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7 times Manchester United v Arsenal lived up to the hype

The two meet this Sunday at 4pm at the Emirates Stadium.

Louis Van Gaal will be the happier of the two on recent form.
Louis Van Gaal will be the happier of the two on recent form.
Image: PA Wire/PA Images

TOP-OF-THE-TABLE Manchester United travel to the Emirates on Sunday evening in a game that could see them move 6 points clear of fouth-placed Arsenal.

The Gunners’ Champions League form will undoubtedly worry Arsene Wenger, but Louis Van Gaal will be pleased that his side are coming into this one on the back of 4 victories since their 2-1 loss at PSV Eindhoven 2 weeks ago.

Over the years United and Arsenal have contested some classics, and here are some of those to whet your footballing appetite ahead of Super Sunday.

1. Battle of Old Trafford

Manchester United 0-0 Arsenal, September 2003, Premier League, Old Trafford

Arsenal won the league this season but they certainly did not win the hearts of the neutral supporter after their treatment of United’s Ruud Van Nistelrooy following a late penalty miss.

Patrick Vieira had earlier been sent off, and in the aftermath of the game fines were dished out to five Arsenal and two United players. This one set the tone for the next Old Trafford battle between the two 13 months later.

Source: BestFightsInSport/YouTube

2. Battle of the Buffet

Manchester United 2-0 Arsenal, October 2004, Premier League, Old Trafford

Before the game Arsenal were THE team to beat in the English game, lying top of the table having gone 49-games unbeaten.

Ruud Van Nistelrooy got the opener from the spot and Roy Carroll made a string of crucial saves for the Red Devils. Wayne Rooney sealed it with a tap-in on his 19th birthday, but who could forget the accusations of pizza-throwing in the tunnel afterwards.

Source: Luv Kanyal/YouTube

3. Arsenal clinch the title

Manchester United 0-1 Arsenal, May 2002, Premier League, Old Trafford

Sylvain Wiltord’s scored the only goal of the game in this one as Arsenal clinched the Premier League title (and thus the double) at Old Trafford having lifted the FA Cup earlier in the week.

It was a sixth home defeat of the season for United and a bitter pill to swallow for Sir Alex Ferguson, having led his charges to the title in the previous three seasons.

Source: Adrian Houghton/YouTube

4. The Five-minute final

Arsenal 3-2 Manchester United, May 1979, FA Cup final, Wembley

For over 85 minutes this game was fairly unremarkable, but contained one of the greatest finishes in FA Cup final history.

The Gunners had been 2-0 up at half-time with strikes from Brian Talbot and Irishman Frank Stapleton. A Gordon McQueen set-piece and impressive Sammy McIlroy dribble and finish set up a grandstand finish, with Alan Sunderland netting the dramatic winner for Terry Neill and his Arsenal side.

David O’Leary and Liam Brady also started for Arsenal on the day.

Source: Steve McKeogh/YouTube

5. Giggsy’s hairy chest

Manchester United 2-1 Arsenal, April 1999, FA Cup semi-final replay, Villa Park

What a game this was. David Beckham’s stunning opener, Bergkamp’s equalizer, Roy Keane’s sending off, Schmeichel’s last-minute penalty save, and Giggsy’s sublime winner that will go down as one of the great goals. United would of course go on to clinch an unprecedented treble.

Source: mattyredman/YouTube

6. A day you’d 8-2 be an Arsenal fan

Manchester United 8-2 Arsenal, August 2011, Premier League, Old Trafford

This game will go down as one of Arsene Wenger’s worst days in charge of the Gunners.

Francis Coquelin was particularly bad on the day for Arsenal, but in fairness no one had even a sniff of a decent game for the away side.

A Wayne Rooney hat-trick and a stunning brace from Ashley Young helped United on their way, and one future United man, Robin van Persie, bagged a consolation for Arsenal. Look away now if you’re an Arsenal fan.

Source: Nameless/YouTube

7. The beginning of the rivalry?

Manchester United 0-1 Arsenal, October 1990, Premier League, Old Trafford

Arsenal won this game with a goal from Anders Limpar, and would go on to win the league despite points reductions arising from this game.

It is historically viewed as the beginning of the rivalry between the clubs, with a tackle by Nigel Winterburn on Denis Irwin initiating a 21-man brawl.

It is still the only instance in English league football history wherein a team has been docked points due to player misconduct (United were also docked one). Let’s hope the talking is done on the pitch this weekend.

Source: g00nerak/YouTube

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Shane Hannon

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