The international break is out of the way now and attention has duly shifted to league actions across the world. In England, one of the greatest rivalries in club football which has aptly been described as ‘Battle of the Buffet’ will hold at Old Trafford where Manchester United will lay ambush for Arsenal.
The bitter relationship between United manager Jose Mourinho and Arsenal’s Arsene Wenger could easily overshadow the the need to concentrate on club interests though the flash points between Patrick Viera and Roy Keane are still indelible in the minds of fans of both sides- and neutrals alike.
The Gunners are currently fourth in the table with 24 points and United are two places adrift on 18 points. Wenger has never won in a competitive game against Mourinho whilst in charge of Chelsea and the Portuguese’s verbal attack on Wenger whom he referred to as ‘Specialist in Failure” has featured prominently on previews ahead of this Saturday’s clash.
Newslegend.com.ng’s IZUCHUKWU OKOSI picks out the games he feels are the ten most memorable in recent memory between these Premier League foes.
1) Arsenal 1-2 Manchester United (FA Cup 1999 semi-final replay)
The FA Cup is a competition passionately followed in England as much as the Premier League and the last FA Cup
semi-final replay will always be remembered for one of the greatest goals scored in the competition.
After David Beckham fired Man United ahead and Dennis Bergkamp equalised, the match was evenly poised before Peter
Schmeichel stopped an injury-time penalty from Bergkamp. Ryan Giggs would then score a Maradonaesque goal from
half-line as he dribbled through the Arsenal defence to put Manchester United on their way to a historic treble.
2) Manchester United 6-1 Arsenal (Premier League 2001)
Before the 8-2 drubbing, there was the 6-1 at Old Trafford where the Red Devils wrapped up their seventh title in
nine season to go 16 points clear. Dwight Yorke scored a hat-trick while Roy Keane, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Teddy
Sheringham scored goals to hand Wenger a comprehensive defeat.
3) Manchester United 0-1 Arsenal (Premier League 2002)
The Gunners would have their revenge a year later as they beat Manchester United 1-0 at Old Trafford to wrap up the
title. Slyvain Wiltord scored the only goal of the match, and completed their second double in four years.
4) Arsenal 2-2 Manchester United (Premier League 2003)
Manchester United would look to get back the title they thought was their own, a year later when they went to
Highbury with a three-point lead at the summit. Dutch hitman Ruud Van Nistelrooy scored in the first half before the
Thierry Henry scored 2 goals to put Arsenal ahead. However, Giggs equalised and Man Utd would go on to win the
5) Manchester United 0-0 Arsenal (Premier League 2003)
The next game would see one of the most classic scoreless games of all time. The Arsenal-United rivalry was at its
peak and the match would be remembered for eight yellow cards, a Patrick Viera-sending off and Ruud Van Nistelrooy’s
missed penalty in the 91st minute. It’s ironic to see Arsene Wenger complaining about Diego Costa’s behaviour now
when you see how Martin Keown heckled Nistelrooy after the miss. Wenger’s side wouldn’t lose another game for the
rest of the season as they notched up a 49-game unbeaten strike.
6) Manchester United 2-0 Arsenal (Premier League 2004)
Ruud Van Nistelrooy would have his revenge a year later when they ended the unbeaten run of the Invincibles as he
scored the penalty that would condemn Arsenal to a 2-0 defeat. The match would also be remembered for the incident
that would come to be known as Pizzagate as someone threw pizza at Sir Alex Ferguson. However, neither Manchester
United nor Arsenal would win the league as Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea ran out winners.
7) Arsenal 2-4 Manchester United (Premier League 2005)
The infamous tunnel incident took place in this match as Roy Keane told Patrick Viera “I will see you out there”.
United ran out 4-2 winners but failed to win the league as Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea with a new billionaire owner once
again emerged champions of the English Premier League.
8) Manchester United 0-0 Arsenal (FA Cup Final 2005, Arsenal win 5-4 on penalties)
Man United dominated the match against the Gunners but failed to breach their goal and in extra-time Paul Scholes
missed the penalty that allowed Arsenal to lift the FA Cup. This defeat would however be an important lesson for the
likes of Rooney and Ronaldo who would return stronger.
9. Manchester United 8-2 Arsenal (Premier League 2011)
A naive Arsenal side, devoid of the newly-departed Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri, were destroyed by Manchester
United which included a hat-trick by Wayne Rooney, two for Ashley Young and goals for Welbeck, Nani and Park.
Walcott and Van Persie scored for the Gunners, but despite the victory, United would lose the title to their ‘Noisy
Neighbours’ who would win the league in extra time.
10. Manchester United 3-2 Arsenal (Premier League 2016)
Teenager Marcus Rashford scored twice and set up the third as Manchester United derailed Arsenal’s Premier League
title challenge at Old Trafford on Sunday, 28 February 2016.
Rashford, who scored twice on his debut against FC Midtjylland penultimate Thursday, steered in a loose ball for the
opener then headed in three minutes later.
Former United schoolboy Danny Welbeck nodded Arsenal back into the game, but Rashford picked out Ander Herrera whose
shot was deflected in.
Mesut Ozil’s volley gave third-placed Arsenal hope, but United held on.
Arsenal – who have not won the title since 2004 – remain in third place, five points adrift of leaders Leicester
having now played the same number of matches.
The Red Devils moved back into fifth position with their first win in three league games. Wenger described it as his worst defeat since his 20 years in charge of the Gunners.