Arsenal and Manchester United were great rivalries in the past under Arsene Wenger and Sir Alex Ferguson when both clubs were challenging for league titles. Such fortunes have drastically altered in the last few years, with both teams holding different objectives to achieve this season.
Manchester United and Arsenal presents one of the greatest rivalries in the English game and used to be one of the biggest games in the sporting calendar.
The Red Devils were dominant in the 90’s, both in the league and domestically before the emergence of Arsene Wenger at Arsenal. Both sides battled and encountered in many Premier League titles races, with big personalities and leadership qualities like the rivalry between Roy Keane and Patrick Vieira.
With times changed, this fixture is not as fierce as it once was but the rivalry remains and still is one of biggest fixtures of the Premier League calendar.
Arsenal Head Coach Unai Emery is taking his Arsenal side to Old Trafford for the second time under his tenure and are looking to go one better than last season, which saw them draw 2-2 last December.
Historically, Old Trafford has not been a happy hunting ground for the Gunners but here we look back at their last five away wins against the Red Devils United in all competitions.
Arsenal's previous five away wins against United
- Manchester United 1-2 Arsenal (FA Cup Quarter Final), 9th March 2015
This was the last time Arsenal were victorious at Old Trafford. It was also Danny Welbeck’s first return to Old Trafford after his deadline day move to Arsenal.
The England international came back to haunt Manchester United by scoring the match winning goal to secure Arsenal’s place in the FA Cup Semi-Final at Wembley. The North London club ended up eventual winners, beating Aston Villa in the FA Cup Final.
It was a typically thrilling contest between the two sides as Nacho Monreal gave Arsenal the lead before his strike was cancelled out by Wayne Rooney's flying header from Angel Di Maria’s cross, who later got dismissed for two yellows cards.
Antonio Valencia’s back-pass left David De Gea short which gifted Welbeck a chance to score into the unguarded net. It proved to be the winning goal as United failed to capitalise and endured another trophyless season.
- Manchester United 0-1 Arsenal (Premier League), 17th September 2006
Astonishingly, you have to go back to 2006 for was Arsenal’s last Premier League victory at Old Trafford.
United debutant Tomasz Kuszczak gifted Arsenal a penalty but repaid the United faithful by parring away Giberto Sliva’s effort to keep the Red Devils in the game.
Emmanuel Adebayor lead the line for Arsenal as club captain Thierry Henry was unfit. With the game remaining goalless, Arsenal earned their reward through Cesc Fabregas winning the ball from Cristiano Ronaldo. Having dispossessed his opponent, he had the foresight to find Adebayor who slid the ball pass Kuszczak.
Moments after taking the lead, German keeper Jens Lehmann made an incredible save from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to give the Gunners their first league win of the 2006/07 campaign.
- Manchester United 0-2 Arsenal (FA Cup Fifth Round), 16th February 2003
The Gunners got revenge from their arch rivals following their last meeting between the sides in the competition back in the 1999 FA Cup semi-final.
The game was remembered for one of the biggest missed goalscoring opportunities in the competition’s history when Ryan Giggs failed to score through an open goal.
It all came from David Beckham’s long range pass which Martin Keown struggled to clear. David Seaman subsequently came off his line, gifting Giggs an opportunity to give United the lead through an open goal - a chance he squandered. failed to do so.
The Gunners would later capitalised through Edu’s 25-yard free kick which took a deflection off Beckham’s shoulder to send Fabien Barthez the wrong way.
Edu then turned from goal-scorer to provider when his delicate pass found Sylvain Wiltord, who slid the ball through Wes Brown before side-footing past Barthez
It proved to be a well-deserved win for the Gunners and secured their place in the last eight of the FA Cup. The North-London side went on to win the FA Cup for the second successive season but failed to retain the Premier League title.
- Manchester United 0-1 Arsenal (Premier League), 8th May 2002
After securing the FA Cup title after beating Chelsea, the Gunners recognised the opportunity to complete a league and cup double with a win at Old Trafford.
The home side looked to seize an opportunity to spoil Arsenal’s chances of securing their first league title since 1998, with Thierry Henry, Tony Adams, Robert Pires and Dennis Bergkamp not in the starting line-up.
Sylvain Wiltord became Arsenal’s hero at Old Trafford by scoring one of the most important goals in the club's history to seal and sealing the double.
The outstanding midfield displays from Ray Parlour and Patrick Vieira proved vital in getting past a very strong Manchester United side.
Most importantly, credit to Freddie Ljungberg who was been in the heart of Arsenal’s success in the 2001/02 campaign. The midfield maestro played a part in Wiltord’s goal, sprinting past the United defence before his shot was saved by Barthez. The subsequent rebound gifted Wiltord the crucial chance, guiding Arsenal to a the league and cup double.
- Manchester United 0-1 Arsenal (Premier League) 14th March 1998
The 1997/98 campaign was Arsene Wenger’s first full season at Arsenal and in English football. Coming into the game at Old Trafford, the Gunners were trailing the Red Devils by nine points and a defeat would've extended that to 12 points, end Arsenal’s title hopes for another season. However, it wasn’t the case and proved to be one of the finest performances under Wenger.
Marc Overmars was the outstanding performer on the pitch with his pace enabling him to get past the United defence on several occasions.
United lost their spark and the Gunners capitalised as Overmars raced through on to Nicolas Anelka’s flicked header. The Dutch international measured the ball splendidly with his head and took another touch to strike through into the bottom right corner to beat Peter Schmeichel.
Arsenal’s win at Old Trafford proved to be a memorable as their confidence and momentum grew which saw the North London side extend their winning run to ten games and leapfrog the Red Devils to claim their first Premier League title.
Arsene Wenger’s side also managed to win the FA Cup by beating Newcastle United in the final, securing a league and cup double in the Frenchman’s first full season at the helm.
What Arsenal need to do to get a win at Old Trafford on Monday night?
At the moment, Arsenal must capitalize into Manchester United weaknesses. United look short of goals and have several issues in midfield, offering the Gunners a great chance to extend the divide between the two sides at such an early stage in the campaign.
The return of Rob Holding, Hector Bellerin and Kieran Tierney could prove crucial. Holding’s claiming presence and ability to play the ball from the back suits Emery's style of play while his influence offers more discipline at the back, with the current pairing of Sokratis and David Luiz failing to solve their defensive frailties.
Tierney had a fine performance in his debut against Nottingham Forest and is now calling for a starting place at left-back ahead of Sead Kolasinac whose struggled to deliver as a left-back on many occasions. Kolasinac, as all Arsenal fans know, is more of a left-wing back who loves to attack and march forward.
He maintains a robust and aggressive playing style, with Tierney bringing more discipline - something that will be crucial in such a high pressure, historic fixture.
The game is likely to come too early for Hector Bellerin so Callum Chambers looks to start at right-back after another impressive performance against Nottingham Forest. Chambers has slotted into the team superbly and hasn’t put a foot wrong yet this season.
As for the midfield, ensuring balance will be paramount for Emery, who has boasted several pairings so far this season which have failed to work. Establishing a strong link between midfield and attack will be crucial to Arsenal getting anything out of the game and the presence of Lucas Torreira, Matteo Guendouzi and Dani Ceballos can get Arsenal out of danger.
Guendouzi has been Arsenal’s main man in midfield and is leading by example. He delivered once again last weekend against Aston Villa after his excellent second half display helped the Gunners to get all three points and coming back twice in the game.
Meanwhile, Real Madrid loanee Ceballos has been a great asset for the club but the last few games, he hasn’t been at his best so could use a big performance on Monday.
Granit Xhaka was recently selected as Arsenal's club captain and looks very likely to start. As fans know, he is very prone to mistakes, giving goals, red cards and fouls.
From an attacking perspective, the buck will fall to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who continues to impress with his fine form, representing one of the finest strikers in the league and in Europe at present.
Pepe finally scored his first goal for the club which will hopefully give him much-needed confidence to make his mark at the club, helping to alleviate the void left by Alexandre Lacazette's injury.