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By ESPN Staff

'Arsenal defeat was a kick in the teeth' - Neville

Captain Gary Neville described Manchester United's 2-1 defeat to Arsenal as 'a kick in the teeth' - but insisted his men will bounce back.

The Premiership leaders had been on course to open a nine-point advantage over Chelsea when Wayne Rooney broke his scoring duck to put them ahead at the Emirates Stadium.

But Arsenal levelled late through Robin Van Persie and then snatched the victory deep into injury time with a brilliant header from Thierry Henry.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger suggested United had been 10 minutes from winning the title - and it certainly was a missed opportunity after Chelsea's defeat to Liverpool on Saturday.

Neville said: 'It's a kick in the teeth for us but we have to recover from that.

'The fact we're still six points clear is no consolation to us. It's difficult to think of the positives. We've played a lot worse here and won.

'Overall it was a good performance but it was ruined. We're disappointed to say the least.'

Neville added: 'It's a hard defeat but we'll recover, we'll be OK. We've got to get back on the winning track.'

United dominated the first half but were denied just before the interval by Jens Lehmann's brilliant reaction save from a Henrik Larsson header.

Rooney spent most of the game on the right flank as United packed the midfield and he arrived at the far post to score his first goal since December 9.

United then paid for trying to kill the game off and Neville was frustrated with their defending in the closing stages as Arsenal threw everything forward.

'We defended well until the last five minutes, then they started putting a lot of long balls forward which is unusual for them,' said Neville.

'Every goal can be avoided, things could have been done differently but we've got to pick ourselves up and get on with it. We must look at what went wrong in those five minutes.'