Date:Monday April 14 2008
Interview Length: 2 Min 15 Sec
To listen to Arsene Wenger's post-match interview CLICK HERE
It was a matter of all or nothing for Arsenal at Old Trafford - win and their fading title hopes were back on track whilst defeat meant they were out of it, all bar mathematically, with the top two in such fine form.
Arsene Wenger's criticism of officials has been well documented this week - the Gunners boss insisted in his post-match interview at Old Trafford that his side 'are not stupid' after being handed documents regarding referees back in March.
However it was his team which benefitted from both referee & linesman as Emmanuel Adebayor ended his two month Premier League goal drought when his 'header' appeared to go in off his left hand, just 3 minutes into the second half. Some might say Wenger is hypocritical for his after match comments, yet others would argue that for once theirluck was deserved after a frustrating few matches. Regardless, Arsenal were back in the title hunt, but the roar greeting their goal was probably loudest on the King's Road. Chelsea, sitting in second, saw this as their opportunity. Victory for Arsenal and the path of title was in the Blues' hands with Fergie's men still to visit Stamford Bridge.
However, as in midweek, an Adebayor goal was cancelled out within a few minutes by a penalty. Unlike Liverpool in the Champions League in midweek, this was a more clear cut decision for referee Harold Webb with William Gallas handballing in the box. Cristiano Ronaldo's penalty, at the second time of asking, found the corner beyond the outstretched hand of the returning Jens Lehmann.
Despite this Arsenal continued to press forward. Truth be known they could and maybe should have extended their lead prior to United's equaliser when Rio Ferdinand seemed to have deflected the ball into his own net. Alas, Edwin Van Der Sar pulled off the first of his two great saves of the day from his own defence, the other just tipping on to the post when Wes Brown deflected a cross from the superb Gael Clichy with the scores tied.
And with 20 minutes remaining, Arsenal found themselves behind. A dubious free-kick decision after a foul by Gilberto on Patrice Evra, it was England midfielder Owen Hargreaves scoring only his second for the club with inch perfect accuracy which left Lehmann stranded.
It was a scene all too reminiscent of the Gunners' recent loss to Chelsea three weeks ago. Taking the lead early in the second half and yet still managing to lose, coupled with Tuesday's 4-2 defeat at Liverpool after grabbing the early advantage.
But Wenger revealed he was in fact proud of his team, who have achieved an 'outstanding' feat this season with their performances. All this praise, albeit with just 2 wins in their last 13 matches in all competitions.
Date:Monday April 14 2008
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