Man United v Arsenal - five classic matches

09 November 2013 01:31

Arsenal and Manchester United face off for the 217th time on Sunday, with the London club bidding to establish an 11-point lead over the champions in the Premier League.

Their rivalry has produced some of the most memorable matches in English football history and here, AFP Sports selects the pick of those encounters:

ARSENAL 3 MANCHESTER UNITED 2 (FA Cup final, May 1979)

Nicknamed 'The Five-minute Final', the climax to the 1978-79 FA Cup burst into life in its final stages on a sultry afternoon at Wembley Stadium. Arsenal were 2-0 up and cruising when Gordon McQueen pulled a goal back for United in the 86th minute. Two minutes later Sammy McIlroy equalised, only for Arsenal to race straight back down the pitch, with Liam Brady crossing from the left for Alan Sunderland to slide home a memorable 89th-minute winner.

MANCHESTER UNITED 0 ARSENAL 1 (First Division, October 1990)

The enmity that developed between the teams in the 1990s and 2000s can be traced back to this fiery encounter at Old Trafford. A 21-man brawl sparked by a foul on United's Denis Irwin by Arsenal left-back Nigel Winterburn saw the visitors deducted two points and the home side one. The game's only goal, which became something of a sidenote, was scored by Arsenal's Swedish winger Anders Limpar.

MANCHESTER UNITED 2 ARSENAL 1 (FA Cup semi-final, April 1999)

The last ever FA Cup semi-final replay conjured up one of the most memorable games in the competition's history. On a night of nerve-jangling drama at Villa Park, Dennis Bergkamp cancelled out David Beckham's long-range opener and the tie appeared to be tipping in Arsenal's favour after United captain Roy Keane was sent off. However, in extra time Patrick Vieira gave the ball away to Ryan Giggs and the Welshman scythed through the Arsenal defence before smashing a shot past David Seaman to score one of the great FA Cup goals and keep United on track for The Treble.

MANCHESTER UNITED 2 ARSENAL 0 (Premier League, October 2004)

Arsenal's record-breaking 49-game unbeaten run was brought to an end in dramatic and controversial style. A year on from a tempestuous 0-0 draw in Manchester, United prevailed through a contentious Ruud van Nistelrooy penalty and a late Wayne Rooney strike. A post-match melee in which United manager Alex Ferguson had a pizza thrown at him saw the game dubbed 'The Battle of the Buffet'.

MANCHESTER UNITED 8 ARSENAL 2 (Premier League, October 2011)

United would end the season as runners-up to Manchester City, but they dealt Arsenal their heaviest defeat since 1896 on an extraordinary day at Old Trafford. Wayne Rooney claimed a hat-trick, Ashley Young scored a brace and Danny Welbeck, Nani and Park Ji-sung also scored for United. A shell-shocked Arsenal, who had Carl Jenkinson sent off, replied through Theo Walcott and future United striker Robin van Persie.

Source: AFP

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