Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has named the infamous Battle of Old Trafford, and specifically the confrontation between Martin Keown and Ruud van Nistelrooy, as his most memorable moment from games between the two giants of English football, according to CaughtOffside.
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Speaking with Keown himself, the Frenchman picked the match in 2003 as the incident that sticks out for him.
“The most memorable? You were involved in it.
“Of course that famous incident with the penalty with Van Nistelrooy,” Wenger revealed.
The Dutch striker received the tirade of abuse from Arsenal players, but especially Keown, after missing a late penalty against the Gunners. They had been unhappy with the way van Nistelrooy had seemingly got skipper Patrick Vieira sent off earlier in the game, so took plenty of joy from his spot-kick cannoning off the crossbar.
Though they didn’t know it at the time, the goalless draw proved a pivotal moment in Arsenal’s season, as they went on to win the Premier League, having gone the entire campaign unbeaten.
The rivalry continues this Monday, when the two clubs meet for the fifteenth time in the FA Cup, and while they currently share the record for most triumphs in the competition – eleven each – the winner of the tie is likely to be considered a massive favourite going into the semi-final stage.