Arsenal and Manchester United are synonymous with the Premier League. These two English giants have been at the forefront of Premier League drama for decades, with their matches often serving as pivotal clashes defining a season. As we gear up for their next meeting on September 3, 2023 at the Emirates Stadium, it's an opportune time to revisit some of the best matches between these two titans of English football.
Arsenal 2-4 Manchester United (February 1, 2005)
Fans of both sides may not remember the scoreline of this match, but they will recall the grudge match that developed between Patrick Vieira and Roy Keane.
And that was before the game even started. The two team captains scuffled in the Highbury tunnel, with Keane telling his nemesis to “shut his f*' mouth.” Referee Graham Poll did his best to break up the feud, which only continued on the pitch.
Vieira got the game's first goal, but United won with strikes from Ryan Giggs, Ronaldo, and John O'Shea.
Arsenal 0-0 Manchester United FA Cup final (May 21, 2005)
While Arsenal and Vieira lost both regular season matches against Manchester United during the 2004/05 campaign, the FA Cup proved revengful. While United largely dominated the match, Arsenal held their ground, forcing the first-ever penalty shootout in the history of the FA Cup final.
The French Gunners captain scored the game-winning penalty, his last kick in a red shirt, before moving on to Juventus.
Manchester United 8-2 Arsenal (August 28, 2011)
Look away, Arsenal fans — this was an absolute mauling at Old Trafford. Manchester United, led by a Wayne Rooney hat-trick, poured eight goals on the Gunners in what was one of Arsene Wenger's most humiliating defeats as Gunners boss.
“Of course you feel humiliated when you concede eight goals,” Wenger told the BBC after the match. “It was a terrible day.”
Captain Robin Van Persie, who scored a consolation goal in the 74th minute, transferred to Old Trafford the following season.
Manchester United 2-0 (October 24, 2004)
As if the United-Arsenal rivalry ever needed some spicing up, this match — epically dubbed “The Battle of the Buffet” — goes down in the rivalry history books.
This game threw a wrench in Arsenal's 49-game unbeaten streak, which carried from the Invincibles season the year before. The second half proved devastating for the Gunners, with Ruud van Nistelrooy converting a controversial penalty and Wayne Rooney sealing the game in the 90th minute.
After the match, a teenaged Cesc Fabregas threw a slice of pizza at Alex Ferguson. The then 17-year-old admitted the ordeal nearly a decade later. “Even with pizza he had great technique,” Arsenal defender Martin Keown later teased of the incident.
Manchester United 0-1 Arsenal (May 2002)
In a title-deciding clash, Arsenal emerged victorious at Old Trafford, courtesy of a Sylvain Wiltord strike. This solitary goal was enough to crown Arsenal as the Premier League champions after winning the FA Cup four days earlier.
Arsenal- Manchester United head-to-head history
- Total Matches Played: 239
- Arsenal Wins: 87
- Manchester United Wins: 99
- Draws: 53