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Wednesday, 8 May, 2002, 20:56 GMT 21:56 UK
Arsenal clinch Double
Freddie Ljungberg, Ray Parlour and Sylvain Wiltord celebrate for Arsenal
Unbridled joy for Arsenal at Old Trafford
Manchester United 0-1 Arsenal
  Photo Gallery: See this story in pictures
  Sports Talk: Your reaction to Arsenal's title

Arsenal sealed the Double in style as they added the Premiership title to the FA Cup with victory at Manchester United.

Arsene Wenger's side repeated their feat of four years ago by striding into enemy territory at Old Trafford and stamping their authority on Sir Alex Ferguson's side.

Sylvain Wiltord's goal on his 100th Arsenal appearance maintained their record of scoring in every league game this season - and none was sweeter than his second-half strike that started the title celebrations.

Ljungberg turns away to celebrate

Arsenal kept their composure in the face of a fierce early physical assault from United as Ferguson's side relinquished their crown in graceless fashion.

It was a bitterly disappointing end to United's season as they saw their closest rivals take their title off them on home soil.

Arsenal inflicted United's sixth home league defeat this season and ensured they would be unbeaten on their travels - a statistic that sums up exactly why Wenger can now take his place in Highbury folklore.

  Wenger targets more success

Manchester United boss Ferguson sprung a surprise by leaving top scorer Ruud Van Nistelrooy on the bench, revealing the Dutch striker had been showing signs of tiredness in recent weeks.

Nicky Butt was also missing with a knee injury, but Arsenal were robbed of Thierry Henry, Dennis Bergkamp and Tony Adams.


I've proved the club means a lot to me - I hope I have given the club back what it deserves
Arsenal's Patrick Vieira

The opening 45 minutes was played in a frantic atmosphere - and United were fortunate to survive the first half without losing at least one player to a red card.

Ferguson's three-time champions were intent on knocking Arsenal out of their stride, but occasionally crossed the line into illegality.

Paul Scholes was lucky not to be sent off for a wild challenge on Edu and Phil Neville was again shown leniency by referee Paul Durkin for a senseless lunge at Sylvain Wiltord.

Roy Keane got in on the act by flattening midfield rival Patrick Vieira as temperatures threatened to boil over - but for all Manchester United's bluster, Arsenal rarely came under threat.

Diego Forlan was busy but ineffective, carrying little of the threat that could have been posed by Van Nistelrooy.

Arsenal were penned in their own half, only breaking the shackles in the opening minute when Wiltord's close range shot was blocked by Laurent Blanc.

The Londoners finally tested the United rearguard three minutes after the interval when Wiltord's cross almost found Edu, but the Brazilian's stretch was in vain.

And a careless moment from Fabien Barthez almost let in Wiltord, but he was slow to take advantage of his fellow countryman's poor clearance.

Composed finish

There was no escape for Barthez or United after 55 minutes when Wiltord scored the goal that inched the championship closer to north London.

Mikael Silvestre carelessly gifted possession to Wiltord, who found Freddie Ljungberg on a trademark run from midfield.

Arsenal's recent match-winner in chief beat Blanc before forcing a fine save from Barthez, but Wiltord was on hand to steer home a composed finish.

Ferguson took only two minutes to decide to go for broke, sending on Van Nistelrooy for the limping Juan Sebastian Veron.

Van Nistelrooy's introduction did little to knock Arsenal out of their mood of calm command as United faced a desperate struggle to keep their title hopes alive.

Arsenal showed the resilience that compliments their silky style, and demonstrated exactly why they are worthy champions by adding another Double to previous triumphs in 1971 and 1998.

  How Arsenal won the title


Man Utd: Barthez, Phil Neville, Blanc, Brown, Silvestre, Scholes, Keane, Veron (van Nistelrooy 58), Giggs, Solskjaer, Forlan (Fortune 68).
Subs Not Used: Carroll, O'Shea, Wallwork.

Booked: Scholes, Phil Neville, Keane, Blanc.

Arsenal: Seaman, Lauren, Keown, Campbell, Cole, Ljungberg, Parlour, Vieira, Edu, Wiltord, Kanu (Dixon 89).
Subs Not Used: Jeffers, Bergkamp, Wright, Stepanovs.

Booked: Edu, Lauren.

Attendance: 67,580

Referee: P Durkin (Dorset)

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC Five Live's Ian Brown
"Both major domestic trophies for Arsenal"
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger
"We did it in style tonight"
Arsenal midfielder Patrick Vieira
"We've worked so hard"
Man Utd boss Sir Alex Ferguson
"Arsenal were the better team"
 VOTE RESULTS
Who held the key to Arsenal's title triumph?

Arsene Wenger
 46.01% 

Thierry Henry
 30.07% 

Robert Pires
 11.23% 

Freddie Ljungberg
 12.68% 

276 Votes Cast

Results are indicative and may not reflect public opinion
Reports and reaction as Arsenal win the Premiership

Arsenal are champions

Winning the battle

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