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Manchester United were 2-1 winners at the Emirates Stadium with a late goal proving decisive against Arsenal in the Premier League, as the champions kept pace with the leaders Manchester City on Sunday.

With Man City managing a 3-2 win against Spurs, courtesy an injury time penalty from Mario Balotelli, it was necessary United won and prevented themselves from going five points behind their neighbours.

The opening half hour of the match passed without much incident, barring Phil Jones' injury which led to him being stretchered off with a twisted ankle. However, with fifteen minutes remaining in the first half, the teams moved up a gear. Minutes before half-time, Ryan Giggs sent in a inch-perfect cross from the left flank towards the far post where Antonio Valencia burried an unstoppable header, sending the visitors into the break with a 1-0 lead.

It was a determined Arsenal who came out for the second half, and for much of the period, the home side had United on the back foot. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain proved an instrumental figure when the equalizer came, slipping infield before letting Robin van Persie through on goal. True to his form, the Dutchman clinically shot first-time across towards the far post, just past Ander Lindergaard's reach, sending the Emirates into raptures.

However, there was twenty minutes remaining. United probed spiritedly as tackles flew in from both sides. Danny Welbeck silenced the London crowd after fine work from Valencia, who had surged into the box, lured the keeper out before squaring for Welbeck to finish.

Manchester United currently stand at second in the league, three points behind Man City, while the third successive defeat, despite being harsh on the side, left Arsenal five points behind fourth-placed Chelsea.