In the past, Arsenal and Manchester United had one of the most fierce and violent rivalries the Premier League has ever seen. Ryan Giggs has recently opened up about the rivalry and explained how it was not just a show.
He named Robert Pires along with a few other former Arsenal players as the ones he never liked.
During that era, every time Arsenal played United, there would always be a heated exchange of words, filthy tackles and the rest. The rivalry intensified following the arrival of Arsene Wenger in 1996.
This fierce rivalry however, brought a lot of fans and especially the neutrals a brilliant show. The football played when Arsenal and Man United went head-to-head was pure brilliance. In a recent interview, Giggs revealed that the players genuinely disliked each other and there was no pretending when there was any confrontation during the games.
At the time, Arsenal’s squad was filled with big names. The squad included World-Cup winners Patrick Vieira and Emmanuel Petit, and Robert Pires, the lethal Dutch attacker Dennis Bergkamp and many other Arsenal legends.
Speaking to the Daily Mail, Ryan Giggs named a few Arsenal players he didn’t like: “I didn’t like Arsenal. I didn’t like Vieira because he was dirty and got away with murder. I didn’t like Petit because he had long hair. I didn’t like Bergkamp. I didn’t like Pires even though when you meet him now he’s actually dead nice.”
The quality among the two sides was immensely high. Whenever Arsenal went up against Sir Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United side everyone knew it was going to be a classic Premier League match. There was never a moment where you could look away.
The Manchester United legend added: “I wouldn’t even look at them, didn’t know them and didn’t want to. I wouldn’t allow myself to rate any of them. They were top-drawer and that rivalry was everything to us. Deeper even than Liverpool at that time.”
That rivalry between Arsenal and Manchester United still remains today. United have won a total of 99 games between the two sides where as Arsenal have won 87 games. 53 matches have ended in a draw.
However, recently Arsenal have been the more dominant side between the two. Since 2020, Arsenal have won 4 games where as United have won 2.