English Soccer News

Man Utd v Arsenal: Has the Premier League match become a ‘lost rivalry’?

Manchester United and Arsenal games have seen plenty of clashes over the years

For almost a decade, they were the top two teams in English football.

Manchester United and Arsenal face off again in the Premier League on Monday (kick-off 20:00 BST), but there is a feeling that it has become somewhat of a lost rivalry.

BBC Sport takes a look at a once blockbuster fixture which regularly saw brawls and confrontation on and off the pitch.

Title triumphs have disappeared

The sight of captains Roy Keane or Patrick Vieira holding aloft the Premier League trophy at the end of the season grew to become a tiresome sight for fans of clubs other than Manchester United and Arsenal.

Between 1997 and 2004 United and Arsenal were the only clubs to finish as champions. They also collected five FA Cups between them during that period.

Between 1997 and February 2005, there were only three meetings when one of them was not top of the table. In contrast, since November 2013, not one of their meetings has involved either side going in as league leaders.

A familiar sight once upon a time

“It was a really intense rivalry at a time when the title was going to go to United or Arsenal,” says Arsenal blogger