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Classic Manchester United – Arsenal Matches

With the build-up to Monday’s games beginning to reach fever pitch we look back at some memorable matches between Manchester United and Arsenal.

Some would argue it has been a few years since Manchester United versus Arsenal meant so much. A rivalry that reached its heights during the early part of the decade has been reduced to something of a whimper recently, mainly due the the North London sides disappearance from the title race usually quite early in the season, but Monday’s game could well prove crucial come May 2011.

In no particular order and maybe a little bit biased – this is a Manchester United blog of course…

The 2009 Champions League Semi-Final – Arsenal 1-3 Manchester United

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Probably best remembered for Ronaldo’s brilliant counter attacking goal. United were 1-0 on aggregate and went further ahead thanks to Ji-Sung Park taking advantage of a Kieron Gibbs slip, incredible Ronaldo free-kick that was apparently ‘too far out’ then capped by the fantastic counter attack. The only blot on what was a great performance would be Darren Fletcher’s sending off near the end.

The 1990 Rumbelows Cup 4th Round – Arsenal 2-6 Manchester United

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United went ahead thanks to a Clayton Blackmore free-kick after 80 seconds. Further goals from Mark Hughes, Mark Hughes and Danny Wallace added to Arsenal’s misery but it was Lee Sharpe who stole the show. The youngster grabbed a hat-trick and his first in particular was a magnificent curling effort from the edge of the area… and it was a right footed effort as well. Danny Wallace also deserves a mention as he was also magnificent during the game.

Premier League, 25th February 2001 – Manchester United 6-1 Arsenal

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Another hat-trick in this game, this time though it was Dwight Yorke who bagged three goals against the Arsenal. The striker put United ahead after only two minutes only for the visitors to equalise 10 minutes later, but United moved up a gear and tore apart the Arsenal defence with a further two from Yorke plus strikes from Roy Keane, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Teddy Sheringham.

Premier League, 24th October 2004 – Manchester United 2-0 Arsenal

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The ‘Battle of the Buffet’ followed the match, but this game signalled the end of Arsenal’s invincible run. A harsh penalty decision gave Ruud van Nistelrooy the chance to make up for his miss a year earlier, then Wayne Rooney scored the second to secure the win. But demonstrating the mentality of Arsenal the ‘Pizzagate’ scandal dominated the back pages following the game.

Premier League, 1st February 2005 – Arsenal 2-4 Manchester United

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A personal favourite of mine. The scene of Roy Keane’s infamous rant at Patrick Viera and the scene of a double comeback. A tough game ensued with both teams going at each other from the off Denis Bergkamp getting the opener but Ryan Giggs and a brace from Ronaldo sent United on their way. The best was yet to come. United has been reduced to 10-men after the sending off of Mikael Silvestre but on the 89th minute John O’Shea latched on to Paul Scholes’ pass, chipped the ball past a helpless Almunia and  into the net.

The 1999 F.A. Cup Semi-Final Replay – Arsenal 1-2 Manchester United

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You all know what happened here. First David Beckham put the ball in the back of the net from long range, then Dennis Bergkamp’s deflected shot brought Arsenal level. Roy Keane was sent off and the Dutchman then had the chance to win the match for Arsenal with an injury-time penalty but it was dramatically saved by Peter Schmeichel. Then cue Ryan Giggs… past Viera, past Dixon, past Keown, past Dixon again, past Seaman… Legend!