Relive the greatest Arsenal v Manchester United encounters

Relive the greatest Arsenal v Manchester United encounters
Arsenal v United last season

By Robert McNamara

They were the fiercest of rivals in the early part of the last decade, but it’s been quite a while since Arsenal versus Manchester United was a title decider.

Currently, their respective managers are under intense pressure - Arsenal's Arsene Wenger polarises opinion among Gooners while Manchester United's unprecedented injury crisis is threatening to undermine Louis van Gaal's rebuilding plans at Old Trafford.

With Chelsea running away with the title and Manchester City their only likely challengers, it leaves tomorrow's clash at the Emirates being labelled, depressingly, as the battle for fourth place.

To remind ourselves of how great these games used to be, here's a look back at some of the greatest games between the sides.

2005 - Arsenal 2 Manchester United 4

Roy Keane clashed with Patrick Vieira in the tunnel before the game, then owned him on the pitch. Great goals, crunching tackles and a hopping Highbury. A classic.

2004 - Manchester United 2 Arsenal 0

Arsenal were on a 49 game unbeaten run that had seen them claim the title the season before this without losing a single match. United, however, were not going to let the Londoners reach 50 on their patch.

2002 - Manchester United 0 Arsenal 1

There was a sense of finality for Manchester United's domestic dominance once Sylvain Wiltord's strike killed off United's title challenge in 2002.

The humiliation of losing the league at Old Trafford forced Alex Ferguson into a rethink on how his team played and United went on the regain the title a year later.

2003 - Arsenal 2 Manchester United 2

Arsenal were favourites for the Premier League in 2002/03, but by the time United visited Highbury in April, the Gunners title bid was falling apart. United struck first through a brilliant solo effort by Ruud van Nistelrooy.

Arsenal replied before they went ahead through a clearly offside goal by Thierry Henry. Ryan Giggs' header a minute later restored parity and shifted the momentum in United's favour in the title race.

1990 - Arsenal 2 Manchester United 6

The result was as freaky as Manchester United's psychedelic shirts, possibly inspired by the Madchester music scene at the time.

A young, swaggering Lee Sharpe scored a superb hat-trick as Arsenal's back four containing Nigel Winterburn, Lee Dixon, Steve Bould and Tony Adams looked gobsmacked.

2001 - Arsenal 3 Manchester United 1

Two absolute howlers by Fabian Barthez saw United handed a lesson by Arsenal on an evening when the Gunners laid down their title aspirations for all to see.

2009 - Arsenal 1 Manchester United 3

As Champions League semi-finals go, they don't come more one sided than this.

Leading 1-0 from the first leg, United soaked up the pressure and hit Arsenal on the break to devastating effect.

1979 - Manchester United 2 Arsenal 3

The famous 'five-minute final' will forever stand out as one of the greatest FA Cup finals of all-time. Arsenal surrendered a 2-0 lead when Sammy McIlroy equalised for United.

The game seemed to be heading for extra-time until Graham Rix's last ditch cross looped over United 'keeper Gary Bailey, leaving Alan Sunderland to knock it in from close range.

1999 - Manchester United 2 Arsenal 1

The game that had everything. A sending off, a missed penalty and one of the greatest goals ever scored. Words don't do it any justice.

Sit back and enjoy, unless you support Arsenal that is!

2003 - Manchester United 0 Arsenal 0

Not really a classic game, but the Arsenal players' jeering of Ruud van Nistelrooy after a missed penalty is an enduring, if a little frightening, image.

2007 - Arsenal 2 Manchester United 1

Two very late goals from Robin van Persie and Thierry Henry cancelled out Wayne Rooney's opener for United in a dramatic ending.

2011 - Manchester United 8 Arsenal 2

This video comes with a health warning for all Arsenal fans.

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