Old foes Manchester United and Arsenal face off at Old Trafford on Monday in an FA Cup quarter-final that represents both teams’ best hope of winning a trophy this season.
Here, AFP Sports recalls five classic FA Cup encounters between the clubs, who have each won the trophy on a joint-record 11 occasions.
Arsenal 3-2 Manchester United — final, Wembley, May 1979
Dubbed ‘The Five-minute Final’. Arsenal appeared to be coasting to victory courtesy of first-half goals from Brian Talbot and future United striker Frank Stapleton, only for Gordon McQueen to bring Dave Sexton’s side back into the game with four minutes remaining. Sammy McIlroy equalised two minutes later, but with United’s fans still celebrating in the Wembley sunshine, Graham Rix crossed from the left for Alan Sunderland to squeeze an 89th-minute winner past Gary Bailey.
Arsenal 1-2 Manchester United — semi-final replay, Villa Park, April 1999
The last ever FA Cup semi-final replay was settled by arguably the tournament’s greatest ever goal as United secured a victory that inspired them to a glorious Treble. In a game of dizzying momentum swings, David Beckham put United ahead from long range, only for Dennis Bergkamp to equalise with a deflected shot. United were reduced to 10 men when Roy Keane was sent off and Phil Neville then conceded a last-minute penalty for tripping Ray Parlour. But Peter Schmeichel saved Bergkamp’s spot-kick and in the 19th minute of extra time, a loose pass from Patrick Vieira was picked up on the halfway line by Ryan Giggs, who scythed through Arsenal’s fabled back four before slamming a shot past David Seaman.
Arsenal 0-1 Manchester United — semi-final, Villa Park, April 2004
With second-tier rivals Millwall and Sunderland facing off in the other semi-final at Old Trafford, this last-four tie was seen as a de facto final. Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal were gunning for a third successive FA Cup success and would finish the season unbeaten as league champions, but Paul Scholes’s emphatic 32nd-minute strike gave United victory and Alex Ferguson’s side comfortably outclassed Millwall in the final at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium.
Arsenal 0-0 Manchester United (Arsenal win 5-4 on penalties) — final, Millennium Stadium, May 2005
United and Arsenal were blown away by newcomer Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea in the league in 2004-05, but the FA Cup final gave both sides a chance to finish the season with a piece of silverware. Inspired by Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo, United were dominant, hitting the woodwork three times, but it was Arsenal who ultimately prevailed on penalties. After Jens Lehmann had saved from Paul Scholes, Patrick Vieira swept home the decisive spot-kick in his final Arsenal game before leaving for Juventus.
Manchester United 4-0 Arsenal — fifth round, Old Trafford, February 2008
The two clubs were on contrasting trajectories — United three months away from a league and Champions League double; Arsenal three years into a trophy drought that would extend for a further six — and it showed in a one-sided affair at Old Trafford. Darren Fletcher scored twice, with Wayne Rooney and Nani also on target, and Nani rubbed salt into Arsenal’s wounds late in the game by audaciously juggling the ball on his head as he ran back towards his own goal, to the visible displeasure of his opponents.
Photo Credits : AFP