2008-03-16

Arsenal fall to second place as they tie with Middlesbrough

Wenger team dropped into second place in the English Premier League after struggling to a 1-1 draw at home to FC Middlesbrough, while the rivals Manchester United managed a 1-0 triumph over cellar-dwellers Derby to take the first position of the tournament.

In fact, former Arsenal player Jeremie Aliadiere opened the scoring for Middlesbrough after 26 minutes with a tap-in from six yards, despite claims of off-side by Arsenal defenders.

The London squad then pressed for much of the match only to be repeatedly thwarted by Middlesbrough’s Australian keeper Mark Shwarzer, before Kolo Toure powered home a header three minutes from fulltime.

The gunners coach Arsene Wenger was unhappy to let more precious points slip away but insisted his side could break its four-year run without a title.

“It is really disappointing but I feel we didn't get the result we deserved. The team gave absolutely everything but it doesn't go for us at the moment,” Wenger admitted. “We have to keep our spirit. We could now earned eight points more and hopefully we won't regret that at the end of the season.”

With Manchester United victory, now Ferguson's team lead Arsenal on goal difference and have a game in hand, with both sides sitting on 67 points. Chelsea, also with a match up its sleeve, is three points back on 64 going into the season’s home stretch.

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