Belfast Telegraph

Arsenal v Manchester United classic encounters

It is more than 40 years since Arsenal and Manchester United did not meet during a season.

The enduring Premier League rivals clash for the first time this campaign on Saturday when United travel to the Emirates Stadium.

Here, Press Association Sport picks out five classic encounters between the teams.

Manchester United 8 Arsenal 2, August 28 2011

One of the Premier League's most remarkable scorelines occurred at Old Trafford in August 2011 as Arsenal suffered their worst defeat since the 19th century. It took United 22 minutes to break the deadlock and at half-time the score was a reasonably normal 3-1. But Wayne Rooney, Nani and Park Ji-sung extended the lead to 6-2 before Carl Jenkinson's sending off deepened Arsenal's misery. Late goals from Rooney, completing his hat-trick, and Ashley Young took the scoreline into the realms of disbelief. Arsene Wenger described the result as humiliating, adding: "It was a terrible day."

Manchester United 2 Arsenal 0, October 24 2004

A match notable as the end of Arsenal's record-breaking 49-game unbeaten run is now remembered principally for what happened in the tunnel afterwards. A fiery encounter saw United clinch victory with two late goals - a Ruud van Nistelrooy penalty and a tap-in from Rooney. Things then got heated among players and staff following the game, with Sir Alex Ferguson hit by a slice of pizza in what became known as the 'battle of the buffet'. This October, Cesc Fabregas finally owned up to being the food flinger, although he insisted he was not aiming at the United manager.

Arsenal 1 Manchester United 2, April 14 1999

Along with the Champions League final, this was the defining match of United's treble-winning season and famous for one of the FA Cup's greatest goals. David Beckham gave United the lead but Dennis Bergkamp equalised and it looked like Arsenal would go on to win when first Roy Keane was sent off and then Arsenal were awarded a penalty. But Peter Schmeichel saved Bergkamp's spot-kick and, in the 19th minute of extra-time, Ryan Giggs picked up the ball in his own half, beat four Arsenal defenders and smashed the ball over David Seaman before running down the touchline twirling his shirt above his head in celebration.

Arsenal 3 Manchester United 2, May 12 1979

The teams met in one of the greatest FA Cup finals in May 1979. Drama did not appear to be in the offing when Arsenal led 2-0 going into the final five minutes but by the 90th minute three more goals had been scored. Gordon McQueen and Sammy McIlroy looked to have engineered a remarkable comeback by United only for Alan Sunderland to net the winner just a minute after McIlroy had equalised. The match has become known as the 'five-minute final'.

Arsenal 4 Manchester United 5, February 1 1958

A memorable game in its own right, this encounter was given great poignancy by events only five days later. This would prove the final game played by the Busby Babes before the tragic air disaster in Munich. Three of the goals were scored by victims of the crash, with five of the players starting this match. Duncan Edwards opened the scoring while Tommy Taylor scored twice, including what proved to be the winner. United's other two scorers, Sir Bobby Charlton and Dennis Viollet, both survived the crash.

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