Arsenal beat Man U 1-0

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Emmanuel Adebayor scored in the 85th minute on Sunday to give Arsenal a 1-0 victory at Manchester United in the English Premier League.

Updated: February 25, 2007 11:36 IST
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Emmanuel Adebayor scored in the 85th minute on Sunday to give Arsenal a 1-0 victory at Manchester United in the English Premier League. Cesc Febregas won the ball from United midfielder Cristiano Ronaldo and fed it through the middle. United goalkeeper Tomasz Kuszczak raced off his line, but Adebayor got there first and scored. United almost equalised a minute later when Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who replaced Wayne Rooney in the 78th, fired a low shot which Arsenal goalkeeper Jens Lehmann tipped around the post. In the 12th minute, Kuszczak, who was making his league debut in goal for United, saved a penalty from Gilberto Silva. While Arsenal celebrated its first league victory of the season, and first over United in 10 games, United's first loss means Portsmouth takes over first place with 13 points. United, which had started with four straight victories, is second with 12 points, and the Gunners climbed to 10th. Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said that the result and performance showed that the Gunners were still title contenders despite failing to win any of its first three league games. "Everybody has written us off straight away," Wenger said. "When you open the newspapers, you think you're going to play in division one next year." Wenger added that Sunday's win was only a few days after an impressive 2-1 Champions League victory at Hamburg. "We won in the Champions League in Hamburg and we come to Manchester United four days later and won. If you don't have special qualities you don't do that," the Arsenal manager said. United manager Alex Ferguson said his team tired late in the game, largely because of the hard work needed in Wednesday's 3-2 Champions League victory over Celtic. "I think in the second half we were tired, but Arsenal deserved to win the match," Ferguson said. "We had some good chances, particularly in the first half, but not enough to win the match. I don't think we lost overall control but in the last 25 minutes I felt Arsenal were stronger." Not blaming Ronaldo The United manager refused to blame Ronaldo for giving the ball away for the goal. "He lost possession because he's always trying to beat men. That's the kind of player he is and that's what we want here, an exciting player who wants to make things happen," Ferguson said. For a game watched by a Premier League record of 75,595, both sides were without key men because of injuries - United missing Ryan Giggs and Arsenal without Thierry Henry. With Rooney and Paul Scholes back after suspension, United had a great chance to keep its perfect start going but it was Arsenal which dominated the first half. With United goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar missing because of a stomach upset, Kuszczak made his first appearance for United since his move from West Bromwich Albion. But he was judged to have pulled down Adebayor as the Togo striker chased a through ball from Tomas Rosicky. He then saved the weakly taken spot kick from Gilberto Silva. It was a busy debut for the Pole and, when he blocked a header from William Gallas, Scholes rescued him by clearing the ball off the line. Lehmann made an even more dramatic save two minutes before halftime and didn't even need his hands or legs. Ronaldo controlled a cross on the left side of goal and his powerful shot struck the German in the face. Although Louis Saha shaved the Arsenal post with a header, the Gunners created more chances after the break with Adebayor firing too high and Gallas heading wide of the far post. Ronaldo handed Arsenal a great chance in the 64th when he gave the ball away deep in his own half with a weak pass and Adebayor raced clear only to shoot too close to Kuszczak, who dived low to his left to save. United fans were unhappy with manager Alex Ferguson when he took off both Rooney and Scholes with 12 minutes to go, although both players had been disappointing on their return to league action after three-game layoffs. Arsenal substitute Julio Baptista, who is on loan from Real Madrid, almost scored in the 80th when he finished a weaving run with a right-foot shot that flew wide. (AP)

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