Live: Arsenal 1 Manchester United 1

United can now longer topple Chelsea's record points score in the Premier League, but this was a hard-earned point for United against a very game Arsena. The Gunners stay in fourth, but Spurs can reclaim that possession should they win their game in hand against Southampton. Thanks for your company this afternoon and I'll see you all soon.

FT: Arsenal 1 Manchester United 1.

Koscieleny acrobatically hacks away Valencia's cross, before dealing with a second moments later as United completely contradict my previous update.

A failed Arsenal move breaks down on the edge of the box, but United aren't exactly breaking with urgency and it appears they may be happy to settle for the draw.

Four minutes of added time to be played.

Following that wonderful delivery, Rooney is hauled off with Hernandez his replacement.

What a chance for United. Rooney collects the ball and plays it majestically out to Giggs, who cuts back inside Sagna but only gets a corner following his right-footed effort.

Oxlade-Chamberlain is next to try his luck, as he too wins his side a corner following a deflection off Evans.

Cazorla nearly restores Arsenal's lead with a superb right-footed shot, which forces De Gea into a near-post stop that gives rise to a corner.

Oxlade-Chamberlain looks to stretch Jones, but ends up cutting the ball back into the path of Carrick. Moments later, Gibbs furiously claims a penalty after colliding with Ferdinand but it's not awarded by the referee.

Mertesacker leaps above everyone else to head away, but United retain possession through Rooney, whose decent shot is handled well by Szczesny.

As United win a corner, Giggs comes on in place of Nani.

Yellow card for Oxlade-Chamberlain following a crunching tackle on Anderson.

Anderson's reverse pass towards Rooney nearly finds the striker superbly, but as Koscielny sticks his body in the way he makes the interception.

Valencia breaks away down the right, but a threatening position is ended for United when the winger drifts an overly heavy ball across goal with not one team-mate in sight.

Oxlade-Chamberlain enters the fray, with Ramsey's sterling shift coming to an end.

A momentary scramble sees Walcott get two bites of the cherry to find goal, but a couple of deflections steer the ball away from goal as Arsenal up their attacking impetus.

Evra takes on Sagna, who does well this time, using his strength to usher the ball out of play following a loose touch from the United full-back.

United make a change as Rafael is replaced by Anderson.

Good chance for Arsenal, with Koscielny on the way to the ground as he aims a stab at goal, which ends up over despite a cracking effort from the defender.

Arsenal edge forward, with Gervinho getting his first touch, but UInited restrict space well with Ramsey's shot excellently closed down by Jones. Corner to the hosts.

Podolski heads off for the Gunners, with Gervinho the man taking his place.

Walcott's excellent work from the right comes to nothing as Evans heads away, but United break urgently as Valencia's long-range drive takes a deflection away from goal.

Rafael is bumped off the ball by Ramsey, which is a tad lucky not have been deemed a foul, as United look a lot more menacing going forward now with Arsenal appearing more fragile than they were in the first half.

United break through Rooney, who delivers the ball into the "corridor of uncertainty" but such is the pace it evades contact with both Van Persie and Nani.

Cazorla fails to wrap his foot around the ball from the free-kick, aiming a fairly woeful effort wide of goal as the set piece comes to nothing.

A handball from Valencia is penalised just on the edge of the area, which is a yellow card for the United man and an Arsenal free-kick.

A probing run from Evra sees him advance to the byline, but upon losing his balance, the ball is collected by Szczesny.

Sagna's day is not getting better as he lets the ball roll away from him and out of play, drawing the ire of the Gunners fans as a result.

As things get a tad more heated, Jones is slid into by Arteta, but some initial handbags fortunately end up relatively amicably.

Wilshere enters the game for Arsenal, with Rosicky the man he replaces.

Koscielny leaves it late to slide into Rooney, hacking down the striker and conceding a free-kick roughly 30 yards from goal.

Van Persie is left frustrated after emerging on the losing side of the referee's decision following a battle with Mertesacker.

Cazorla and Rosicky look to fashion a shooting opoortunity, but the ball hits Evans, which draws claims for handball, but nothing is given by the referee and Man United reclaim possession.

United's swift counter attack sees Rafael set away by Valencia, but his awful delivery to Van Persie, presumably, ends up powered very much out of play.

Rooney sends a needlessly heavy pass Valencia's way, but as the winger collects it, he ends up supplying a great ball back to his team-mate, who can head straight into Szczesny.

Neither Podolski or Cazorla can latch on to Ramsey's through ball, with De Gea gathering on the edge of the six-yard box.

Jones, who continues to impress during the run-in, links up play for United with Van Persie unable to meet the ball at the far post, before Rafael lines up a shot from range which comes close to nestling in the top corner.

Belatedly, the whistle is blow for a foul from Rosicky on Jones, which results in Arsenal's attack being thwarted.

A matter of inches is the difference between United leading and drawing, with Rooney sliding in to meet Van Persie's ball across goal but narrowly avoiding contact with the ball.

Koscielny steers the ball out of Nani's path, but ends up giving Szczesny more to do than he would have liked, making a clearance that ends up sailing into the fans.

Arsenal get another sight of goal as Ramsey aims a comparitively tame shot towards the far post which De Gea gathers routinely.

Sublime stuff from Arsenal, as Rosicky is eventually picked out before carving a yard to shoot which sees his right-footed toe poke drift wide.

Ramsey almost feeds in Rosicky splendidly before Ferdinand gets in the way, with the game beginning in a similar veing to the first as Arsenal largely control possession.

Man United get the action restarted.

A worried Aaron Rudolph writes: "As an Arsenal fan, I've noticed that not once this season have Arsenal been leading and went on to lose the match. I'm very worried this could be the first."

Goals at the beginning and end of the half see the sides go in level at the break, but Arsenal have been mightily impressive and will be disappointed not to be still be ahead. Send your second half thoughts to or @JWoodfield365

HT: Arsenal 1 Manchester United 1.

Nani befuddles the beleaguered Sagna with his trickery, but his delivery fails to find Van Persie as Mertesacker gets in the way.

Sagna was also booked for that previous challenge on Van Persie.

Three minutes of added time to be played.

Cazorla looks to make an instant response with a drive from range, but his shot takes a deflection before Arteta's speculative effort lands in De Gea's arms.

A splendid penalty from Van Persie leaves Szczesny no chance, despite the keeper leaping the right way, as United equalise moments before half-time.


A Sagna mistake sees Nani steal the ball from under him, playing in Van Persie, who is then hacked down by Sagna to complete a woeful 20 seconds for the full-back.

Penalty to Man United!

A second chance presents itself for Jones, as he charges forward to meet Valencia's delivery but heads downwards and directs the ball narrowly wide. A much better few minutes from the champions.

Szczesny is caught in the firing line in more ways that one, taking Van Persie's close-ranger header in the face as he prevents a goal but takes a right old clattering in the process.

Arsenal remain firmly in control as they boss possession, with United's attempted counter attacks coming to nothing at the moment.

Arsenal knock the ball around in the final third, looking to carve a yard to shoot, but in the end United win back possession and counter before Van Persie is tackled to a huge Emirates roar.

Sagna's excellent endeavour sees him broach the byline, with a lunge from Evra resulting in a corner being conceded.

De Gea is called into action again as Arsenal really start to increase their urgency going forward, with Podolski firing at the near post before the Spaniard parried it clear.

Walcott remains vehemently unhappy following that challenge, and he lets the referee know his feelings as Arsenal prepare to launch their set piece.

Evans is next in the referee's notebook, and some pushing of chests has started in the wake of his tackle on Walcott.

A lovely Arsenal move nearly carves United apart, but Cazorla's final touch ends up sending Gibbs wide to retrieve it and their momentum is temporarily halted.

A crunching tackle by Van Persie leaves Mertesacker laying, and that earns the striker a yellow card.

Rooney tracks back to get involved in the game, with Arsenal still cramming bodies in and around United's midfielder, restricting their movement enormously.

United are finding it hard to get out their own half such is the work-rate from Arsenal, but as Nani is fouled by Podolski, the visitors are awarded a free-kick.

Yellow card for Rafael after the full-back haule down Rosicky during a charging run forward.

Ramsey is penalised for harrassing Evans, much to the chagrin of the Arsenal faithful, but the Gunners fans will otherwise be very content with the way things are going so far.

Cazorla's loose touch ends up promising chance, but Rafael's remarkably poor two touches end up taking the ball behind for a corner anyway.

Walcott is fast, but not even he is fast enough to meet Ramsey's heavy pass, although he did admirably to even make contact with the ball as it ran out.

Jones nearly makes amends for that booking but after a lovely break forward, Van Persie's delivery is headed wide by the United man.

Walcott lifts the free-kick forward, but it's a confusing effort that ends up floating forward and bouncing out of play. Not his finest delivery to say the least.

The first booking of the day falls to Jones, with the United defender guilty of a rash challenge on Arteta.

Walcott is outmuscled by Evans following Sagna's ball into the forward, but as the ball is passed back to De Gea, the Spaniard somewhat needlessly boots it out of play.

Foul by Podolski in his bid to intercept possession from Evans, with United again playing short and looking to control the ball in midfield.

Superb grafting from Ramsey results in the midfielder claiming the ball off Nani, although both the United midfielder and Sir Alex Ferguson believe a foul took place.

First chance for Van Persie sees his effort lifted over the bar following a corner from the champions.

Cazorla looks to knock the ball back into Podolski's path, but as the striker heads one way, the ball goes the other as United reclaim possession.

The free-kick comes to nothing, but the ball remains with Man United who calmly knock the ball around in midfield.

Rooney is tackled by Ramsey, but as Rosicky steps in on Carrick, United win a free-kick and the chance to get the ball into the box.

De Gea is called into action courtesy of Cazorla's long-range strike, making a decent save to steer the ball out for a corner.

Rosicky spreads play to Walcott, who looks remarkably lively down the right, before Sagna's delivery is headed clear under pressure by Evans.

Walcott cuts back looking to control Arteta's sprayed pass across the field, but it was always a tricky take and the forward can't prevent it travelling out.

Replays show Walcott was a foot offside, which United fans will feel aggrieved about, but things have certainly sparked into life at the Emirates now.

Wow. Van Persie gives the ball away and Rosicky picks out Walcott in behind Evra who calmly slots the ball past De Gea. What a start for the Gunners!


Arsenal get the game underway.

Had a few questions regarding this afternoon's referee and I can reveal to you all now that it is the one and only Phil Dowd.

The players make their way on to the pitch and we're moments away from kick-off at the Emirates Stadium.

Kyle Forster writes: "Getting excited for kick off! United are going to crush arsenal and go for a 100 point season finish! Great team line up looking forward to Van Persie destroy his old squad! Good game in store."

Ryan Williams tweets: "I'm guessing 3-1 united, RVP to score 2 and kagawa to get the other, walcott to score for arsenal!

Piers Crowther is thinking big as he tweets: "I hope United don't take their foot off the pedal now they're champions, they should go for record points."

Luke Buxton tweets: "Got a feeling it's going to be another classic today,United to smash Arsenal 4-0, with RVP (2), Rooney and Cleverley to score."

Byron Kelly writes: "Three points for Arsenal are much needed for Champions League football next year but United want the points record aswell. The guard of honour is total respect for me as a United fan. Predict 3-1 to the champions."

Chud writes: "United line-up not looking like they're taking this game lightly. Arsenal can graft a result when they sometimes need to though. I'll still go for a Utd win and RVP WILL score. 2-1 United!"

Chris Green writes: "This match has produced some classics over the years, and I really hope today's game is going to be just that. Coming to the Emirates is tough for any team, but if United perform to their potential and put Arsenal under pressure from the first whistle then they shouldn't have any problems here this prediction: Arsenal 1-3 Man United (RVP to bag a brace)."

Robin van Persie returns to face his former club this afternoon. There is set to be a guard of honour from the hosts to mark United's achievements, but one-time Arsenal favourite Van Persie is set for a hot reception as passions still ran high following his controversial £24million move last summer. Wayne Rooney and Nani both started in attack. Arsenal need a win to stay ahead in the race for Champions League qualification, and look set to deploy German forward Lukas Podolski in a central striker role with 17-goal Olivier Giroud starting a three-match ban for his red card at Fulham. England midfielder Jack Wilshere has to again be content with a place on the bench, as does captain Thomas Vermaelen.

Man Utd: De Gea, Rafael, Ferdinand, Evans, Evra; Valencia, Carrick, Jones, Nani; Rooney, Van Persie. Subs: Lindegaard, Anderson, Giggs, Hernandez, Cleverley, Kagawa, Buttner.

Arsenal: Szczesny, Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Gibbs, Arteta, Ramsey, Rosicky, Cazorla, Walcott, Podolski. Subs: Mannone, Vermaelen, Jenkinson, Monreal, Wilshere, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Gervinho.

Arsenal have been backed into 11/10 by Sky Bet to boost their top-four hopes with a win today, with Manchester United (5/2) attracting far less than their usual level of support. All eyes will be on Robin van Persie is his return to the Emirates - the Dutch strike is price boosted to 6/1 to score first.

Good afternoon everyone and welcome to live coverage of Arsenal v Manchester United in the Premier League. United were confirmed as champions on Monday night, but for Arsenal, victory is imperative to gurantee a top-four spot and Champions League football next season. This fixture has been far from quiet in recent years, could we in for a classic today? Send your messages to or @JWoodfield365

Kick-off is at 1600 GMT.

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