#CultClashes: Man United v Arsenal – Red cards, title tussles & pizza

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The battles between Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger may be no more but that doesn’t mean this weekend’s fixture between Manchester United and Arsenal won’t be any less heated.

Two of the Premier League’s biggest sides are preparing to do battle once again on Sunday, in a game that could have real implications on the title race.

The hosts are priced up at 21/10 to come out on top, while Arsene Wenger’s side are 13/10 favourites to return home with all three points.

Ahead of what should be a cracker at Old Trafford, we’ve trawled through the archives to find the five best #CultClashes between these two Premier League rivals.

One thing this quintet does is prove that you don’t necessarily need goals to deliver a fantastic game…

Manchester United 0-1 Arsenal – Saturday March 14 1998

When Arsene Wenger arrived at Highbury plain-old Alex Ferguson as he was then blasted him stating that he “has no experience of English football.

“He has come here from Japan and now he is telling everyone how to organise our football. Unless you have been in the situation and had the experience then he should keep his mouth shut, firmly shut”.

So then when the Gunners arrived at the Theatre of Dreams 12 points behind United in the league with three games in hand it should’ve been a straightforward matter then?

Marc Overmars had other ideas as he bagged the only goal in the game to help Wenger and Co achieve a league and cup double.

Manchester United 0-1 Arsenal – Wednesday May 8 2002

While the previous example set Arsenal on their way, this encounter in the north-west mathematically confirmed that the Premier League trophy was on its way back to the capital.

As Sylvain Wiltord fed in Freddie Ljungberg the United fans will have breathed a sigh of relief when Fabian Barthez kept his shot out.

That was until Wiltord was allowed a clear run at the follow-up to tuck the ball away to seal the match and title.

Manchester United 0-0 Arsenal – September 21 2003

If one picture can ever sum up a match, the story of this one would be easily illustrated by an image of Martin Keown’s bellowing face making sure Ruud van Nistoroy knew he had just missed a last-minute penalty.

There was no goals, but the passion was well and truly there and the fierce rivaly between Roy Keane and Patrick Vieira reached fever pitch.

The latter was a late casualty for a second yellow card, but it was that spot-kick miss that makes this one stick in the mind.

Manchester United 2-0 Arsenal – October 24 2004

Now known as the “Battle of the Buffet” after Sir Alex was on the receiving end of a pizza to the face in a post-match fracas in the tunnel, this one will still rile Arsenal fans to this very day.

‘The Invincibles’ had reached the 49-match unbeaten point when they visited Old Trafford in this late October clash, and were visiting United for the first time since the “Battle of Old Trafford” 13 months previous.

In a particularly fiery encounter, with several naughty challengers going unpunished, it was a rather dubious foul that stole the headlines though, as Wayne Rooney took a tumble in the box.

Ruud van Nistelrooy converted the spot-kick this time, before Wazza added a second in the dying embers of the game, to bring the Gunners’ run to an end.


Manchester United 8-2 Arsenal – August 28 2011

After a summer of relative inactivity from Arsene Wenger (sound familiar), this early season clash saw the Arsenal boss forced into naming a much-changed side with injuries playing havoc with his squad.

That though, was to be no excuse for what followed in Manchester, as Sir Alex went about orchestrating his greatest humiliation of Wenger yet.

Wayne Rooney was the main assailant, bagging his sixth United hat-trick while there were goals from Ashley Young, Danny Welbeck, Nani and Park Ji-Sung to wrap up Arsenal a defeat that saw the Londoners lose a match by a six-goal margin for the first time since 1927.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Ben Stones

Ladbrokes News’ equine expert, Ben likes nothing more than studying the form to pick out a winner or two for our readers. A Journalism and Media Studies graduate from the University of Winchester, Ben has previously written for a number of football and racing blogs and websites, as well as contributing to the sports pages of his home-town newspaper.