Arsenal–Manchester United rivalry is a notable rivalry in English football as both clubs are recognized as having great history and traditions. The two clubs have frequently been in the same division since 1919, but the rivalry has largely arisen since 1990s. Many of the clashes in recent times between the two teams in the late 1990s and early 2000s have been due to the teams being fierce rivals for the Premier League and FA Cup.

Arsenal and Manchester United have met 218 times, Manchester United winning 92 and Arsenal 78. With the two sides clashing this weekend, we take a look back at 5 of the best Arsenal-Manchester United fixtures.

5. Arsenal 4 – 5 Manchester United – 1 February 1958

A particularly memorable match between the two sides came on 1 February 1958 when they met in a league fixture at Highbury -the last league game that United played before the Munich air disaster five days later, that claimed the lives of eight of their players and saw two other players injured to such an extent that they never played again. Manchester United won the game 5–4.

4. Arsenal 3 – 2 Manchester United – FA Cup Final 12 May 1979

Another high profile clash came in the final of the FA Cup on 12 May 1979 in a 100,000 crowd. Arsenal took a 2–0 lead in the first half thanks to goals from Brian Talbot and Frank Stapleton and with just five minutes left on the clock their lead was still intact. In the 86th minute, Gordon McQueen pulled a goal back for United and two minutes later they equalised with a goal from Sammy McIlroy. Barely a minute after United equalised Arsenal’s Alan Sunderland scored an 89th minute goal to win the cup 3–2 for Arsenal.


3. Manchester united 6 – 1 Arsenal – February 2001

Arsenal were fighting for the title during this grudge match at Old Trafford however this game put their hopes to sleep as the Red Devils managed to go 16 points clear of the Gunners. Arsenal and United were the top teams during that time and so no one expected Ferguson’s side to hit 6 past Arsenal. A Dwight Yorke hat-trick silenced the critics after his average season and showed the difference in class between Arsenal and Manchester United that year.

2. Manchester United 2 Arsenal 1 – 1999 FA Cup Semi Final

United took the lead early through David Beckham before conceding a sloppy goal to Dennis Bergkamp. Arsenal began to dominate play as United captain Roy Keane was sent off and it looked like the game was Arsenal’s for the taking with United losing their anchor-man in midfield. Arsenal had the opportunity to seize the victory when late into stoppage time of the second half Arsenal won a penalty, but Schmeichel saved the woeful spot-kick to force extra-time. 20 minutes into extra time and Patrick Vieira lost the ball to a young Ryan Giggs who dribbled past all of Arsenal’s defence and shot into the roof of the net when one-on-one with David Seaman and won the game 2-1 for United.

1. Manchester United 8-2 Arsenal – August 2011

In August 2011, Arsenal suffered their heaviest league defeat in 84 years as they lost 8–2 to Manchester United at Old Trafford. Arsenal had not lost a league game by such a margin since 1927 when they lost 7–0 to West Ham United. This was also the first time Arsenal had conceded eight goals in a game since 1896. Danny Welbeck opened the scoring with a header before Young and Rooney scored stunning goals from outside the box to cancel out Walcott’s goal late in the first half. At half-time no one would’ve expected Manchester United to grab another 5 goals but United showed no mercy as Rooney bagged another two, Young scored another great goal and Park and Giggs got on the score-sheet also. It was an exciting 10 goal game which no Manchester United fan will ever forget; and one Gooners will only think about in their nightmares as they wish to remove their team’s biggest ever Premier League loss from their memories.


Picture Courtesy: bornoffside

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