ARSENAL 1, MANCHESTER UNITED 1
Robin Van Persie braved the taunts at the Emirates Stadium to level the scores with his 29th goal of the season from the penalty spot and earn United a point away at Arsenal on his return to the North London club that had been his home for eight years.
The Gunners performed a now customary guard of honour for the visiting Barclays Premier League Champions but a number of home fans ignored Arsene Wenger’s plea to treat their returning former talisman with respect and booed the Dutchman throughout the game.
It was Van Persie’s error in the opening stages that gave Arsenal the first say during the game too, with Thomas Rosicky finding Theo Walcott who capitalised and put the home side in front after just 3 minutes.
Santi Cazorla was denied by David De Gea from 25 yards as the Gunners tried to extend their lead with a more physical approach but they found United adapting quickly before the forcing the home side into desperate measures.
United were resurgent later in the first half when Phil Jones headed wide from Van Persie’s cross and Van Persie himself had an effort blocked by Wojciech Szczesny. The Gunners finally buckled under the Uited assault when Bacary Sagna lost the ball to Van Persie then fouled him in an attempt to win it back.
This paved the way for a penalty which the Dutchman drilled past Szczesny to level the scores shortly before half time.
United’s momentum continued after the break and Wayne Rooney might have scored but headed directly at Szczesny while Sagna might have been sent off for a second bookable offence on Patrice Evra.
Arsenal brought Jack Wilshere on in an attempt to regain control of midfield and Cazorla might have scored a winner towards the end, as could substitute Ryan Giggs but honours remained even.