Two Years On continues on Arsenal.com today as we pick out our game of the season at Emirates Stadium. Subscribers can re-live the best of the action on Arsenal TV Online now.
Emirates Stadium played host to some pulsating matches last season but it's hard to match the visit of Manchester United for tension, excitement and late, late drama.
Arsenal were sitting pretty on top of the Premier League when their old rivals arrived in North London in November but there were plenty of question marks over the Gunners' title pretensions. Sure, they had pegged back Liverpool at Anfield six days earlier but how would they cope against the champions?
Fulham, Manchester City, Portsmouth, Derby, Sunderland and Bolton had already been seen off in the Premier League at Emirates but United, in rampant form after 16 goals in four games, would provide the sternest test of all. So it proved.
Arsenal had the better of the opening exchanges but decent chances were at a premium as caution reigned early on. Nine minutes before the break, Arsenal should have gone ahead but Edwin van der Sar saved with his legs when William Gallas met Cesc Fabregas' free-kick with a firm downward header at the near post. United were reprieved and, just before half-time, they took the lead as Wayne Rooney's poor connection from Ronaldo's low cross flicked off Gallas and beat Almunia.
Arsenal responded three minutes after the break. Emmanuel Eboue clipped a lofted pass over the visitors' defence and Van der Sar rushed out to smother Adebayor's goalbound shot. The ball bounced out towards the byline and, as the United defence stood static, Bacary Sagna hooked the ball back to Fabregas. He kept his cool to find the bottom corner.
For the rest of the second half the pace was unrelenting. Alex Hleb and Tomas Rosicky went close, Arsenal had a penalty appeal rejected and Clichy cleared desperately from Patrice Evra's low cross. Then, with eight minutes left, United struck. Evra galloped down the left to collect Louis Saha's pass, Almunia rushed out but the French left-back pulled the ball back for Ronaldo to convert from close range.
Arsenal threw everything forward in search of another equaliser. With seconds left of stoppage time, they launched one final attack. Theo Walcott miscued his shot but Gallas was on hand to slam a volley past Van der Sar, who tried to vain to keep the ball out. The Emirates erupted and, seconds later, the final whistle confirmed that Arsenal would stay top of the table. It was a breathless, buoyant end to the game and it proved that Arsène Wenger's young side were ready to fight for the title.
Subscribers can now watch highlights of this game on Arsenal TV Online.
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