Six memorable Arsenal v Manchester United games since 2000
Arsenal and Manchester United square up again this weekend. From 1997-2005, the pair were undoubtedly the biggest and best two sides in the country, and the sparring between the likes of Arsene Wenger and Sir Alex Ferguson, Patrick Vieira and Roy Keane, and Martin Keown and Ruud van Nistelrooy has taken on legendary status. Not to mention Pizzagate and Ryan Giggs’ wonderful solo winner that helped United win the treble in 1999. With both clubs in relative flux these days, some of the quality might be lacking, but the ferocity certainly won’t be. To celebrate the occasion, we look back at six of their more memorable clashes in recent memory.
Arsenal 1 – 0 Manchester United – 30th Sept 2000
After notching up an impressive 26 goals in his first season, Thierry Henry cemented his place in the hearts of Gunners fans in this game, scoring one of the best goals of the Premier League era. Stood just outside the box with his back to goal, he received the ball to feet, flicked it up and volleyed it straight into the top corner, all in one deft turn.
Manchester United 0 – 1 Arsenal – 8th May 2002
With the double in their sights, Arsenal turned up at Old Trafford knowing a point would clinch the league title. They went one better through Sylvain Wiltord’s second half strike, ensuring the sweetest of victories in front of their opponents’ ashen-faced fans.
Manchester United 0 – 0 Arsenal – 21st Sept 2003
For two sides renowned for their attacking prowess, this fixture became progressively more bruising each year. This was perhaps one of the most significant turning points in the rivalry. The sides booted lumps out of one another, Vieira was sent off and van Nistelrooy missed a last minute penalty, Martin Keown infamously goading him like a lunatic as he trudged away.
Manchester United 2 – 0 Arsenal – 24th Oct 2004
Nicknamed both the ‘Battle of the Buffet’ and ‘Pizzagate’ for the post-match brawl in the tunnel, this game called time on Arsenal’s ‘Invincibles’ era. United ended the Gunners’ 49 match unbeaten streak in the league. And it was van Nistelrooy who enacted revenge for a year earlier in opening the scoring with Wayne Rooney finishing off proceedings with a 90th
minute penalty on his 19th
Arsenal 2 – 4 Manchester United – 2nd Feb 2005
The Keane-Vieira feud reached fever pitch here, with the pair coming to blows in the tunnel even before a ball had been kicked. Keane launched a ferocious verbal attack, leaving the Frenchman visibly shaken and allowing his counterpart to dominate the key battle in the middle of the field. John O’Shea added a sublime lob in the 90th
minute to underline his cult hero status at Old Trafford.
Manchester United 8-2 Arsenal – 28th Aug 2011
One of the more incredible scorelines of recent times. A ramshackle Arsenal side turned up at Old Trafford, full of youngsters on the debut and players eyeing a move elsewhere, and were resoundingly humiliated 8-2, one of the lowest moments in Wenger’s career. What makes it more remarkable is that this wasn’t even a vintage United team that played – Tom Cleverly and Anderson started in midfield. Follow @SportingIndex
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