Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Premier League - Park sends United top!!!
Ji-Sung Park scored the winner as Manchester United returned to the top of the Premier League with a 1-0 victory over Arsenal at Old Trafford!!!
The South Korean struck in the 41st minute, diverting a header over debutant keeper Wojciech Szczesny as United leapfrogged the Londoners at the top of the table.
United could even afford a missed second-half penalty from Wayne Rooney as they went two points ahead of Arsenal with a game in hand and broke a club record for their best unbeaten start to the season in the process, extending their run to 16 games.
The goal came as Nani’s cross from the right deflected off Gael Clichy and Park adjusted his body quickly to direct his effort over the 20-year-old Pole and in-off the post.
The Gunners were better after the break but created few clear-cut chances and have now won just once in their last 10 matches against United.
Szczesny became the youngest keeper used in the Premier League this season and Rooney and Nani tested his handling early on but he was equal to the task.
He was flat footed however when Sebastien Squillaci headed Darren Fletcher’s cross straight to Nani whose first time shot flashed past the post.
Rooney then curled an effort straight into the welcoming arms of Szczesny before a strong penalty shout was waved away when Nani’s cross struck the hand of Marouane Chamakh.
Chamakh’s stooping header was the visitors’ only effort on goal in the opening period although they had a chance for an instant equaliser only for Andrey Arshavin to drag his shot past the post.
Szczesny made an excellent stop soon after the break as Rooney’s toe poke found Anderson and he was denied by Arsenal’s third choice custodian who came out and made the starfish save made famous on this ground by Peter Schemichel.
Arsenal continued to struggle to carve out clear-cut chances and when Samir Nasri’s shot was pushed out by Edwin van der Sar only as far as Chamakh, the outstanding Nemanja Vidic slid in to block the follow-up.
Nani then spurned a great chance as he lifted his shot over the crossbar before Arsene Wenger made a double change with the introduction of skipper Cesc Fabregas, returning after a hamstring injury, and Robin van Persie.
The match should have been settled 17 minutes from time when Nani hit the ball against the arm of Clichy, who was on the ground after slipping, and referee Howard Webb pointed to the penalty spot on the advice of his assistant.
But Rooney lifted the ball high over the crossbar – his fourth miss in his last nine Premier League penalty attempts.
Rooney almost made amends in audacious fashion but his chip was palmed away by the leaping Szczesny and United were never really put under sustained pressure.
Theo Walcott looked lively in a brief cameo but when he volleyed over deep into injury-time, Arsenal’s last chance had gone and they have now failed to score in six of their last nine League visits to Old Trafford.
Posted by mohammad adam Shafian at 6:54 AM