Manchester United vs Arsenal will always be one of the Premier League’s most highly anticipated fixtures.
No matter how far the two clubs might fall, the match-up will always prove to be a clash of the titans, thanks to years of absolute classics being played out between the two sides.
Both clubs have fallen away from the top of the Premier League table in recent times, but that doesn’t make the fixture any less exciting – especially with how desperate they both are to get back to the top right now.
Fans of English football have been treated to several absolute classics between the Red Devils and the Gunners over the years, notably when it involved Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger going toe to toe to reign supreme at the top of the mountain.
The football was fierce, thrilling and impassioned and the rivalry between the two managers was just as feisty, carrying all the needle you could ever ask for in a game of football.
Rose-tinted spectacles make everything better and football is no stranger to being gripped up by the hold of nostalgia, but while we wait for both United and Arsenal to try and find a way back from the curb with Erik ten Hag and Mikel Arteta respectively, now is as good a time as ever to reminisce.
The two managers will meet for the first time at Old Trafford, and if it’s anything like the Ferguson and Wenger rivalry of old, then we’re all in for a treat.
Ahead of United and Arsenal’s first clash of the 2022/23 season, footage has resurfaced on Reddit of their encounter in 2009 at Old Trafford. Particularly, a clip of Andrey Arshavin momentarily stealing the headlines in a heated affair.
The Russian striker earned cult hero status at Arsenal after signing in 2009 despite never fully kicking on, but this was one of his finer moments. The clip is truly thrilling, so be sure to check it out below.
As clips go, this one does a pretty fine job of summarising the rivalry between United and Arsenal. A buoyant atmosphere, crunching tackles, controversy and cutting edge quality.
Arsenal have United pinned in their own half and are on the receiving end on a number of heavy challenges as a result.
But the one that gets Arsenal and their fans fuming is when Arshavin is unmarked and picks the ball up from a cross at the back post, but is brought to the floor in the penalty area from Darren Fletcher’s slide tackle.
Zaha advanced (Football Terrace)
It looks like a rash challenge to begin with and replays confirm that Fletcher actually gets nowhere near the ball, but Mike Dean ignores the tackle completely and allows play to go on.
Clearly angry at such a blatant error, Arsenal keep the pressure on and the ball falls back to Arshavin moments later, who puts the visitors ahead with a stunning strike that whistles past Ben Foster and stuns Old Trafford completely, with the atmosphere dropping.
Arshavin wheels away in celebration with his finger on his lip as United fans watch on in anger, with Arsenal and particularly Arshavin avenging the decision that went against them.
It was a brilliant moment and one that summarises that tense atmosphere that comes with such an immense fixture.
Unfortunately, Arsenal couldn’t hold onto the lead as Wayne Rooney and an own-goal from Abou Diaby completed a second half comeback for United on the day. However, it remains an excellent memory for Arsenal fans nonetheless, who will fancy their chances when visiting Old Trafford to take on Ten Hag’s side this weekend.