Tag Archives: Manchester

True extent of Arsenal’s awful record at Old Trafford revealed

During the game against Manchester United, at 1-0 down, I got thinking, ‘when was the last time we came from behind at Old Trafford to get a draw or win’? Having had the day off work today (to sober up after getting back into London gone midnight), I decided to research it.

Despite a few hours on Google, looking through some of the many Arsenal books I have, I was unable to find this. What I did discover, however, was just how bad our record at Old Trafford has been over the last 2 decades;


Fours wins in 20 years at Old Trafford in all competitions. 4 wins in 28 games. 3 in the Premier League, 1 in the FA Cup.

Overall, Arsenal’s record away to Manchester United (Including Woolwich Arsenal, Newton Heath and the Bank Street Ground) is: P 100, W 16, D 25, L 59, F 83, A 187. Not a great record hey! And it brings something else onto the table. Even when Manchester United were not very good, they often had Arsenal’s number in Manchester. They average 1.87 per game in Manchester, Arsenal average 0.83.

So perhaps it was a bit hopeful us going to Manchester hoping – even expecting – a victory. History shows that is rarely the case. And averaging under a goal a game in Manchester, well it means when we go 1-0 down, it is unlikely we will come back to grab a draw, let alone a win. It might be defeatist, however history allows us to predict the future, and history shows that Arsenal coming from behind to get something from Manchester United in Manchester rarely happens.

To answer my original question, of when we last came from behind to win or draw at Old Trafford, I enlisted the help of @Gooner_AK at our friends over at The Arsenal History Blog.

The last time we came from behind to draw or win in Manchester? 5 November 1977.

Manchester United took the lead through Gordon Hill on 60 minutes, with Arsenal hitting back through Malcolm Macdonald (66) and Frank Stapleton (83). 37 years ago.


Arsenal ‘first big test’ reminiscent to 1991 Battle of Old Trafford

This morning I came across a video on my Facebook fed, it was highlights of the 1991 Manchester United v Arsenal game. The famous game which saw a 21 man bust up (David Seaman acting the pacifist), the game which led to Arsenal being deducted 2 points, the game which resulted in a 1-0 victory for The Arsenal.

The reason I mention the game, and the video, is due to the opening line by the commentator of the highlights:

“Back in the league Arsenal faced their first real heavyweight contest of the season, Manchester United away at Old Trafford.”

Fast forward 22 years, and 21 days, Arsenal are facing a similar prospect. With all pundits still claiming that Arsenal will not win the league (Manchester City – currently 6 points behind – and Chelsea – Currently losing to WBA 2-1 are favourites.) The thinking behind this, as we all know, is the feeling that Arsenal have yet to be tested.

A bit like back in 1991, commentators throughout the game will be saying tomorrows game against Manchester United will be our “first real heavyweight contest of the season’ despite us already having beaten Tottenham, Liverpool, Napoli & Borussia Dortmund. There is definitely a reluctance in the Manchester/Scouse led press to accept Arsenal as proper title challengers.

And what happens if we do beat Manchester United? Will they simply reprint the Wayne Rooney quotes:

“We’ll have to wait and see where Arsenal are in March.”

Or will they accept that we are finally title challengers? And what for Manchester United? Defeat for them will leave them 11 points behind in the title race. Surely we will see ‘Manchester United: A club in crisis’ headlines, and an official declaration by Alan Hansen et al that Manchester United are out of the title race? Or will they sweep it under the covers?

If Manchester United beat us, I can already see the headlines:

Arsenal lose first real test

Pundits will sit there telling the world that they told us so, declaring that Manchester United are in the title race, whilst Arsenal have no chance of the title. Remember, lose to United and we will still be top of the table.

All I know is that, like in 1991, the game tomorrow will be a feisty one, with Manchester United knowing it will be the end of their title defence if they lose, and Arsenal knowing that they can cement their place at the top of the league with victory.

An advantage tomorrow will be that we do not need to beat Manchester United at Old Trafford. We can sit back and catch them on the counter attack, as we did with Dortmund on Wednesday night. A draw is still a good result for us, it will not be for them.

Arsenal beat Manchester United in their first big test in 1991, and went on to win the league. Deja vu anyone?



Arsenal about to enter the eye of the storm

As London and the South of England get’s hit by the worst storm in a few decades, Arsenal are about to enter their toughest period of the Premier League season so far.

With a fairly comfortable start to the league campaign, playing sides whim we beat in the corresponding fixtures last year, as well as one of the newly promoted – and bottom of the table – clubs, it should not really be a surprise to anyone that we are top of the league.

The tough fixtures are about to rain down on Arsenal football club, with use due to play Chelsea, Liverpool, Borussia Dortmund and Manchester United within a 13 day period. It will be a season defining period. Defeats could see us out of the League Cup, requiring a victory in Napoli to remain in the Champions League, and doubts creeping into the mindset of the players that we are not good enough to compete with the Premier League’s elite.

Victories on the other hand will be like bright sunshine breaking through the clouds. Imagine the scenario if we get 4 wins from 4. World football will have to take notice of Arsenal football club, and the rest of the season will be very bright indeed.

Our season begins to heat up tomorrow with that League Cup tie against Chelsea. Despite it being silverware, it is understandable that Wenger will shuffle the squad. I would much rather a victory against Liverpool at the weekend, then a victory against Chelsea. The league is more important.

A victory against Crystal Palace should lift the pressure off the club. Had we suffered a defeat against them, we could have been facing a scenario where we potentially lost 6 games on the spin and the stormy atmosphere and Wenger Out cries would have quickly returned.

The Arsenal crowd need to ensure they get behind the side over the next 4 games. The Black Scarf Movement have organised a brilliant initiative against Chelsea which should see a fantastic atmosphere result from it. Hopefully that atmosphere carries itself over to the Liverpool game, and then travels to Dortmund and Manchester.

Get through the next few weeks with our Champions League destiny still in our own hands, and still top of the league, we could be on for a special season.

Hopefully the victories come flooding in.