Manchester United legend Ryan Giggs recounted Sir Alex Ferguson’s inspiring words before the Red Devils took on the Gunners in October 2004. Arsenal, back then, visited Old Trafford enjoying a 49-game unbeaten run and the Welsh international recalls what the legendary United manager said before the contest.
“I will never forget the team talk from Sir Alex before the game between us and Arsenal in October 2004,” Giggs wrote in his column in The Telegraph.
“They were league champions and on a 49-game undefeated run. Although it was already a record, that half-century would have made it even more special. Sir Alex stood before us that day and reminded us of our responsibilities as United players. ‘We are the kind of club that should be setting those sorts of records,' he said. The message was clear. Arsenal had enjoyed their moment but it had to stop now, and we were the team to do it.”
The game finished 2-0 to the Red Devils with goals from a 19-year-old Wayne Rooney and Dutch striker Ruud van Nistelrooy ended Arsenal’s unbeaten run. However, both teams couldn’t win the league that season as it was Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea who got their hands on the most coveted prize in England.
Arsenal have not won the league title since the 2003-04 season while United have won it five times and games between these two Premier League giants were always pivotal in the title race. United more often than not had the edge over Wenger's men and Giggs believes it is down to the fact that his side always played their own game against the North London outfit.
“Arsenal have always had wonderful footballers, and they still do,” Giggs added. “Sir Alex would say to us: ‘The way to beat them is not to try to play them at their game. Play them at yours.’ So we would hit them with pace and power.”
The most recent episode in the Manchester United vs Arsenal saga left manager, Jose Mourinho cursing fate as Olivier Giroud’s 89th-minute header salvaged a vital point for The Gunners.
Juan Mata fired the hosts ahead after 68 minutes and United were on course for a well-deserved win until substitute Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain delivered a sublime cross and Olivier Giroud rose highest in the box to head home the equaliser much to the happiness of Arsene Wenger.
Arsenal are currently fourth in the table 2 points behind leaders Liverpool and 6 ahead of Manchester United who are sixth in the standings.
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