Date: 10th April 2006 at 8:40pm
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MAN UTD: Van der Sar, Neville, Ferdinand, Vidic, Silvestre, Ronaldo, O’Shea, Giggs, Park (Evra 84), Rooney, van Nistelrooy (Saha 62).

Subs Not Used: Howard, Brown, Pique.

ARSENAL: Lehmann, Eboue, Senderos, Toure, Flamini, Hleb (Ljungberg 74), Fabregas (Diaby 69), Silva, Pires, Van Persie (Henry 69), Adebayor.

Subs Not Used: Poom, Djourou.

Att: 70,908

The build up started well enough at noon as we watch the match in the pub – the Hammers took the lead at Stamford Bridge and the Blues were reduced to ten men – but then we realised we had to do it off our own back.

In front of 70,908 – the biggest crowd ever to see United play a game at Old Trafford, the two most successful sides of the Premiership era produced a thrilling spectacle.

Wayne Rooney laughed off his betting problems that came to light in the morning newspapers, and got back to doing what he does best. After all, he hasn’t got a bloody CLUE how to pick horses!

Taking down Mikael Silvestre’s magnificent left-wing cross with one superb touch, Rooney blasted home his 17th goal of the season. But before that he was robbed of a goal when Kolo Toure, having fallen over a prone Jens Lehmann – dived despairingly at the ball as it flashed goalwards and turned it onto the post.

It was a save Lehmann himself would have been proud of, and although Rooney demonstrated what happened – Graham Poll didn’t quite read it as it was and waved play on. The most blatant penalty of the season turned down, not to mention a red card.

But Rooney broke through the second time in those opening 45 minutes, to open the scoring. And in the second half, striding on to Gary Neville’s pass, riding Senderos’ challenge, Rooney had the presence of mind to find Park with a cut-back which the South Korean gleefully bundled home.