5 great games between Manchester United and Arsenal
Manchester United and Arsenal are two of the most decorated clubs in first division English football but until 1996 they never really spent much time competing for England’s top flight prizes – after all, both clubs have spent time playing second division football. Things changed in 1996 – Arsene Wenger was appointed manager of the north London club and he made it his sole aim to make Arsenal great.
This obviously meant a confrontational relationship with Manchester United and their manager Sir Alex Ferguson who were dominating the Premier League by then.
Players and managers of both clubs took their new found rivalry to extremes and gave their fans memories of great matches that was borne out of a deep-seated hatred of the other. Here’s a look at 5 great games between rivals Manchester United and Arsenal:
#5 Arsenal 1-2 Manchester United (1999)
Video courtesy: Youtube user – pledjuraa
Arsenal and Manchester United were drawn to face other in the semi-final of the FA Cup in 1999. After a goal-less first match which strangely had extra time, they met each other for the replay at Villa Park on 14 April 1999. It was also the last replay of the FA Cup since they changed their rules from the following season. The match was the culmination of a season-long rivalry that saw United come out on top despite Arsenal’s best efforts.
A first-half goal from David Beckham put United in the lead only to be cancelled out by Dennis Bergkamp’s second half goal. The rest of the match was a succession of bookings, a disallowed goal from Nicolas Anelka and a sending off for United defender Roy Keane. Peter Schmeichel even pulled off a last-minute penalty save from Bergkamp.
The match looked like it was going to go to spot-kicks when substitute Ryan Giggs intercepted a pass in midfield, ran past four defenders and scored one of the most electrifying goals of the tournament. His finish was strong, clinical and his immediate celebration after scoring has since become the most memorable part of that night.
P.S. – Don’t miss Steve McClaren celebrating with Sir Alex Ferguson in the video.