Premier League
Man UtdManchester United1ArsenalArsenal1

Manchester United 1-1 Arsenal

By Phil McNultyChief football writer at Old Trafford
Theo Walcott
Theo Walcott, without a goal since February, saw his cross deflected in
  • Arsenal retain grip on third place
  • Herrera scores eighth goal of the season
  • Blackett deflects in Walcott cross
  • De Gea limps off, Valdes makes debut

Arsenal will secure third place in the Premier League if they beat Sunderland on Wednesday after Theo Walcott's deflected cross gave them a late equaliser and a point at Manchester United.

Ander Herrera's first-half strike gave United a lead they deserved in a game low on intensity with both teams already assured of places in next season's Champions League.

Arsenal barely raised a gallop for the first hour but finally came to life in the closing stages and levelled when substitute Walcott's cross was diverted past keeper Victor Valdes off Tyler Blackett.

Former Barcelona keeper Valdes was on for David De Gea, who went off with an injury on what may well be his final Old Trafford appearance as speculation mounts that he will make a summer move back to his native Spain with Real Madrid.

'Louis van Gaal knows what he needs to do'
Phil Neville: "Van Gaal has achieved his aim for his first year at United by securing a top-four finish and a return to the Champions League. Because of that, it has been a good season for him. Now his next target is to win the title, and I don't think United are far away from being champions again."
Read more: 'Why Man Utd can challenge Chelsea'

One man who looked like he was definitely saying farewell to Old Trafford was on-loan striker Radamel Falcao, who struggled badly for an hour before being replaced by Robin van Persie, taking time to wave to United's fans as he walked off.

Man Utd were unlucky - Van Gaal

In his programme notes, manager Louis van Gaal suggested a club of United's stature should not be celebrating fourth place - but it was hard to argue with his assertion that this season has been a move in the right direction after the dismal brief reign of his predecessor David Moyes.

Arsenal will confirm a third-placed finish, and a Champions League group-stage spot, with victory against the Black Cats at Emirates Stadium, leaving United to contest the competition's qualifiers.

Van Gaal addressed Old Trafford briefly after the final whistle before the Stretford End chanted loudly for De Gea in a clear attempt to convince him that this was the place where he should stay. Whether it will work is open to question.

Theo Walcott
Walcott had been on the pitch for 10 minutes when he helped Arsenal draw level

Such was the lame nature of Arsenal's first-half performance that they failed to muster a single shot, the first time they have produced this miserable statistic since a 2-1 defeat at Liverpool in November 2004.

United were far more energetic and were rewarded with the lead after 30 minutes when Herrera arrived at the far post to meet Ashley Young's cross after he had escaped from Hector Bellerin.

Match facts
Arsenal conceded a first-half goal in the Premier League for the first time since New Year's Day against Southampton.
Ander Herrera has scored six goals from seven shots on target in the Premier League this season.
Manchester United have gone eight Premier League games without a clean sheet for the first time since September 2001.
Tyler Blackett's own goal was the second to befall a Manchester United player in a Premier League game against Arsenal - after Gary Pallister found his own net in a 2-2 draw at Highbury in March 1994.

Van Gaal made a predictable change on the hour, replacing the labouring Falcao with Van Persie. The Colombian's body language suggested that this was the final time he would be seen at Old Trafford as a Manchester United player.

The other United player whose future has become a matter of public debate, De Gea, showed why he is so highly prized when finally called into action just after the hour, reacting quickly to block Olivier Giroud as he threatened from an angle.

Arsenal 'took over' in second half

He needed Marcos Rojo to rescue him when Arsenal, finally showing signs of life, threatened again. Aaron Ramsey lofted the ball over the onrushing De Gea but Rojo recovered to clear the danger.

De Gea then left the action prematurely as he went down injured and was replaced by Valdes.

The debutant had barely had time to make any sort of contribution when Arsenal equalised, Walcott's cross taking a big deflection off Blackett to wrong-foot the keeper.

Ander Herrera
Ander Herrera's goal was his sixth in the Premier League this season
Olivier Giroud
Arsenal failed to muster a shot on goal in the first half of a league game for the first time since 2004
David De Gea
Keeper David De Gea, linked with a move to Real Madrid, limped off after half-time
Victor Valdes
Replacement keeper Victor Valdes was making his first senior appearance since March 2014


Man Utd

Formation 4-1-4-1

  • 1de GeaSubstituted forValdésat 74'minutes
  • 25A Valencia
  • 12Smalling
  • 4Jones
  • 5RojoSubstituted forBlackettat 73'minutes
  • 17Blind
  • 8Mata
  • 21HerreraBooked at 90mins
  • 31Fellaini
  • 18Young
  • 9FalcaoSubstituted forvan Persieat 61'minutes


  • 7Di María
  • 11Januzaj
  • 20van Persie
  • 32Valdés
  • 33McNair
  • 42Blackett
  • 49Wilson


Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 13Ospina
  • 39BellerinSubstituted forWalcottat 72'minutes
  • 4Mertesacker
  • 6Koscielny
  • 18Monreal
  • 34Coquelin
  • 19CazorlaSubstituted forWilshereat 73'minutes
  • 16Ramsey
  • 11Özil
  • 17SánchezSubstituted forFlaminiat 90'minutes
  • 12Giroud


  • 1Szczesny
  • 3Gibbs
  • 5Gabriel
  • 7Rosicky
  • 10Wilshere
  • 14Walcott
  • 20Flamini
Mike Dean

Match Stats

Home TeamMan UtdAway TeamArsenal
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Manchester United 1, Arsenal 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Manchester United 1, Arsenal 1.

  3. Booking

    Ander Herrera (Manchester United) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  4. Post update

    Foul by Ander Herrera (Manchester United).

  5. Post update

    Mathieu Flamini (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  6. Post update

    Offside, Manchester United. Ashley Young tries a through ball, but Juan Mata is caught offside.

  7. Post update

    Foul by Antonio Valencia (Manchester United).

  8. Post update

    Mesut Özil (Arsenal) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  9. Substitution

    Substitution, Arsenal. Mathieu Flamini replaces Alexis Sánchez.

  10. Post update

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

  11. Post update

    Attempt saved. Alexis Sánchez (Arsenal) right footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Aaron Ramsey.

  12. Post update

    Attempt missed. Robin van Persie (Manchester United) right footed shot from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Marouane Fellaini with a headed pass.

  13. Post update

    Foul by Ander Herrera (Manchester United).

  14. Post update

    Aaron Ramsey (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  15. Post update

    Attempt missed. Olivier Giroud (Arsenal) left footed shot from the left side of the six yard box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Mesut Özil.

  16. Post update

    Attempt saved. Chris Smalling (Manchester United) header from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Ander Herrera with a cross.

  17. Goal!

    Own Goal by Tyler Blackett, Manchester United. Manchester United 1, Arsenal 1.

  18. Post update

    Foul by Juan Mata (Manchester United).

  19. Post update

    Aaron Ramsey (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  20. Post update

    Corner, Manchester United. Conceded by Laurent Koscielny.

As It Stood

2Man City37237781384376
4Man Utd37209862372569
11West Ham371211144445-147
12Crystal Palace37129164651-545
13West Brom361011153447-1341
15Aston Villa37108193156-2538
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