LONDON, AFP - Arsenal and Manchester United each had cause for regret after playing out an attritional and occasionally turgid 0-0 draw at the Emirates Stadium in the Premier League yesterday.
Both teams suffered damaging results at the weekend, Arsenal crashing 5-1 at Liverpool and United drawing 2-2 at home to bottom club Fulham, and the tentativeness on either side made for a game of only sporadic excitement.
Robin van Persie came closest to scoring for United, spurning an excellent early chance and later hitting the crossbar with a header, while Arsenal centre-back Laurent Koscielny had a header cleared of the line.
Arsenal would have gone top of the table with victory, but the draw left Arsene Wenger's side a point behind Chelsea in second place.
"The title race is absolutely open for many teams," said Wenger.
"Overall, we could have won it. It was a game of few chances. Our defensive focus was extreme as we conceded so many goals on Saturday. In the end, either side could have won 1-0."
The result also had costly ramifications for United, who fell 11 points below fourth-place Liverpool in the race for Champions League football after the Merseyside club won 3-2 at Fulham.
"We have a lot of catching up to do. We have to win games and keep plugging away," said United manager David Moyes.
"I am pleased, but I wanted all three points. Arsenal are having a great season, so it is not a bad draw for us.
"The last couple of games we have had Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie back. The record with the two of them has been very good."