Arsenal missed the chance to return to the top of the Premier League as they played out a grim goalless stalemate with Manchester United at Emirates Stadium.

The Gunners were attempting to recover from the 5-1 mauling at Liverpool, while United were desperate to bounce back from the 2-2 draw at home to bottom club Fulham.

And it showed in a game that was desperately disappointing in between a flurry of chances in the opening and closing minutes, ending in a result that did not serve the purposes of Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger or United counterpart David Moyes, other than in avoiding defeat.

Former Arsenal striker Robin van Persie came closest for the visitors but his early effort was saved by Wojciech Szczesny, who also turned the Dutchman's late header onto the bar.

Arsenal 0-0 Man Utd: David Moyes says fight for fourth will continue

Olivier Giroud missed Arsenal's best opportunity although Santi Cazorla brought two fine late saves out of United keeper David De Gea and Laurent Koscielny's header was cleared off the line by Antonio Valencia.

For too long, however, this was a poor game between two sides who seemed intent on avoiding defeat as their first priority - and a shadow of previous games between these two clubs in recent years.

Moyes is still waiting for his first win at Arsenal in his managerial career, while the home side could not land a morale-boosting blow in their pursuit of the title as they remained a point adrift of leaders Chelsea.

United, meanwhile, are still seventh, now 11 points behind fourth-placed Liverpool.

The excitement of the opening moments and an exchange of chances proved to be a false dawn ahead of a turgid first half.

Away days

Manchester United have only lost one of their past 14 meetings with Arsenal in all competitions

Van Persie should have punished his former club when he robbed Mikel Arteta 25 yards out to advance on Szczesny but his shot lacked power and the keeper was able to save low down.

Giroud then wasted an equally good opportunity when he muscled his way ahead of Nemanja Vidic only to head Cazorla's corner wide.

De Gea then needed to make a diving stop as Tomas Rosicky's shot deflected off Vidic - but otherwise this was stale fare from two teams who have produced so much better.

Moyes made an enforced change at the start of the second half as he sent on Rio Ferdinand for Rafael, who had taken a blow to the head in an aerial challenge with Giroud.

It was Arsenal who came closest again just after the hour when Koscielny rose to meet another Cazorla corner only to see his header swept off the line by Valencia.

As the game entered its final 20 minutes both Wenger and Moyes attempted to give their sides fresh impetus as Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain replaced Rosicky and Adnan Januzaj replaced the subdued Juan Mata.

There had been little sign of any partnership between Rooney and Van Persie but the pair linked superbly as United almost went ahead with 11 minutes left. Rooney's cross found Van Persie at the far post but Szczesny reacted superbly to push his header on to the bar.

Arsenal responded as the game finally showed signs of life, De Gea doing well to save from Cazorla on two separate occasions in the closing minutes, but there was no breakthrough.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger:

"Overall, we could have won it - it was a game of few chances. Our defensive focus was extreme as we conceded so many goals on Saturday.

"In the end, either side could have won 1-0. Manchester United are a good team, so when you go forward they can catch you.

"It is important to recover physically and prepare for the next game as we want to stay in the FA Cup. The title race is absolutely open for many teams."

Lineup, Bookings (3) & Substitutions (4)

Arsenal

  • 01 Szczesny
  • 03 Sagna Booked
  • 28 Gibbs
  • 10 Wilshere
  • 04 Mertesacker
  • 06 Koscielny
  • 07 Rosicky (Oxlade-Chamberlain - 74' )
  • 08 Arteta
  • 12 Giroud
  • 11 Özil
  • 19 Cazorla

Substitutes

  • 09 Podolski
  • 15 Oxlade-Chamberlain
  • 17 Monreal
  • 21 Fabianski
  • 22 Sanogo
  • 23 Bendtner
  • 25 Jenkinson

Manchester United

  • 01 de Gea
  • 02 Rafael (Ferdinand - 45' )
  • 03 Evra
  • 23 Cleverley
  • 12 Smalling
  • 15 Vidic
  • 25 Antonio Valencia Booked (Young - 82' Booked )
  • 16 Carrick
  • 20 van Persie
  • 10 Rooney
  • 08 Mata (Januzaj - 75' )

Substitutes

  • 05 Ferdinand
  • 13 Lindegaard
  • 14 Hernández
  • 18 Young
  • 28 Büttner
  • 31 Fellaini
  • 44 Januzaj
Ref: Mark Clattenburg
Att: 60,021

Match Stats

Shots

17 6

On target

5 2

Corners

5 5

Fouls

10 14

Live Text Commentary

Full time

Full Time Match ends, Arsenal 0, Manchester United 0.

90:00 +3:00 Full time

Full Time Second Half ends, Arsenal 0, Manchester United 0.

90:00 +1:52 Booking

Booking Ashley Young (Manchester United) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

90:00 +1:44

Bacary Sagna (Arsenal) wins a free kick on the right wing.

90:00 +1:44

Foul by Ashley Young (Manchester United).

89:59

Attempt saved. Santiago Cazorla (Arsenal) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Olivier Giroud.

89:24

Attempt blocked. Mesut Özil (Arsenal) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

88:37

Santiago Cazorla (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

88:37

Foul by Patrice Evra (Manchester United).

86:48 Booking

Booking Bacary Sagna (Arsenal) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

86:43

Foul by Bacary Sagna (Arsenal).

86:43

Wayne Rooney (Manchester United) wins a free kick on the left wing.

85:54

Mikel Arteta (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

85:54

Foul by Robin van Persie (Manchester United).

84:02

Attempt blocked. Santiago Cazorla (Arsenal) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Mesut Özil.

83:16

Attempt saved. Santiago Cazorla (Arsenal) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Mesut Özil.

82:05

Attempt blocked. Santiago Cazorla (Arsenal) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Mesut Özil.

81:17 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Manchester United. Ashley Young replaces Luis Antonio Valencia.

79:51

Mikel Arteta (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

79:51

Foul by Adnan Januzaj (Manchester United).

78:52

Attempt saved. Robin van Persie (Manchester United) header from the left side of the six yard box is saved in the top left corner. Assisted by Wayne Rooney with a cross.

74:20 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Manchester United. Adnan Januzaj replaces Juan Mata.

74:00 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Arsenal. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain replaces Tomas Rosicky.

73:38

Attempt missed. Tomas Rosicky (Arsenal) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Mesut Özil.

72:27 Booking

Booking Luis Antonio Valencia (Manchester United) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

72:23

Jack Wilshere (Arsenal) wins a free kick on the left wing.

72:23

Foul by Luis Antonio Valencia (Manchester United).

72:04

Laurent Koscielny (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

72:04

Foul by Robin van Persie (Manchester United).

71:42

Foul by Tomas Rosicky (Arsenal).

71:42

Juan Mata (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

68:46

Foul by Tomas Rosicky (Arsenal).

68:46

Patrice Evra (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

68:13

Offside, Manchester United. Chris Smalling tries a through ball, but Robin van Persie is caught offside.

67:55

Foul by Jack Wilshere (Arsenal).

67:55

Chris Smalling (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

66:34

Hand ball by Juan Mata (Manchester United).

65:48

Olivier Giroud (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

65:48

Foul by Nemanja Vidic (Manchester United).

65:21

Attempt missed. Juan Mata (Manchester United) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the right. Assisted by Tom Cleverley.

64:07

Attempt missed. Olivier Giroud (Arsenal) header from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Kieran Gibbs with a cross.

61:37

Attempt blocked. Laurent Koscielny (Arsenal) header from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Mesut Özil with a cross.

61:16

Corner, Arsenal. Conceded by Nemanja Vidic.

60:38

Foul by Mikel Arteta (Arsenal).

60:38

Juan Mata (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

52:56

Attempt missed. Juan Mata (Manchester United) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the left following a corner.

52:29

Corner, Manchester United. Conceded by Bacary Sagna.

49:56

Foul by Jack Wilshere (Arsenal).

49:56

Tom Cleverley (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

45:30

Foul by Santiago Cazorla (Arsenal).

45:30

Chris Smalling (Manchester United) wins a free kick on the right wing.

45:00

Second Half begins Arsenal 0, Manchester United 0.

45:00 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Manchester United. Rio Ferdinand replaces Rafael because of an injury.

45:00 +2:00 Half time

Half Time First Half ends, Arsenal 0, Manchester United 0.

45:00 +0:19

Corner, Arsenal. Conceded by Nemanja Vidic.

45:00 +0:16

Attempt blocked. Olivier Giroud (Arsenal) header from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Santiago Cazorla with a cross.

44:51

Bacary Sagna (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

44:51

Foul by Wayne Rooney (Manchester United).

44:11

Corner, Manchester United. Conceded by Kieran Gibbs.

43:17

Attempt blocked. Santiago Cazorla (Arsenal) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Tomas Rosicky.

41:47

Foul by Olivier Giroud (Arsenal).

41:47

Chris Smalling (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

41:00

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

38:35

Delay in match Olivier Giroud (Arsenal) because of an injury.

38:33

Delay in match Rafael (Manchester United) because of an injury.

35:18

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

34:40

Delay in match Kieran Gibbs (Arsenal) because of an injury.

34:16

Attempt saved. Kieran Gibbs (Arsenal) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Santiago Cazorla.

33:10

Corner, Arsenal. Conceded by Chris Smalling.

31:53

Foul by Kieran Gibbs (Arsenal).

31:53

Luis Antonio Valencia (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

31:21

Attempt blocked. Mikel Arteta (Arsenal) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

30:33

Jack Wilshere (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

30:33

Foul by Tom Cleverley (Manchester United).

28:45

Attempt missed. Olivier Giroud (Arsenal) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Mikel Arteta.

26:36

Jack Wilshere (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

26:36

Foul by Nemanja Vidic (Manchester United).

25:57

Corner, Manchester United. Conceded by Bacary Sagna.

24:18

Attempt missed. Olivier Giroud (Arsenal) header from the centre of the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Santiago Cazorla with a cross following a corner.

23:51

Corner, Arsenal. Conceded by Chris Smalling.

22:56

Olivier Giroud (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

22:56

Foul by Nemanja Vidic (Manchester United).

22:22

Offside, Manchester United. Tom Cleverley tries a through ball, but Wayne Rooney is caught offside.

21:41

Corner, Manchester United. Conceded by Kieran Gibbs.

17:37

Attempt missed. Robin van Persie (Manchester United) right footed shot from the left side of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Juan Mata with a through ball.

12:42

Offside, Arsenal. Mesut Özil tries a through ball, but Santiago Cazorla is caught offside.

11:14

Laurent Koscielny (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

11:14

Foul by Luis Antonio Valencia (Manchester United).

9:16

Attempt saved. Tomas Rosicky (Arsenal) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Mesut Özil.

6:12

Attempt blocked. Nemanja Vidic (Manchester United) header from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Tom Cleverley with a cross.

5:54

Corner, Manchester United. Conceded by Laurent Koscielny.

4:43

Foul by Nemanja Vidic (Manchester United).

4:43

Olivier Giroud (Arsenal) wins a free kick on the right wing.

3:41

Attempt missed. Olivier Giroud (Arsenal) header from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Santiago Cazorla with a cross following a corner.

3:13

Corner, Arsenal. Conceded by Chris Smalling.

3:11

Attempt blocked. Jack Wilshere (Arsenal) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Mesut Özil.

2:31

Juan Mata (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

2:31

Foul by Mikel Arteta (Arsenal).

1:18

Attempt saved. Robin van Persie (Manchester United) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

0:00

First Half begins.

0:00

Lineups are announced and players are warming up.

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