfield.

    It is true that Arsenal's passing game can see no harm in the high probability of Fabregas going back to Spain and being replaced by Ramsey. There is still, though, the main question: who is going to be replacing Ramsey when rested?

    It's the same problem as to who was going to replace Fabregas, up to now. The result of overusing Fabregas was a number of injuries, due to too many matches played. And such injuries have had added dent on Arsenal's cause.

  • Comment number 43.

    If Ancelotti guides Chelsea to the title from being fifth at Christmas and lumbered with a badly off-form player he did not want at the owner's behest, I think he might just go down in the club's history as their greatest ever manager.

    And it could happen.

    Irony of ironies if said off-form striker scores the winner at OT, mind...

    Don't forget that Chelsea's last two opponents have little to play for. Newcastle are all but safe, while Everton's only hope of Europa League football is a series of extraordinary events. (Two of the following need to happen: Everton to win all three of their final games and either Spurs or Liverpool take no more than two points from their remaining matches; Manchester City to collapse to fifth, but recovering to win the FA Cup final; Birmingham City to be barred from European competition. Of those, only the last of these is even plausible.)

    By contrast, Manchester United play two teams with everything to play for in the relegation dogfight, and one of them is away from home. Not to mention the near-certainty of SAF having one eye on a Wembley showdown against Barcelona. (If either Schalke or Real come back from 2-0 down away from home, I will buy a new hat purely to eat it.)

    Still think Chelsea have the harder finish to the season?

  • Comment number 44.

    Ferguson said himself before the weekend that his side would drop points and the title race was still alive. It's not surprising he made that prediction given the number of big games United have faced as they've attacked on three fronts. Like all the top clubs, they're vulnerable when they play midweek and weekend games consecutively. Arsenal have lost only one game all season when they've had a week between matches to recover. That was at home to Spurs and derby matches are well known to buck the trend. And Manchester United? None. Not one defeat with a week between matches. The strength of a club's squad and their ability to cope with the fixture list is the key to success these days. United cope better than anyone, but now they're the only ones who have something to cope with. The key to where United finish in the Premier League may well be: how many players can they get away with resting against Schalke on Wednesday?

  • Comment number 45.

    Whoever wins the title wins by default. I think Arsenal are the biggest culprits. They, above all others should have won it by now. As someone said they all have weakness' and whilst it might seem exciting it's actually been a poor season for top class football.
    Ferguson can't stop berating the officials can he. I'm fed up with it and his tactical mind games may backfire, Mourinho suffers these days because of this. Ferguson should be a good example for other coaches, but he's not.
    Players and managers should look at themselves and not make excuses by criticising the referees. Very rarely have officials been shown to be corrupt.

    The article yesterday remarking how lucky Chelsea are. I would say despite many managers and internal traumas over the years they are still a force and that is testament to the club, staff and players. United and Arsenal have depended on management stability but are no better off for it.
    United are the favourites, mainly because they were handed the easiest of all last game of the season by the Premier League 'computer'

  • Comment number 46.

    As you wouldn't do with many of the games they don't get 3 points from, you wouldn't argue that Arsenal didn't deserve 3 yesterday, the problem is, it's more random than what you would expect from champions. It wasn't a dissimilar pattern to the Cup game, where United clogged the defence around the front edge of their box, didn't overcommit, in the knowledge Arsenal would stubbornly refuse to take another route, because that's where they do their damage, and United's midfieders would be able to hound and shunt the Arsenal attacks over to the touchlines, in the knowledge the long punts from the full backs are untypical of the precision and intricacy of the more infield play, and there's often no-one to get their head on the end on it anyway, and if there is, he will get outmuscled.

    United don't have this problem in attack, and they don't faff around for the defence to think and organise itself. They get over the gain line, which, in Arsenal's case, isn't as clogged as their opponent's. As much as I enjoy watching Arsenal play, for all their possession, they don't cross that line as often as they should do, or possibly more correctly, they often cross it, but rather than buy a ticket, all too often come back behind it to start all over again because the goal satnav isn't beautiful enough.

    On top of this, as I read a few blogs ago, Arsene inherited one of the most famous defences in English football history when he arrived in England. I wonder if this masked flaws in his football. Will he bite the bullet and invest in established quality defenders, or will he continue to try to nurture them?

    Getting back to crossing the gain line, there aren't many of them around, but Robin Van Persie (and is often out injured) isn't Thierry Henry. I agree with you, Arsenal just need a little tweaking, but I don't expect next season to be much different if they don't bring in some big personalities, especially if Fabregas goes.

    Regarding United, I don't think they are the same team when Scholes and Giggs are not playing. The former might not have long left, but Giggs doesn't look like stopping!

  • Comment number 47.

    Is anyone really surprised United lost it? It is typical united, they have opportunity to practically put the title to bed and everyone thinks they will win, and what do they do, they lose. It is typical united.

    There was no fight in the play, they lost all 50-50s, they put hardly any effort in doing any closing down. Arshavin got more hard tackles in his cameo than the entire united team put together.

    For how much and how long united were leading this league, it has now come down to next week, whoever wins that match wins the league. simples.

  • Comment number 48.

    Whatever the season's ultimately outcome, I'm looking forward to seeing which big names Arsenal, Chelsea, and Man U bring in, because on evidence I think it's fair to say that all 3 teams need some.

    Also I'm looking forward to Torres having a completely underwhelming end to the season.

  • Comment number 49.

    I cannot really see how anyone imagined it would go any differently. Although Giggs was ill, I was surprised to see Valencia as a Substitute and Anderson starting. I am wondering if there is not a bit of further study for Ferguson to do as regards the Character of the team he chooses to put out. It won't surprise me at all if United don't win the thing outright. However, the mathematics are quite simple a win against Chelsea is as close to a guarantee of winning it outright as you can get. If Ferguson gets his team selection wrong for this one, we are in deep doo doo. On a positive note for United, IF they get to the champions league semi final, they could be playing a Barca team, with only 3 fit defenders in the club.

  • Comment number 50.

    45. The fact Chelsea are still a force is testament to the financial clout of a Russian billionaire. The gap between what Chelsea pay for their players and what the can afford is around £70 million pounds a year. That's what the club would have to reduce its transfer and wage budget by if Abramovich withdrew his support. Someone explain to me how Chelsea could still compete with that reduction in spending power?

  • Comment number 51.

    As a United fan, obviously want to beat Chelsea next weekend (hopefully after getting past Schalke) but as a Premier League fan, wouldn't it be great to see a 'shoot-off' for the Premier League. If Chelsea beat United and win the other 2 games and United win their other 2, whoever scores the most wins the league. That could well be sheer entertainment, although I see Chelsea stumbling away to Everton. Very, very tough game and wouldn't Everton love to beat Chelsea and let United overtake Liverpool with the most League titles.

  • Comment number 52.

    Someone explain to me how Chelsea could still compete with that reduction in spending power?
    In the short term they couldn't!

    In the long run who knows?

    A great deal of investment has been made in youth players, and Chelsea has an excellent crop of young players, the majority being international players in their respective age groups.

    Only time will tell of course.

  • Comment number 53.

    "The Premier League season that refuses to go quietly is offering up the enticing possibility of the most dramatic twist of all after Arsenal deservedly beat Manchester United at the Emirates.

    If the unseemly scramble and bunching at the bottom is not enough to ensure nerves will be tested fully in the final three games of a less than vintage season, United and Chelsea now meet at Old Trafford next Sunday with the title on the line."

    Phil - That's quite a contrdictory opening to the article. You say it's 'less than vintage season', but also say it's really exciting both top and bottom.

    Anyway I disagree with and say it's been a classic season. I'd rather a season like this than one with one team smashing everyone and not losing any games.

  • Comment number 54.

    We played for our pride yesterday and finally have done ourselves some pride in recent weeks. Arsene as quoted is right to say that last week it all went pear shaped for us, but even he would know deep down if he's honest with himself? that the team needs reinforcements for next seasons challenge.

    Its getting down to the nitty-gritty now, and if Chelsea win against Man u on Sunday; then this could be the season that Chelsea have made a remarkable turn around and will be the ultimate winners and Man u having dominated so long could walk away with nothing.

    Its too little too late for Arsenal now, but if we can beat Stoke and Chelsea win at OT, then theres only 3 points in it, with 2 games to go...

  • Comment number 55.

    Phil you write that United still have their destination in their own hands - but so now do Chelsea - win all their reaming games and they will most likely be crowned champions. The only palpable advantage United have at the moment is that they can afford to draw next weekend whereas Chelsea can't.

  • Comment number 56.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 57.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 58.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 59.

    Realistically Arsenal were the better side, but Man United never got going. I know our reputation for late goals but such was the performance that I turned the TV off after 80 mins knowing we wouldn't be rescued. It was as poor a performance as i've seen all season, probably coupled with the performance away at Wolves. We tried our usual game against Arsenal soaking up pressure and counter attacking but it didn't work in the slightest. Big game next Sunday and I've an awful feeling Chelsea will get the job done unless we actually show we want this league.

  • Comment number 60.


    This whole set-up is contrived, I'm afraid.

    First difficult game for Chelsea since they started this run v us at the Bridge in their run & as then, they go 1-down. On Saturday-Hey, presto, a goal that wasn't & one that was a yard offside.

    And what did we get back at the Bridge-A JT handball ignored, Luis getting away with 2 yellow card tackles after being booked & a ridiculous pen.

    And yesterday, no one saw the Vidic handball at the time except Van Persie. So why did the ref ignore the fouls on Evra & Owen-stonewall pens?

    Fergie should perhaps have asked why Chelsea ALWAYS get the dodgy decisions in their favour when they need them. And in Europe, it's the exact opposite-maybe Platini is wise to them, and the FA is not.

    I prefer NOT to believe in conspiracy theory,Phil, so I sincerely hope next week's game is officiated in the correct manner.

  • Comment number 61.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 62.

    Not sure why this season is described as 'less than vintage'.

    I think it's been a brilliant season with a fantastic finish.

  • Comment number 63.

    coleusman...I liked your post

  • Comment number 64.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 65.

    Ok the Chelsea vs Tottenham game was weird. In my opinion Kalou's goal was definitely offside but after England vs Germany Lampards goal that wasn't a goal i think it's only fair he was awarded this one! I don't think Torres will score much more and at Old Trafford i am almost certain Man Utd will beat Chelsea and clinch the title.

    Alot of people are saying because alot of referees have beeon on Manutd's side this season Chelsea won fairly however do you remember the game where Drogba scored an offside goal last season to lead Chelsea to the Premiership? Have a think about those statistics.

  • Comment number 66.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 67.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 68.

    Mr Chelsea.

    I don't think kids are choosing Man Utd out of free will to be honest, I think parents are forcing it... I think kids who choose on their own will choose Arsenal, Chelsea, man city. Arsenal because of the way they play, Chelsea because of the money and players they might be able to bring in, and City the same.

    I was never saying that kids support United because of team ethics, it was just an example of what the club has going for itself, it was never meant to highlighted, just a quick point I made.

  • Comment number 69.

    it is still man utd's to lose, but here's the thing, most fans or some fans argue that if arsenal and chelsea were on form they would've won the tittle, lol they don't seem to remember if man utd were on form we would've won the tittle, but apart from that part, i think this man utd team is the weakest in recent years, man utd's midfield is so bad i dont know how they managed to fight for the primer leauge tittle for the last two years. man utd need to rebuild, and i don't know how badly they will get spanked by barcelona in the final.

  • Comment number 70.

    I find it amazing that United fans can be complaining about the Lampard goal - Mendez anyone?

  • Comment number 71.


    If the FA had any sense of fairness, they'd declare the Chelsea-Spurs game as 1-1, because Lampard's "goal" simply never was-it also wasn't the result of a refereeing or assistant's failure to spot something like offside-it didn't cross the line, period.

    Don't hold your breath, though, because allowing it to stand won't of course corrupt children watching, who will continue to have respect for the integrity of our national sport, and the men of integrity who run it.

  • Comment number 72.

    @ 68, PutASockInIt,

    Parents are forceful in what team their kids support? LOL !!!

  • Comment number 73.

    looking at chelsea's sqaud which is very much stronger than man utd's squad, i believe they should've won the tittle by long time ago, and they still can, but mand utd need to spend big this summer, but man utd also need a good bench, for the summer man utd would and need a creartive midfielder, snijder, or modric, and i do not think they need a striker but they need a kepper and a winger to replace giggs, bale or alexis sanchez

  • Comment number 74.

    And as for all the conspiracy theorists - you sound like all the nut jobs that blame all the world's problems on Jews, Scientologists, Knights Templars and other supposed Dark Forces. Next thing we'll be hearing is that Osama Bin Laden is still alive and has currently assumed the identity of Andre Mariner.

  • Comment number 75.

    Wenger points to the late goals and body blows Arsenal have taken throughout the past weeks, but the fact remains United have uncharacterlistically let leads slip to late goals at Birmingham, Everton, Fulham and Bolton.. which should have added 8 points to their total. United could well have been out of sight by now, and I just hope all those dropped points does not come back to haunt them.

  • Comment number 76.


    Good of you not mention United's decisions against:

    Stoke, West Ham, Spurs, Wigan, Blackpool and of course Arsenal.

    Oh and in our run of taking 25 points from our last 9, we have beaten United, Man City and Spurs, so they have not all been easy fixtures.

  • Comment number 77.

    is anyone else thinking that M night Shamaylan is directing this season? the amount of twists that have occured this season, i would not be suprised if in the end fergie praised a ref, Gary Neville came out of retirement to manage liverpool, torres left chelsea for blackpool, and wigan make a late push for the top 6 due to a series of points deductions ... seriously i have no idea what is going to happen by may the 22nd.

    Once again good article Phil, btw is it still mathmetical for arsenal to win the tital?

  • Comment number 78.


    If we used your proposed theory would United actually have any PL titles?

  • Comment number 79.

    #68. Put a sock in it. Literally mate, that comment was ridiculous.

    Put a sock in it

  • Comment number 80.

    Arsene: If only if only, if only me Auntie had ba's she'd be my Uncle!!!

  • Comment number 81.

    Those who say that losing Fabregas would leave us short in midfield are crazy, right now we have Nasri, Wilshere, Ramsey, Rosicky, Diaby and Dennilson all capable of playing in one of the two creative midfield berths (either holding or attacking) the first three of which are all capable of doing it at at a very high level as well as RVP who is capable of playing as a deeper lying creative striker a la Rooney yesterday. I don't think anyones saying that losing Fabregas would be a great option but the fact is we have 6 other options to play as creative CM's but only one proper DM in Song! Fabregas may be our best player but we would be in a better position selling him without direct replacement then we would if we were to sell Song in the summer (though hopefully Frimpong can break through next year).

    Inter showed a few seasons ago that it's entirely posible to sell your best player and thrive if Fab wants to leave then it is perhaps time we tried the same approach.

  • Comment number 82.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 83.


    how's that hangover? drinking all night because you struggled to sleep.
    oh, that was ever so lovely yesterday.

    thanks again.

  • Comment number 84.

    Just makes me laugh at all the 'Utd are the best front runners, Fergie knows how to get a team to kick on' etc. Face facts, Chelsea are back in this title race because Utd have continued to drop points. They have gone from being 9 points clear of Chelsea to now having to get at least a draw to stay out in front.

    Wasnt a great game but it showed two things, one being that had Utd won they could have rested players for the (probable) Champions League Final against a Barca team that will make you chase for 90 minutes, so that is a blow for them in both confidence & fitness. Secondly a win for Arsenal allows Wenger to paper over the cracks, they are still as far away as ever & need a new centre forward, centre half & a decent left back. Wenger will now say 'we beat Utd, we are so close' and therefore wont spend enough to kick on.

    City nailed on forth last evening & now will sepnd heavily again, all reports point to Roman falling in love with wasting millions once more so Wenger may find this a false dawn if he refuses to add players where needed.

  • Comment number 85.

    Well, in previous seasons Arsenal have been accused of being "flat-track bullies" - pummelling the weaker sides and going to pieces against the big boys. Whether this is a step in the right direction, I'm not sure.

    Personally, I still think this is the worst Arsenal side Wenger has presided over. In his best years, Wenger was able to put out a full 11-man side of quality players (fitness permitting). This year we've been hamstrung by incompetent goalkeepers, defenders and timid midfielders - some of whom have managed to hold down first team berths. Certainly Koscielny and Squillacci were major miscalculations, though admittedly their impact was exacerbated by Vermaelen's long-term injury.

    I also think that Cesc will leave this summer, and his departure will have a deeper impact than many Arsenal fans will want to believe. If he does go, Wenger must sign a name to replace him. Ramsey and Wilshere are very good players, but they can't shoulder the responsibility for a Champions League team - not yet, anyway.

  • Comment number 86.


    There were NO quibbles about your first two titles, nor our 3 that followed them.

    Just last season and this, if Chelsea need a boost, they always seem to get it. Apart from the offside goal at OT, last season also saw, on the run-in, a total of 5 decent penalty shouts against you at the Bridge across 2 of the home games-Portsmouth was one of them, the other opponent I've forgotten, but you won 1-0.

    Not one pen was awarded in those 2 games. Any that were might have been missed, of course, but that is typical of the skewed playing-field that SEEMS to be operating now.

    And Phil, let's be fair, Anderson & Nani didn't come in & bring enough to the table yesterday, so the point we SHOULD have got from a pen wouldn't have been deserved-the fact is, though, we should have had the opportunity to gain an undeserved point and we were denied it by poor refereeing.

  • Comment number 87.

    As for the refereeing decisions, I sympathise with officials when it comes to players going over in the penalty area. Was contact made, was it enough to disadvantage the attacker, was the attacker looking for someone to make contact with? I'm forgiving of linesmen who miss tight offsides too. But the one that beats me is the award of Frank Lampard's goal. That linesman did not see the whole of the ball cross the line. We know this because we know the whole of the ball did not cross the line. He either thought he saw something he didn't or, as is more likely, he guessed. Either way, it's not an acceptable standard of officiating. Respect works both ways and that linesman has been disrespectful to Spurs and the integrity of the league by saying he saw something that he did not.

  • Comment number 88.

    I don't understand why fans don't just enjoy this opportunity to see uncertainty until the end of the season. Talking about uncertainty, I can see it quite nicely carried on in the summer.

    I can envisage United winning the title and get a 1-0 win at Wembley, leading the board to a decision that the squad is proven to be strong enough, avoiding yet one more season to get reinforcements.

    I can envisage Wenger working for break even, demanding solid proof on need for players in the summer before changing attitude and opting eventually to keeping buying future for Arsenal.

    And I can envisage poor Ancelotti winning the title and getting the sack after the disgrace of a double and a title in two seasons, having lost the quarter final of the Champions League, narrowly.

    Without forgetting City, I can also envisage Mancini buying midfielders to boost the City attack.

    Is Kenny Dalglish the only manager who works on improving his team or is it just my idea?

  • Comment number 89.

    83. At 11:27am 2nd May 2011, ANotherGunner wrote:


    how's that hangover? drinking all night because you struggled to sleep.
    oh, that was ever so lovely yesterday.

    thanks again.


    I'm much obliged for the attention.
    The reason, though? :)

  • Comment number 90.

    I see Rooney's behaviour is over-shadowed again by other on-field antics. (Vidic trying to impress Fergie for Van Der Sar's position, the Owen Penalty, Arsenal refusing to give the ball to Nani etc)

    Rooney acting like a petulant child again. Pulls Wilshere down, gets booked, tells the Ref to **** off and then kicks the ball back to Wilshere which hits him in the face.

    Honestly, I do not know how anyone can defend him. (Despite the fact that he scores goals). This person will never captain the England side unless he starts to do some serious growing up.

  • Comment number 91.

    It seems ironic that Chris Foy gets only criticism from Ferguson instead of thanks.

    In the United book it is perfectly understandable if he did not award a penalty for the Vidic handball that by its absence may have led to an iffy goal by the mundane Dutchman at the goal mouth. After all he did not see the Vidic handball.

    But its not right that he should ignore the Owen's left calf scrape by a Clichy boot forcing the perfectly-poised-great forward-at-the-top-of-the-circle-for-a-certain-goal to lunge forward and go down instead. After all he did see (by general consensus, everyone saw it)the Clichy enormity.

    And all Fergie wanted was a measly draw. Ah, these ungrateful referees!

  • Comment number 92.

    The way we played yesterday even 10 mins of fergie time might not have been enough..still I think we will beat chelsea next weekend n win d league...

  • Comment number 93.

    For Arsenal's sake, don't fall into the trap of Ramsey replacing Fabregas and all being nice and good in Arsenal's midfield.
    There is still, though, the main question: who is going to be replacing Ramsey when rested?

    Nasri showed prior to Christmas that his best position is in the centre.
    Arshavin prefers to play there, and his lazy defensive tracking becomes less of a problem if he plays just behind the striker.
    Diaby when fit is more than capable and has had a few brilliant games in the centre this season.
    Baring any more injuries, Frimpong will start to feature next season.

    So there's four people to cover Ramsey and I'm pretty sure Wenger would add Denilson and Rosicky to that list.

    Dont think depth in attack minded central midfield is a concern for Arsenal, however central defence as shown by having Squillaci on the pitch trying to hold a lead yesterday (what was that god awful attempt at a tackle on Rooney near the half way line) is an area that needs addressing.

  • Comment number 94.

    To wit "Wenger could TRUMP that by offering up Nemanja Vidic's blatant - bizarre almost - handball"
    No ifs or buts, Vidic is a serial offender ( & @ WC matches too) as a number of posters here rightfully pointed out.

    Don't you think that this recalcitrant offender be scrutinized & rightfully being penalized not only for his 'sleight of hand' blatant handballs, shirt & jujitsu elbow tuggings & sometimes elbowing. Worse than Diving or simulation which all of us decry?
    Its about time he be brought to task for making a mockery of our FA Officials.

    His indefensible infractions has tainted the PL title race with his presence. Just imagine if he was ejected; gunners will probably have romped over MU and the goal difference will defo disadvantaged MU. MO will not have been subbed in & the peno moot then.

    Fergie your LUCK has run out. All football cognoscenti will not sympathised with your moaning. Its about time the scales are tilted back in the favor of the deserving & IMO may not be enough especially the inordinate amount of LUCK that MU lucked into it this season.

  • Comment number 95.

    @supermakkem - if Shaylaman was directing none of the twists would make any sense...err on second thoughts none the twists don't make any sense. The only question now is who out of Ancelotti and Ferguson can see dead people.

  • Comment number 96.

    Yet again the majority of talk is about poor refereeing decisions. Is it not about time that referees were ranked on their performance by both managers so that they could be accountable for their poor decision making. Also, with the talk of goal line technology, all that is needed is the fourth official to have a screen and a camera in the goal mouth and the problem would be solved. Adding two more officials like in the Champions league just adds two more people who get decisions wrong. As of all the games I have watched I am yet to see a stickman(do not know there proper name) give a correct decision, or reverse a poor one.

    As for United it simply shows that they need to rebuild there midfield regardless of what they win or don't win this season. It simply does not have enough depth, and Carrick is almost always useless.

  • Comment number 97.

    should read - "none of the twists do make any sense."

    Is the lack of an edit button also to do with the Tory cuts.

  • Comment number 98.

    @ 93, SinghaSong,

    I was under the impression that Arsenal fans wanted Diaby, Arshaving, Rosicky, Denilson out, because they think they're not good enough for their team. (wait till the next dropped points for a reinforcement of that).

    Still, though, the point is that all mentioning about Ramsey is about his ability to cover the Fabregas position in the team. And Fabregas has kept getting injuries in recent seasons because of too many matches played.

    If Arsenal fans feel happy for Fabregas to go, being replaced by Ramsey without cover for him, I am more than happy. I support United after all :)

  • Comment number 99.

    for me the season has been very much ruined by many of the officials! how many times must a player from Man U be seen to be guilty of a sending of offence? and not been shown his marching orders.

    I hold the view that should the title go to man u it will be regarded as the most tainted and controversal title of all.

    the season has been shambolic due to inept officials and balatent favouratism.

  • Comment number 100.

    bring back 606


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