clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Arsenal's streak ends at 49

English team hadn't lost since May 4, 2003

MANCHESTER, England — Ruud van Nistelrooy's 73rd-minute penalty kick and Wayne Rooney's injury-time goal gave Manchester United a 2-0 victory Sunday over league-leading Arsenal, ending the Gunners' unbeaten league streak at 49 games and moving the Red Devils back into the league chase.

Van Nistelrooy scored after Rooney was brought down in the penalty box by Sol Campbell, who kicked out his left leg hoping to slow the Manchester United striker.

Three minutes into second-half injury time, Rooney broke in and beat Arsenal goalie Jens Lehmann with a side-footed shot. The goal came on the English striker's 19th birthday.

Van Nistelrooy missed an injury-time penalty kick in this match last season, which ended in a scoreless tie and prompted a mass brawl. This time, he made no mistake, beating Lehmann — who went to his right and watched the ball go in to his left.

Arsenal still leads the Premier League with 25 points, followed by Chelsea (23), Everton (22) and Bolton (18). The win pushed United up to 17 points.

Billed as the match of the early season, the game was a fast-paced, fierce midfield contest in front of a sellout crowd of 67,862 at Old Trafford.

"We said this match could stick-start our season," Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand said. "Now we put ourselves in a better position where we can get some confidence throughout the team."

In other matches Sunday it was: Middlesbrough 1, Portsmouth 1; Newcastle 4, Manchester City 3 and Southampton 0, Birmingham 0.

Arsenal's previous defeat in a league game was a 3-2 loss to Leeds on May 4, 2003. No other English club has gone undefeated for so many league games since the Football League began in 1888.

Arsenal broke the previous English record of 42 games without a loss set by Nottingham Forest in the 1977-78 and 1978-79 seasons on Aug. 25 after going through last season undefeated on its way to the Premier League title.