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Still The Greatest Rivalry?

The two teams are currently separated by 15 points and if Arsenal fail to win, even Wenger can't pretend they are title challengers. So the extra spice and flavour that had originated from the fact these teams were figthing for the title is gone. But it's still the most important fixture for many fans of both teams.

Having said this, I must admit I'm one of those fans who rate this game as the greatest of the season. I desperately want us to win each time we meet the Gunners and of course I was sickened and gutted when they stole a result at Old Trafford with that late Adebayor goal this season.

Recent years have produced some truly memorable clashes between these teams which only added to the fire. With the emergence of Chelsea, these two battled out who should be Dinamo London's main challenger. It happened in the 2004/05 season when two bitter, controversial game meant perhaps the climax of this rivalry. We ended Arsenal's 49-game unbeaten run and produced a spectacular 4-2 win at Highbury. Although Arsenal eventually finished second, Wenger broke up the team and started to build a new one while Sir Alex continuted to capitalise on the foundations he'd already had at his disposal.

The result? The following season saw Arsenal being way off the pace whilst United almost mounted a genuine title challenge with a late resurgence. The difference between the two teams resulted in two relatively quiet games and United came out on top.

This season is different, I believe. Arsenal are still way behind but they are showing signs that they could be genuine title challengers soon. Their Old Trafford was victory was as excellent as unexpected but once again, there was no heat, spark or controversy in the game. And it would be extreme hypocrisy if I stated I had not missed it. And few things indicate it would change soon.

The two managers' relationship that was sour at the very least, became much more cordial, with both praising each other before the matches instead of trying to play mind games. Fabregas praised Scholes, Ferdinand admitted Adebayor was the best player he faced this season - we can expect a relatively fair, quiet game with both sides concentrating on playing football.

Of course that's not bad, I'd love to see a cracking game. But as one of the fans who still regard this as the most prestigious game we have in the calendar (forget Chelsea, forget even Liverpool) I miss that kind of fire we witnessed in the ugly scenes of 2003 and 2004. At least I hope we can exact revenge, with Gilberto Silva out we have a good chance. Oh, and probably Justin Hoyte will play right-back - he'll be opposed to either Ronaldo or Giggs...

My prediction: I'll be bold and brave and confident - 2-1 United.

And for an apéritif, watch this video.

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The Journalist

Writer: Zae Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Saturday January 20 2007

Time: 1:56PM

Your Comments

yes this game with liverpool our the biggest games of the season
That is not the greatest rivalry. The greatest is Liverpool vs Man poo
we didn't steal a victory at OT, we earned it, and we'll do it again tomm, and then see all you twits on our site :p..
Na, arsenal are small fry....Man U v Liverpool is the biggie...always has been always will be....the goons are so far behind now its laughable
The truth
Must admit I thought I would save my prediction until I had seen the weekend premiership results. Having now seen all the ones that matter to both clubs for different reasons I think you can safely assume this match will be a dire draw. Because of the other games this has effectively become a free game for both teams & one in which a draw will suit both. Neither team will risk losing to gain the 3 points. Anyway I hope you lot go on to win the league because I absolutely detest everything about chelski. Next season you will see the real rivalry resume when arsenal will be genuine contenders, this season in the league is obviously a write off.
Ashburton Gooner
ha this bloke for real....the goons aint got a pot to ***** where they gonna buy 6 players to compete at the very top again....lolo typical arrogant nob, that has his head in the clouds....clear off bk to ur own site
The truth
No one takes you seriously any more....arsenal....haha....once great, not ne more....sheffield utd ? hahahahahahaha ur *****
The truth
Go on Utd,crush them dirty pikey gooner scum,4-2 again,easy!
yeah time to finish of arsenal for the season
oh HTG, is that all you dream about sonny ? united maybe be playing well but so are arsenal, which should make a good 90 mins of football, something spurs fans have never seen at the lane.
The truth. Arrogant nob?? I think you have the monoply on that. Lets face facts here, despite how much money chelski have spent in 2 years its still less than man utd have spent & when was your last premiership title?? You have 1 good season & you think youre a great team again!! Who of the big teams you actually beaten this season?? Chelski.......No, Arsenal..........No (& we had massive injury problems in that game) & both games were at your ground. If any team needs six players its man usa, but then we all know man utd are 500 million in debt & dont have a pot to p**s in!!
Ashburton Gooner
How proud man usa must be having retards like "The Truth" as fans!! What a loser!!
Ashburton Gooner
arsenal v chelsea has surpassed it.Sorry man u.
Thanks for HtG and the Truth for participating in "make a fool of yourself at Vital Arsenal" competition, you are both worthy winners of being called the greatest **** eaters on the WWW. Thank you, good night! PS. Kiss my ar$e(nal)!
"the truth" how ironic we run circles and deserved the win and y'all know it. these two games have been the best played in the season so far
ManU fans must hate truth there is no intelligence behind any of your comments you ape. clearly we are not the ones who need 6 players coz your full strength side was taken to xchool today. real football for your ass. ohh yeah and the larsson nightmare turned out to be a wet dream. as for HAte the goons...i love following you around coz you always make a fool of yourself 4-2??? try 2-1 to the gunners. shove that up your butt crack.
2-1 Arsenal today, and 2-0 Arsenal on the season - that's the Truth. Perhaps you SHOULD have taken us seriously huh? "the truth" is a little b!tch who should be gnawing on his own foot right about now. Sorry must suck for you.
2-0 Arsenal this season and hope to meet you in other cups too. It seems we have a new bunny this season(ManU) apart from Pool. I liked your team better than others to come to AG before the match, but I am not so sure: You playact as much as others, when the opponents play quality football, you guys disappear, cant seem to maintain the high tempo for the entire 90 minutes(ie the reason for both the late goals-looked really ragged at the end, trying to delay the proceedings for catching your breath), passing game really doesn't seem to be your forte. This is the first full 90 minutes of ManU match I watched ever, so I could be wrong. But I dont think so. I think your problem is all the guys are old, even though they have tons of experience they cant handle fast, passing type football @ full tempo for the entire 90 min.
hahahahahahahaha you guys can talk the talk, but you can't walk the walk, so much bull***** you lot uttered before the match, and like i told you rooney guy, you'll be left with egg on your face again and it happened again OH TO BE A GOONER :d..
This match may be the most important in our(Gunners') calenders this year, but I am pretty sure it would not be so next year, because you wont be in the running next year. Sorry old chaps, rebuild again maybe with 5/6 new guys, then we will talk.
***** u united gays.. men united.. man poo.. looney scum got a loss up his butt-hole.. howz it feel to play somebody ur calibre.. sucker ronaldo couldnt make one dribble the whole match.. always dancing around kids of the smaller teams.. u *****in' gay *****.. got ur asses kicked once again.. hail gunners.. gunners for the title.. scum united gonna win ***** this season..
and u quest *****.. stick yer 5/6 new guys up ur arse..
Great to see that skippy little ladyboy totally nullified - managed not to blub tho which is a start, Larssen kept well quiet, Neville showed his age huffin an puffin, whatever happens this season, we own you, closer each dayyyyy home and awayyyy
yeah you may have won but dominate us you didnt. We were the better side and you snatched it with tow late goals due to lack of concentration. Other then the two gaols what real shots did you have? None. And to the person who said we are in debt and therefore we cant buy players havent you seen we have bid 20 million for hargreaves paid 18 million for carrick. Who did you get again? no one. Oh and enjoy your fight for 3rd place cause you aint getting higher A win this week but in two weeks in the youll probally slip up to a small team again.
Yawnnnn second half potato head scores then it was all us, we ain't buying, cos we don't have to as today blatantly showed, likesay we own you
lol go4it_adi, questforavalon is a gooner - he was making fun of a manc who said we needed 5/6 players to catch them. come to think that manc was... it was... the Truth! HAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHHAHAHA
you do need players so you dont get handled by teams like sheff utd and fulham should i carry on. you think it was all you yet you never tested van der sar before the goal. rosicky and hleb both need to be replaced as they showed yet again they cant hack this league
Anyone on this site know what a double against a top flight team is?
rosicky and Hleb were patchy but still saw more of it than Scholes, Larssen and Skippy da Ladyboy, you took the first half, scored early in the 2nd then it was pretty much all us, winning it was no fluke, we proved that when necessary now we can play the English long ball game as well as the pretty pretty
ronney guy - YOu deserved to win? thats laughable, considering we had a good shout for penalty turned down as well. the first half was even, and we nicked it in the 2nd. Dont make excuses - the better team won. And it was pathetic to see ManU trying to waste time from the 70th minute itself. Mark of a champion side? Surely you can do better than tht.
The truth - i only have one thing to say - HAHAHAHAHAH.
Large slice of s##t pie for the clown The Truth, "you cant handle the truth". Would love to give you humble pie but you ponce like Christine would not know what to do with it. I suspect your not even a Man supporter but a spurs yid pretending to be one. Read the score line and weep you scum. To the real Man U supporters a good game apart from the time wasting.
rooney is god, i just have one thing to say to you, "HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA" stop whining loser, i told you that egg on the face after the game will be too much to take. and whatever you say, when our chances came, we took them, we beat you, you said you were gonna beat us, you lost again, we did the double over you hahahaha, i remember al lthe bull***** you and the truth were tokin before the game, i bet it doesen't feel so good now does it? get used to the Gunners beating you all the time son..
the Utd silence is golden. Oh, and if I cared about them I'd say that they have too many oldies - Larsson, Giggs, Scholes, Ole, Neville. Who are the replacements? Strikers you can buy, midfielders you can't (Hargreaves). Even if you do get Owen, is he really the next Scholes - attacking midfielder (like Cesc) - who can spray the ball around? Carrick's not the answer.
The truth, I warned you before the game the perils of gloating pre match. Denis Law, George Best, Norman Whiteside, Eric Cantona, Andy Gray can you hear me???? Your boys took ONE HELL OF A BEATING! As we sing to the Scousers, One minute, one minute, one minute!
Little Dutch
The truth must still be holed up in his Cornish cave!
Little Dutch
Ooooooooh Glazer is a yankee, he wears a baseball cap and when he saw United, he said I'll ruin that!!!!
Little Dutch
are any manc's on here today?
a dive penalty from henry there was barely any contact and he went down like he got shot. arsenal had the last 20 minutes thats it when had there only real two shots and the better team is the one who is 12 points ahead. luckys you won yes did you desrve it? no you stole it and i know what i would prefer to have a 12 point lead over you then to have won both games. at the end of the season could you come back and let us man utd fans know how it feels to fight for fourth place. carrick bossed the midfield as he did in the last two games he played against you for spurs so i dont know why your even mentioning carricks name. little dutch obviously you never watched the match if you think we took a beating and as for glazer ruining us top of the premiership if thats being ruined i dont know what to call your team.
I was at the match cornish boy. I'd have said a draw would have been fair, but Carrick did not booss the game by any means. He played well, but Cesc made the difference. You have to understand that after coming over to our page and giving it large, you're gonna get some back. If you can't handle that, then avoid the pre match baiting. I'd love to have seen the look on your Cornish face when TH planted that header away, or when Ronaldo took that pathetic dive on the left, or when Lehmann took the ***** out of your keeper for time wasting.
Little Dutch
You took 3 years and untold millions to build this team Rooneyisgod, 3 years in which you never even came close to winning the title. Arsene is doing exactly the same at Arsenal but with less money and better players. Van Persie 3.5m or Rooney 27m, Fabregas 500k or Carrick 18m? this is the 2nd year of our build so watch out next year.
why do you bother trying to have an intelligent debate with this retard,the fact that he said henry dived says it all,with a name like rooneyisblob,he should know everything there is about diving,we have rebuilt our team and moved to a new stadium,which has given us a slow start,and all he can say is 12 points talk about now,well we are the future...and your future says no money and old finished players!!!
fran merida
Rooneyisdog******, I doubt we'll be "fighting" for fourth place, you should just worry about that fickle 12 points you barely lead by....we've taken it from you before...
Your talk about your great future reminds me of Liverpool. They are the ones who predict at the start of every season that this would theirs. And of course they always fail miserably. Congrats though, you were due some success against us after years of humiliation. Hopefully we'll meet in the CL quarters.
Yeah, I was so humiliated at Old Trafford in 2002 when we won the league, I almost left early. And I could barely reveal my face when Vieira smashed that penalty past Carroll. I had to turn and apologise to your lot in the East Stand when Adebayor scored in September.
Little Dutch
Remind u of liverpool? years without a title Liverpool 18 years, United 3 years, Arsenal 2 years. Yes amazingly we have won the title more recently than you.
yeh we were due some success and what a time to get it, just when your chasing the title to dent your hopes, and if we dun win the title, we'll make sure you dun win it either. and ya just one more thing, hahahahahahahahahha..
rooneyis***, who is whining now :)? we stole it? thats the most laughably insightful comment I've heard all year !! The goals scored dont back you up, the stats dont back u up, and you certainly didnt deserve to win. so again - what?
cesc barely done anything he was overshadowed by carrick. iceman 3 years and we are top now and looking like we are gonna win it. where are you scarrping for fourth place still. and to even ask van persie or rooney is just crazy cause van persie aint even in rooneys league. luckys how can you make sure we dont win it you dont have a say it our title no more we are the only ones who can lose it
im not whining im saying the truth you had two shots that troubled van der sar when we sat back. we threw away the game you never won it.
we won it because we scored two goals, your goal was lucky, had it not been for toure's deflection, the ball wudnt have got to rooney, u tok too much of crap rooneyis**** two matches against us, and you couldn't score away nor keep a clean sheet in both the games, we deserved both the wins and we won. three years and you're looking like winning it, but you haven't won it, three years ago you in this position, you would have said we are going to win it for sure, and now you say we are looking like we are going to win it, that says everything about how much your faith and belief in your team has gone down from what it used to be, i'd wish you good luck, but i know you're gonna bottle it anyway..
score at home*
you deserved the first win but i dont think you did on sunday my belief in the team is the same as its always been do i expect to win it? yes. im just not counting my chickens before they hatch
hahaha you counted them before the match against us with all those foolish comments, and had egg on ur face after it, guess we've teached you a good lesson :p..
I see no one mentioned Leeds United .... cant think why can you? Manyoo v Leeds was years ago a fixture every wanted to watch.
Every clash between United and Arsenal is a good one!
foolish comments they werent foolish i said i think we are gonna win and ok we never and i only went to your site once and said you wont catch us even if you win and thats true you wont.

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