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England round-up: Goater denies United

Published: Sunday 9 February 2003, 23.00CET
Neither Manchester United FC nor Arsenal FC won on Sunday, both drawing their matches 1-1.

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Published: Sunday 9 February 2003, 23.00CET

England round-up: Goater denies United

Neither Manchester United FC nor Arsenal FC won on Sunday, both drawing their matches 1-1.

Manchester United FC's bid to reclaim the Premiership title was dealt a blow by Manchester City FC as the teams drew their derby 1-1 at Old Trafford - the same final score as Arsenal FC's match at Newcastle United FC.

Early lead
United, beaten 3-1 at Maine Road earlier in the season, had won six league games in a row, and seemed set for another when Ruud van Nistelrooij beat Carlo Nash, deputising for Peter Schmeichel after the Dane injured himself in the warm-up, to a Ryan Giggs cross in the 18th minute.

Goater levels
But United could not make the most of their chances, and Shaun Goater, who scored twice in their previous meeting, came off the bench to head the equaliser with his first touch with four minutes remaining - and had another goal ruled out in added time for an earlier Nicolas Anelka handball.

'A fairytale'
City manager Kevin Keegan said of his goalscorer: "It was a fairytale for Shaun. Shaun was released by United as a kid and scored his 100th City goal against them in our win earlier in the season. You know that whatever you ask him to do, he will give it a go and he showed a great finish to score with his first touch."

'Carelessness cost us'
His opposite number, Sir Alex Ferguson, said: "We could have been two or three up by the time we scored. In the first half we played really well but then we started to give the ball away and that carelessness cost us. We were shabby in the last third at times but in fairness to City they kept going at us and deserved the point."

Three-point gap
United remain three points behind Arsenal FC, who drew 1-1 at Newcastle United FC. Thierry Henry put the Londoners ahead 35 minutes into the game, but Laurent Robert equalised with a long-range effort eight minutes into the second half.

Robert dismissed
Although Robert was sent off five minutes later for two bookings in quick succession, Newcastle held on comfortably to end the weekend in third place, eight points behind Arsenal with a game in hand.

Last updated: 10/02/03 12.15CET

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