A worldwide television audience of 500 million watched as Manchester United ended Arsenals 49 game unbeaten record.
The 2-0 home win by Manchester United breathed new life into their league campaign, narrowing the gap between them and their bitter rivals to 8 points.
Manchester United's Wayne Rooney in an aerial challenge with Arsenal's Sol Campbell. It would be an incident between the two that would gice United the edge in a tense encounter. Picture: www.bbc.co.uk/sport
The first goal was scored from the penalty spot after a controversial decision in 73 minutes by referee Mike Reilly.
Unitedís new wonder kid Wayne Rooney went down after a challenge by fellow England International player Sol Campbell.
There seemed to be minimal contact but the referee pointed to the spot and the penalty kick was ruthlessly dispatched by Dutch International Ruud Van Nistelrooy to put Manchester United one goal ahead.
The match was sealed for United in the final minute of the game as Wayne Rooney, celebrating his 19th birthday today, scored after Arsenal players were caught up field trying to get an equalising goal.
Arsenal will be extremely disappointed to lose their 49 game unbeaten record to their fierce rivals and they may point to a couple of refereeing decisions which did not go their way.
As well as the controversial penalty there was also an incident in the 1st half where United defender Rio Ferdinand caught Arsenalís Freddie Ljunberg as he was heading for goal. Ferdinand could easily have been sent off, but referee Reilly ignored the incident and waved play on.
Arsenal remain top of the league on 25 points, but their lead is now down to 2 points after Chelsea had a 4-0 home win on Saturday against struggling Blackburn Rovers. Surprise packages Everton and Bolton Wanderers are 3rd and 4th respectively, while Manchester United move up to 5th position on 17 points.
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