Arsenal wrest Premier League title

Updated: 25 February 2007 08:27 IST

Arsenal secure the Premier League title with a 1-0 win over Manchester United.

Arsenal wrest Premier League title

Old Trafford:

Four days after winning the F.A. Cup final, Arsenal completed the double on Wednesday by securing the English Premier League title with a 1-0 win away to the former champions Manchester United. Sylvain Wiltord scored the only goal of a tense game at Old Trafford in the 57th minute to help the London club secure a historic victory and emulate the achievements of Arsenal's previous double winners from 1971 and 1988. The Gunners from north London became the first top-flight side since Preston North End in 1888-89 not to lose an away game all season, they also set a new club record of 12 consecutive League victories in beating United to equal the existing record set by the deposed champions in 2000, Wednesday's win created a new Arsenal record of eight consecutive League away wins while the Frenchman's goal extended Arsenal's run of scoring in all of the 37 league games they have played this season. Arsenal - still on a high after their English F.A. Cup final victory over Chelsea at the weekend - travelled to second-placed Manchester United on Wednesday knowing just a draw would be enough to hand them the English Premier League title. For United, apart from the obvious incentive of keeping the title race open, there was also the chance to deny their visitors a unique record of going through a whole domestic season without being beaten away from home. With so much at stake, the football was unlikely to be pretty and so it proved in a dour and tense first half, with just two chances created and both of them occurring in the first three minutes before the defences had had a chance to settle down. The first opening fell to Arsenal's Sylvain Wiltord but his fierce volley on the turn was deflected away for a corner. At the other end, United defender Wes Brown got his head to a cross from the left but his effort went just over the crossbar. The second half started in the same fashion but after 56 minutes, Arsenal got the vital breakthrough. It started as United midfielder Juan Sebastian Veron lost the ball on the halfway line. It broke to in-form Freddie Ljungberg, who burst through the home defence and although United goalkeeper Fabien Barthez blocked the Swede's shot, French international Wiltord was left unmarked to convert the rebound. One-nil to Arsenal and they nearly snatched a second with 15 minutes to go as Kanu ran at a tiring United defence but his shot went wide. The home side looked dispirited and were unable to create any chances against the well-organised Arsenal rearguard. United's only chance of the second period fell to captain Roy Keane four minutes from time but he was unable to direct his header from Ryan Giggs's corner anywhere near the Arsenal goal. So, to the final whistle and Arsenal's well-deserved and joyous celebrations after the win against what was - on the night and, appropriately enough, over the season - a clearly second-best Manchester United. The London side had not only won the double for the third time in their history, after similar successes in 1971 and 1998, but they also ensured that a whole host of new records were set. They became the first top-flight side since Preston North End in 1888-89 not to lose an away game all season. The team also set a new club record of 12 consecutive League victories while beating United, equalling the Premiership record set by the deposed champions in 2000. Furthermore, Wednesday's win created a new Arsenal record of eight consecutive League away wins and Wiltord's goal extended Arsenal's run of scoring in every one of the 37 league games they have played this season. So, much to celebrate for coach Arsene Wenger, his players, coaching staff and the jubilant visiting fans. Premiership table after Wednesday's matches:
 PWDLFAPts
1. Arsenal (champions)372593753384
2. Liverpool372386623077
3. Manchester United372449874576
4. Newcastle United372188734971
5. Chelsea3717137653564
6. Leeds United3717128523763
7. Tottenham Hotspur3714815485150
8. West Ham United3714815465650
9. Aston Villa37111412434647
10. Middlesbrough3712916354645
11. Fulham37101413364144
12. Blackburn Rovers37111016525143
13. Everton37111016425343
14. Charlton Athletic37101314384943
15. Southampton3711917435342
16. Bolton Wanderers3791315436040
17. Sunderland3710918285039
18. Ipswich Town379919415936
19. Derby County (relegated)378524326229
20. Leicester City (relegated)3741320286325

Topics : Football
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