The 8-2 defeat at Old Trafford was Arsenal’s heaviest in the Premier League era and one which many hoped was a nadir in the club’s fortunes.
Borne off the back of a mismanaged summer, a rag-tag Arsenal side fell apart that day and were picked off by a ruthless United side. The defeat sparked signings and a resurgence in form, until recent games, but skipper Robin van Persie, who missed a says that the memories of that day are still fresh and will act a stimulus ahead of this Sunday’s re-match.
“Everyone has been looking really sharp in training this week,” he said, “so we’re ready for the game and feeling positive about it.
“We know exactly what we’re in for – Manchester United are great competitors who often manage to nick a game even if they seem to be struggling.
“What happened against Manchester United at Old Trafford is a motivation, for sure. I’d never lost a match 8-2 before so I’m hungry to put that right, as is the entire team.”
Arsenal will be without the injured Mikel Arteta while Thomas Vermaelen and Thierry Henry are doubtful, both of them suffering with calf problems.
And while the days of The Arsenal – United duopoly are long gone, Arsene Wenger says this is still a massive game for football fans across the world.
“It’s still the same,” he said. “It is not the only game anymore because you have Chelsea and Man City coming in, with Liverpool still there. But it is a game that is watched all over the world.”