Top 5: Absolutely blinding Arsenal v Manchester United encounters

Arsenal 1-2 Manchester United (after extra-time, FA Cup semi-final replay)

14 April 1999

Perhaps not only the most enthralling of Manchester United v Arsenal matchups, possibly the greatest FA Cup encounter of all time.

Charged by Arsenal’s rise as genuine world beaters, United were on top attacking form for the semi-final replay encounter at Villa Park, like a Betfred punter hoping his odds come in, they didn’t half ride their luck.

David Beckham opened the scoring in blinding fashion for the eventual Treble winners with a long range beauty to beat Seaman, all before the Gunners pegged Fergie’s side back via a Dennis Bergkamp effort. A clumsy last-minute penalty box foul by Phil Neville almost gifted the tie to their fierce rivals, only for Great Dane Peter Schmeichel to pull a great save from the spot against Bergkamp.

With Arsenal cursing their rotten luck into extra time, Ryan Giggs proceeded to go on a mazy run from his own half, the rest, as they say, is FA Cup history.



Manchester United 0-0 Arsenal (Premier League)

21 September 2003

Whilst the match was hardly an attacking free-flowing affair, this fiercely competed and bad-tempered fixture between the two still somehow makes its way into Premier League folklore. Largely for what happened in the dying embers of the game and the impact it had on Arsene Wenger’s in the coming 12 months.

After infuriating the Arsenal backline throughout, Ruud van Nistelrooy had the opportunity to stick a puncture in Arsene Wenger’s hopes for Premier League dominance when he was gifted a last-minute penalty kick. With occasion clearly rattling the Dutchman, not to mention the fact he;d missed 2 penalties prior, Van the Man proceeds to smash the woodwork.

Martin Keown, clearly unable to hide his joy, roars in the face of the talisman in brutal fashion. Not only did the bragging rights go the way of Wenger’s side, Arsenal continued to rack another 32 league victories that season, eventually being crowned the only ‘Invincibles’ of the Premier League era.




Manchester United 2-0 Arsenal (Premier League)

24 October 2004

Following on nicely from the battle of Old Trafford, Manchester United clawed back some pride some 43 matches (unbeaten Arsenal games that is) later. This time with a bit of penalty fortune for the Devil’s and not a screaming Keown in sight.

With Wenger’s side threatening to be just as dominant as the season prior, Arsenal were eventually undone on their return, courtesy of the refereeing talents of Mike Riley.

With Van Nistelrooy desperate to make amends for his sins a season prior, Wayne Rooney tumbled in the box like a sack of spuds, only to allow the Dutchman to convert the ensuing penalty.

The young protege would eventually wrap things up, however, it would not be the final incident on the occasion.

Sir Alex Ferguson ability to enjoy his post-match glass of wine would quickly be scuppered by a rogue piece of pizza thrown at him following an ensuing bad tempered scuffle between the sides in the tunnel.

The perpetrator still unknown today.






Arsenal 1-3 Manchester United (Champions League semi-final second leg)

5 May 2009

Perhaps the biggest match between the pair in history.

Arsenal and United drew each other in the semi of Europe’s premier competition in the Summer of 2009. The Red Devils, having claimed the trophy a season prior, took the initiative in the first leg 1-0.

Despite the fanfare and hopes of the home contingent, a devastatingly efficient United flattened Arsenal with two goals via Ji-Sung Park and Cristiano Ronaldo after just 10 minutes.

The 3-0 aggregate advantage proving too much for Wenger’s side. The match would eventually finish 3-1, however, fans of the North London side could enjoy their Schadenfreude weeks later as United would be heavily outclassed by Barcelona in a Rome final.







Man United 8-2 Arsenal (Premier League)

28th of August 2011

Even amid the growing toxicity at the Emirates on a weekly basis now, Arsene Wenger’s number seemed to be up even as far as 2011.

With a side featuring the ‘where are they now’ talents of Armand Traore, Johann Djourou and Carl Jenkinson, Arsenal’s back line wilted under the extreme pressure of an Old Trafford cauldron, not to mention a fired up United strike force.

By the time United had scored their 8th, even the most ardent of United fans wanted to spare Wenger any more agony.


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