Cyprus Mail
Premier League Sport

Arsenal stay ahead in race for third after draw with Man Utd

Arsenal's Theo Walcott celebrates scoring the equaliser at Old Trafford

By Mike Collett

Manchester United and Arsenal battled to a 1-1 draw at Old Trafford on Sunday to leave the Londoners ahead in the race to qualify directly for next season’s Champions League group stage without having to face a playoff.

Ander Herrera volleyed United ahead after 30 minutes with Arsenal equalising in the 82nd minute when Theo Walcott’s shot deflected off Tyler Blackett and flew past Victor Valdes for an own goal.

Valdes was only seven minutes into his first United appearance after replacing the injured David De Gea.

The result lifted Arsenal on to 71 points with two matches to play with United on 69 with one game to go.
Arsenal can still catch Manchester City and finish second, while United can still catch Arsenal and finish third with the top three places securing a group stage place in the Champions League next season.

Manchester City made sure they will finish in the top three by beating Swansea City 4-2 earlier on Sunday. Chelsea, who have sealed the title, play at West Bromwich Albion on Monday.

United went ahead when Ashley Young got the better of Hector Bellerin out on the left and crossed to the far post where the unmarked Herrera took his chance well, firing past David Ospina with a low volley.

Arsene Wenger named an unchanged Arsenal side for the sixth match running, something he had not done for 21 years, but they failed to muster a shot on target in the first half with United largely in control.

They improved after the break and Olivier Giroud forced United keeper De Gea to scramble clear after 63 minutes. De Gea was also nearly beaten soon after when Aaron Ramsey broke free but saw his lob cleared by Marcos Rojo.

De Gea though limped off soon after and was replaced by Valdes, making his first appearance for United since joining from Barcelona in January.
He was helpless though as the shot from substitute Walcott flew past him after taking a deflection off United’s other sub Blackett.

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