Saturday 27 April 2013
Arsenal will be looking to build on their strong home record against Manchester United under the guidance of manager Arsene Wenger when they welcome the newly crowned Barclays Premier League champions to the Emirates Stadium on Sunday.
Although the visitors won their 13th Barclays Premier League title with four matches to spare on Monday, thanks to a hat-trick by former Gunner Robin van Persie against Aston Villa, history is on the hosts’ charges in this particular fixture.
Of the 16 matches between Wenger and Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson in North London, Arsenal have won seven. The two sides have drawn four times and Arsenal have lost on five occasions with the Gunners outscoring the visitors by 26 goals to 23.
However, United will be buoyed by the recent upturn in fortunes at the Emirates Stadium since 2010, winning two of their past three trips. Before that, United had won just once since the turn of the century, when defender John O’Shea rounded off an entertaining 4-2 away victory with a magnificent lob.
Arsenal’s most recent victory in this tie came in the 2010/11 campaign, when Wales midfielder Aaron Ramsey scored the only goal. A Samir Nasri double inspired the Gunners to victory in November 2008 and Wenger’s side won the first home match against the Red Devils at the Emirates Stadium in dramatic style, with Thierry Henry producing a rare header in added time as Arsenal came from behind to win 2-1.
Last season, Robin van Persie scored for the Gunners before Danny Welbeck won the game late on for Ferguson’s side. Van Persie joined United in August 2012 and will be returning to his old stomping ground for the first time since his summer departure.
The Netherlands forward comes in to the encounter in fine form, with five goals in his past three games. The division's leading scorer with 24 Barclays Premier League goals, he has scored 17 goals in his last 17 top-flight appearances at the Emirates.
Former Arsenal forward Henry is the top scorer in matches between the two clubs in north London, with seven goals, and his first strike against Ferguson’s men is considered one of the best goals in Premier League history. Henry chipped up a pass played in to his feet from the edge of the box, swivelled and volleyed the ball in to the top far corner to seal a 1-0 win. The next season Henry capitalised on an error from United goalkeeper Fabian Barthez to help the hosts win 3-1 and go on to earn their second Premier League title.
Wayne Rooney has the highest goal haul by a Premier League player against the Gunners, finding the net 10 times. Two of those goals have come away from home as a United player.
This fixture has historically provided plenty of goals and, since Wenger took charge of Arsenal in the 1996/97 campaign, there has only been one goalless draw – the last match in this fixture at Highbury Stadium in 2006. There has been an average of just over three goals a game.
That goalless affair aside, the Gunners have scored in every home League meeting with the Red Devils, and they will be looking to carry on this record as they push for an all-important victory that would boost their hopes of securing a top-four finish.
For photographs of recent encounters between Arsenal and Manchester United flick through the gallery above.