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Man Utd and Arsenal: The idea that this rivalry has cooled is a complete myth

Goals, yellow cards, red cards. Here's what to expect when Arsenal take a trip to Old Trafford to face United in the FA Cup

by David Lyons | March 6, 2015

Arsenal and Manchester United in the cup… Aww yes!

There’s been pizza, hairdryers, swan dives and terrible puns like “I’d 8-2 be an Arsenal fan right now”. So far we’ve had 218 meetings between the two clubs since 1894, when Newton Heath drew 3-3 with Woolwich Arsenal. Decent match that day actually, you missed a cracker. Pity there’s no highlights on YouTube for it…

Right! If you love stats then this right here is your thing.

  • 219 games
  • 78 Arsenal wins
  • 48 Draws
  • 93 Man Utd wins

In terms of the FA Cup, that’s five Arsenal wins, two draws and seven United wins.


The current United Assistant Manager is the record appearance holder with 50 games under his belt… Giggs has played in more games against Arsenal than most fans will see in a lifetime! With United’s performances this season, some of those fans would much prefer to see him still togging out.

Since 2000 we have seen 97 goals:

  • 37 Arsenal goals
  • 60 United goals

With the game being held in Old Trafford, Arsenal fans should be slightly worried going into this game – Arsenal have only scored 10 times there since 2000. Man Utd have scored 35 times.

Overall, Rooney is the top goal scorer in these games on 11, with Henry and RVP on nine and seven respectively.

United lead the way in trophies won 62-40, but both teams have 11 FA Cups. With most of the big guns knocked out, the winner of this game will surely be favourite for a 12th.


Only once since Arsene Wenger took the reins has a game between these two finished without a booking. Once! That was the time that Arsenal hired Fergie to do a demolition job on his team. 6-1 that ended.

In 52 games the referee has reached into his pocket 240 times. Looking at the time since Wenger took over in 1996, Arsenal are the dirtier team:

  • 118 Arsenal yellow cards
  • 9 Arsenal red cards
  • 109 Man Utd yellow cards
  • 4 Man Utd red cards

The idea that the rivalry has cooled is a myth. While there may be less people being sent off, it has now become a team effort to get stuck in and “Let him know you’re there”. You’re more likely to see a card given now than you were during the so called height of the rivalry.

Arsene Wenger presided over 29 games during the Keane – Viera era. During that time we saw 121 yellow cards and 9 red cards. Fiesty.

There have been 23 games since United and Arsenal lost their hard men in the middle of the park. During their time, the battles averaged 4.37 cards per game. But what about since they’ve left? Well the poor ref has to reach into his pocket nearly five times per game.Expect something similar on Monday night as this season Arsenal have racked up 60 yellows and two red compared with 53 yellows and four reds for Man United.

Wenger and Van Gaal’s men are now only separated by a single point in the league. Neither are setting the league alight and the FA Cup is now both team’s only realistic chance of silverware. The two teams are back on a level playing field with something to fight for, so might we see a bite to finally match the bark?

Have your say in the comments below.

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