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Arsenal's invincibles make history

LONDON, England -- Arsenal capped an astonishing league season by becoming the first team in 115 years to remain unbeaten in the English top flight after a 2-1 win over Leicester.

The champions matched the achievement of Preston, known as the Invincibles, in 1888/9. Preston played 22 matches, while Arsenal have played 38 in the Premier League, winning 26.

Relegated Leicester took a shock first-half lead through Paul Dickov but Thierry Henry, the league's top scorer, equalised from the penalty spot with his 30th goal of the season.

Captain Patrick Vieira slid home the winner in the 66th minute to take Arsenal's points tally to 90, 11 clear of second-placed Chelsea who beat relegated Leeds United 1-0. It is the first time that two London clubs have finished first and second in the championship.

Arsene Wenger, who won his third league title as Arsenal manager after 1998 and 2002, said: "We are very proud because until you get there, you really can't believe that it's possible.

"It's a fantastic moment for us. I always had that dream and to fulfil it now is absolutely marvellous."

Henry said: "I think you saw in the second half that we really wanted to go unbeaten all season and it is something more than amazing. People will remember that the season 2003-04 we were unbeatable."

Third-placed Manchester United, who go into the Champions League qualifying rounds, beat Aston Villa 2-0 despite having Darren Fletcher and Cristiano Ronaldo sent off.

Ronaldo had put United in front after just four minutes, with Ruud van Nistelrooy also on target six minutes later.

Liverpool, already guaranteed fourth place and the final Champions League berth, rounded off their season with a 1-1 draw against fifth-placed Newcastle.

Michael Owen scored in the second half to cancel out Shola Ameobi's opening effort for the visitors.

In other matches, Yakubu Ayegbeni scored four times in Portsmouth's 5-1 win over Middlesbrough while Paulo Wanchope scored twice as Manchester City finished with a 5-1 win over Everton.

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