Greatest Man Utd v Arsenal moments ahead of Old Trafford collision
Sam Barnard | 19 November 2016
Greatest Man Utd v Arsenal moments
There just so happens to be the mammoth match-up that is Manchester United v Arsenal this Saturday lunchtime. Important for the Gunners’ trophy aspirations and United’s chances of staying in the race for the top four, we remember when this feisty fixture used to be a Premier League title decider.
So, with Saturday’s scuffle and all that history in mind, Coral football writers have come up with 10 of the greatest Man Utd v Arsenal moments.
Hang onto your hats, as there are great goals, controversial confrontations, personal rivalries and famous finals galore…
Five minute final (FA Cup, 1979)
Man Utd mounted a famous FA Cup final comeback in this classic – with late goals by Gordon McQueen and Sammy McIlroy to level the scoreline after Arsenal had finished the first-half two to the good.
But the Gunners weren’t done, and Alan Sunderland ensured finale frustration for Dave Sexton’s Red Devils with an even more last-gasp goal to win it 3-2 for the Londoners.
Owing to this last frantic and thrilling passage of play, this United v Gunners clash has since been known as the ‘five minute final.’ Phew.
Relive it below:
Arsenal penalty supremacy (FA Cup, 2005)
In a more modern FA Cup final meeting, it was the Gunners that came out top again. The match itself at a rainy Wembley was far from memorable, with Man Utd failing to capitalise on their early ascendancy and Arsenal down to 10 men as the encounter ended in a normal time stalemate.
Spot-kicks were forced and the momentum went instead with Arsenal (7/4 with Coral in our Premier League odds to win this weekend) who eventually won 5-4 in a dramatic shootout, with Paul Scholes missing his penalty and Patrick Vieira converting the winner to dethrone the FA Cup champions.
Man Utd 8-2 Arsenal (Premier League, 2011)
Gunners support may want to shield their eyes as we remember this one, as it just so happened to be the English capital club’s worst loss since way back in 1896.
Arsene Wenger’s men were set upon by the Red Devils in this league liaison. Running riot, Wayne Rooney hit a hat-trick, Ashley Young bagged a brace and there were also goals from Danny Welbeck, Nani and Park Ji-Sung, plus consolations from Theo Walcott and Robin van Persie (then still on Arsenal’s side). Added drama in this 10-goal thriller also arrived in the form of a missed penalty and red card.
This game really had it all, so see the highlights below:
That FA Cup goal by Ryan Giggs (FA Cup, 1999)
Of course we couldn’t get too far into this feature without bringing up THAT goal. This is the defining strike of Man Utd v Arsenal matches in the modern era and perhaps even the most iconic in FA Cup history.
As soon to be Sir Alex Ferguson’s side cantered to an unprecedented (for an English side) treble, biggest trophy rivals the Gunners got in their way in the FA Cup semi-finals. The rest is history.
After the first leg finished 0-0 the two teams could not be split at Old Trafford either after goals from Dennis Bergkamp and David Beckham.
It looked like going all the way to penalties until Ryan Giggs took the game by the scruff of the neck deep in extra-time, with an incredible mazy run almost the length of the pitch. After evading Arsenal’s defence, Giggs…well, we’ll let you watch the moment again…
Roy Keane v Patrick Vieira (Premier League, 2005)
The tunnel spat which summed up the extent of Man Utd and Arsenal’s tense rivalry in the late 1990s and early 2000s. This famous scene in the Highbury tunnel reinforced captain Roy Keane’s hard-man image, as the Irishman got into an x-rated altercation with opposite number Viera.
“I’ll see you out there,” was the menacing line left to linger from Keane as the Red Devils ran out 4-2 winners.
Battle of the buffet (Premier League, 2004)
Continuing on with the theme of fraying tempers, who could forget the incident dubbed ‘battle of the buffet’ by British press, as the Red Devils ended the Gunners’ famous 49-match unbeaten run.
No longer the ‘Invincibles’, Arsenal fell 2-0 after a contentious penalty was awarded to the hosts in a generally bad-tempered battle which saw a series of tough challenges and controversial refereeing calls.
While, after the heated match, there were reports of a pizza-throwing exchange in the tunnel – with Sir Alex Ferguson said to have been splattered with a slice by an Arsenal player.
Martin Keown v Ruud van Nistlerooy (Premier League, 2003)
At the height of the rivalry between these two giant clubs it wasn’t just Keane and Vieira who didn’t get along. Defender Martin Keown also had a cross to bear with striker Ruud van Nistlerooy.
This tense tussle eventually ended 0-0 but usually ruthless Van Nistlerooy missed a glorious chance to clinch the game with a missed penalty at the very last. Keown could hardly contain his delight and, as the final whistle went, launched a famous pumped-up celebratory challenge at the striker with other Arsenal players following suit and jostling the Dutchman.
If you’re interested, Keown also recently recreated his infamous move on the marksman for Football Focus’ Mannequin Challenge…
Arsenal at the double (Premier League, 2002)
Arsenal required only a point to celebrate winning the Premier League on enemy turf at Old Trafford in 2002, as they were slowly being fine tuned by Wenger to eventually become ‘the Invincibles’.
The Gunners went one better than just a draw though with a hard-fought 1-0 win courtesy of a goal from Slyvain Wiltord on his 100th appearance for Arsenal. What a way to celebrate a century! While, this victory also meant Wenger’s men landed a historic double having won the FA Cup the weekend before.
Man Utd 6-1 Arsenal (Premier League, 2001)
United all but had the title in the bag after this, as the Red Devils displayed their dominance in this display to go 16 clear of the Gunners in the league.
Thierry Henry chalked up an early consolation as the Manchester club crushed their opponents in the first 45 to end the half 5-1 up, thanks to a hat-trick from Dwight Yorke and goals from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Keane, while Teddy Sheringham bookmarked the battering with a late goal in the second.
Arsenal 3-0 Man Utd (Premier League, 2015)
In what reinforced the turning of the tide since Ferguson’s retirement, Louis van Gaal’s guys were the team soft in the centre when they last visited the Emirates.
Arsenal tore through the Red Devils with ease thanks to a deadly double from Alexis Sanchez, with Mesut Ozil’s goal the cherry on the cake. United’s ageing midfield of Bastian Schweinsteiger and Michael Carrick were completely overrun. Jose Mourinho will be hoping to come away with a better result than his predecessor this time around, with Man Utd priced at 31/20 to snatch all three points.