After suffering a painful L to Sheffield, ending our great unbeaten run in the league, an away trip to Arsenal is one of the last fixtures I would’ve wanted. They’ve been in pretty good form since Lampard revived their season and we haven’t beaten them in the league post Wenger. Both teams need a win, for us we gotta bounce back from the midweek game and Arsenal need to keep picking up wins if they’re gonna eclipse last seasons 8th place triumph.
History of the rivalry
From my earliest memories of football this was always THE fixture, we couldn’t stand them and they couldn’t stand us, we were the best sides in England and competing for their league, while the rivalry remains as strong as ever today, the two teams aren’t what they once were. I would say Arsenal stopped being a major threat after 07 and then began descent into their banter era(still ongoing btw) in 09, with their best players leaving year after year for the likes of City, Chelsea and even us! Towards the end of Fergie’s reign you could tell he didn’t rate them anymore and neither did we as fans, as they went year after year trophyless. Unfortunately we decided to join them and begin our own banter era in 2013/14, fast-forward 7 years and neither has won a league title since and the once great rivalry is now a twitter war over who is less sh*t.
My favorite moments vs Arsenal
This fixture has brought so many great moments throughout my life I could probably do a top 20, on the other hand there’s been some painful ones such as the FA Cup final 05 where we dominated but just couldn’t get the ball over the line and eventually lost on penos and then more recently the 1-0 home loss this season although what preceded was great from a Utd fans perspective.
‘Battle of the Buffet’ 49-1
Fresh off the invincible season arsenal had started the season unbeaten in 11 and were aiming to go 50 unbeaten in the league( they did nothing in Europe in the invincibles season). Away at Old Trafford was probably the toughest place to go to maintain and the record and what followed was one of my favorite games ever. The same fixture from the previous season needs to be mentioned.. ‘The Battle Of Old Trafford’, famously known for Ruud Van Nistlerooy(RVN) missing a pen in the final moments with Martin Keown not holding back his delight.
This game is noteworthy as had RVN converted his pen, like he usually does, Arsenal would have lost the game and the invincible’s would have never happened, fast forward 13 months and Arsenal were back at OT looking to make it 50 unbeaten, this time however, Utd wouldn’t make the same mistakes, in the 73rd minute Rooney went to ground with what I think is one of the best dives you’ll ever see and the ref blew for a peno. Up stepped RVN, with a chance at redemption. This time he made no mistake, through his celebration you could tell how much it meant to him.
In the dying moments of the game, victory was sealed with Rooney(On his birthday) tapping home our second and ending the Gunners 49 game run. The ‘Battle of the Buffet’ name stems from what happened after the match, the players clashed in the tunnel and Cesc Fabregas famously threw a pizza at Sir Alex. I have attached the video below which details events of both matches.
Arsenal v Man Utd 2-4
Another classic game came at Highbury in 05, this game yielded many iconic moments, clips and photos so i’ll just share them below..
When the Emirates became a dancefloor
One of the most enjoyable games in the Emirates era, Lingard milly rocked in front of their fans as we won 1-3.
Two years later he did it again, this time he did the the moonwalk while everyone else was doing their own celebrations as if we were playing pro clubs.
One of the greatest days ever
This game got so ugly I almost..almost started to feel bad for Arsenal fans, a game both sets of fans will never forget for many different reasons. Rooney hat-trick, young with two crackers and then Wele, Park and Nani with one each. RVP was on the scoresheet for Arsenal in what would be his last season at Arsenal before making the greatest decision of his life.
Predicted Lineup & Score
I reckon we’ll go the usual McFred pivot and Pogba off the left with Bailly coming in at CB to help counteract their pace. Its hard to feel confident about the game due to the sheffield loss but f*ck it they’re 9th and have lost more times than I count this season, going for a Utd W in a high score game.
Final Score: Arsenal 2 -3 Man Utd