Now for Chelsea

Paul Hyland

ARSENAL done and now for Chelsea. Alex Ferguson is sitting pretty at the top of the Premier League while his rivals fume and wonder how he does it.

After a masterful display of management in difficult times, Ferguson set Manchester United up to take a decisive stranglehold on the Premier League title with a crucial 1-0 win over Arsenal at Old Trafford, with another crucial fixture to come against struggling Chelsea on Sunday next.

"Sunday is a massive game," said Ferguson. "That will go a long way to establishing what happens at the top of the league. We are 16 games undefeated.

"Now, we have to go on from here and make it 17."

Ferguson has steered his players to the top of the pile, despite the fact that Wayne Rooney continues to shoot blanks.

Ominously, Rooney is showing definite signs of a return to form but he fell short of his best again with a wild penalty miss last night.

"I was surprised at Wayne hitting it over the bar," said Ferguson.

"I have never seen him do that before. He normally puts his shots on target.

"Against Rangers he hit it hard and low into the corner. Today he ballooned it over the bar."