Flashback: Five iconic moments between Arsenal and Man Utd

File: Two of England’s biggest football clubs will lock horns this weekend as Arsenal host Manchester United at the Emirates stadium on Saturday. Photo: AFP

JOHANNESBURG – Whenever Arsenal and Manchester United meet, sparks fly, cards are shown and blood is shed.

Two of England’s biggest football clubs will lock horns this weekend as Arsenal host Manchester United at the Emirates stadium on Saturday.

Be it a Friendly, Cup competition or league encounter, this clash gets the blood boiling like no other.

The titanic rivalry between the Gunners and the Red Devils will once again be on show and if history is anything to go by, fans and neutrals are sure to be expecting more than just blood sweat and tears.

eNCA.com takes a look at five iconic and most heated moments in the history of this famous English football contest.

Ronaldo rubbing salt in the wounds

Former Red, Cristiano Ronaldo, went on to become one of the greatest players in football history at Real Madrid and had become quite a handful for Arsenal during his time in Manchester.

Among his many achievements in England, Ronaldo began showing that he is the man for the big occasion and close to the end of his spell at Old Trafford his hard work had made it clear that his, was a talent made for slaying giants.

Watch Ronaldo put then Arsenal defender Justin Hoyte to the sword.

Henry the heartbreaker

Thierry Henry, widely credited as Arsenal's greatest ever player, arrived at the London club initially as a left winger back in 1999.

His pace and close control made him a terror for defenders and once proven as a sharp goalscorer, the number 14 jersey became one of legend as he leads the London team in becoming one the heavyweights of European football.

Equipped with a great football brain, pace and evergreen athleticism, Henry was a player who never gave up and epitomised the stylish and sexy 'Rolls Royce' type of football Arsenal are famous for.

Take a look at this last minute header against Manchester United during the 2006/07 season.

A textbook finish, off the back of perfect build-up play.

The Welsh Wizard

When United fans talk Arsenal, the conversation is almost always taken back to that 1998/99 FA Cup semi-final against the Gunners at Highbury.

All it took was one loose pass from Arsenal's Patrick Viera, intercepted by Reds Legend Ryan Giggs, that quickly turned the match and created an iconic moment that will never be forgotten for both sets of fans.

The Welshman found himself in possession and decided to run at the Arsenal back line all on his own.

Like a hot knife through butter, he pierced the Gunners defence and to add insult to injury, beat England's then number one, David Seaman at the near post after rifling home a shot high into the back of the net.

The tunnel bust-up

The 2004/05 season brought with it one of the most memorable pre-match scenes as team captains Patrick Viera and Roy Keane shared more than a few words in the Highbury tunnel.

It was said at the time that the "fight" was started by Viera after he supposedly picked on United defender Gary Neville. 

Keane, who entered the altercation late had to be held back by players and match officials when he heard that his United teammate was "targeted".

The battle of Old Trafford

Back in 2003, United hosted Arsenal in what is now hailed as a historic encounter which included the sending-off of Arsenal captain Patrick Vieira for a kick-out at United striker Ruud van Nistelrooy, who was also booked for his involvement.

The referee awarded United a penalty in the last minute, eventually missed by Van Nistelrooy which then kicked-off ugly and violent scenes at the Theatre of Dreams.

Players from both camps were charged by the Football Association and up to five Arsenal players and at least two United players were fined.

Manchester United overcame Watford 4-2 on Tuesday night, while Arsenal thrashed Huddersfield Town 5-0 on Wednesday.


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