For many football fans of a certain age the game between Arsenal and Manchester United is the definitive Premier League fixture. Let’s not kid ourselves, neither of the two sides are what they used to be but make no mistake they will both be desperate for three points when they meet this weekend.
Manchester United are resurgent, they are the league’s best hope of catching Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City while Arsenal, despite all the talk, have just overtaken Spurs and look well placed to re-establish themselves as a Champions League side.
The traditional rivals go in to this weekend’s game at the Emirates with the majority of their big guns back and firing on all cylinders so it should be a cracker. With that in mind The Football Faithful look back at 5 of the best games between Manchester United and Arsenal.
Arsenal 1-2 Manchester United (after extra-time, FA Cup semi-final replay) 1999
It’s difficult to look beyond this one, David Beckham put United ahead from distance before Denis Bergkamp levelled the score. Deep in stoppage time the Dutchman had the chance to win it for the Gunners from the spot but Peter Schmeichel saved his effort and when Ryan Giggs picked up Patrick Viera’s misplaced pass, he set off on a run that would go down in history.
Manchester United 0-1 Arsenal 2002
Arsenal made the trip to Old Trafford in May 2002 knowing that just a point against their bitter rivals would secure them the title. In fact, Slyvain Wiltord’s 55th minute goal did more than that. It was a goal that won the title at their rivals ground, it ensured Arsenal had made it through the entire season without losing an away game and secured the London club’s second double in four years. Not a bad day’s work.
Arsenal 2-2 Manchester United (2003)
The following year Manchester United arrived at Highbury three points clear in the league, but Arsenal had a game in hand. A victory for the Gunners would give them the advantage and the momentum going in to the end of the season.
Ruud Van Nistelrooy gave the visitors a first half lead, but a double from Thierry Henry seemed to have given Arsenal the win. The Gunners had barely finished celebrating when that man, Ryan Giggs, popped up again with a heartbreaking equaliser which secured the draw and helped the Red Devils regain the title by five points.
Manchester United 0-0 Arsenal (2003)
Just a few months later the rivalry between the two clubs was taken to a new level. This is probably the most iconic 0-0 draw in Premier League history. 8 yellow cards, a red for Arsenal Captain Patrick Viera and a missed 91st minute penalty from Van Nistelrooy that prompted Martin Keown jump in front of and roar in to the face of the Dutch striker. Inches from defeat, Arsenal went on to finish the season unbeaten and win back the title from their northern nemeses.
Manchester United 8-2 Arsenal (2011)
Sorry Arsenal fans, probably best to look away now, we would 8-2 see you upset about this one.