Arsene Wenger’s final trip to Old Trafford as Arsenal manager will see the Frenchman attempt to end a 12-year wait for a Premier League win at Manchester United’s home as a parting present to the club he’s served for more than two decades.
The last time Arsenal beat United on their own soil in league competition came all the way back in September 2006, courtesy of a late Emmanuel Adebayor winner. The 12 years that have passed since mark the longest Arsenal have had to wait between Premier League wins at Old Trafford.
United have successfully defended their borders in league competition 10 times since then, winning seven and drawing on three occasions. Arsenal did win at Old Trafford as recently as March 2015, with that FA Cup sixth-round result their first win at the ground in nine years.
At least the Gunners aren’t yet close to beating their all-time record drought between top-flight wins away to the Red Devils, however. The north Londoners once went from October 1930 to April 1962 without beating United away in the old Division One.
Wenger’s men were disappointed to draw 1-1 at home to 10-man Atletico Madrid on Thursday, failing to capitalise on their man advantage in the first leg of their Europa League quarter-final encounter.
That result left Sunday’s visitors with only one win from their last four outings, while United have had a full week’s rest since beating Tottenham Hotspur last Saturday to take their spot in the FA Cup final.
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After suffering only one home defeat in 2017, United have already doubled that tally this year with losses to Sevilla and West Bromwich Albion in recent weeks. That will give Arsenal some hope of breaking their lines, although it could also be unfortunate timing for the Gunners, taking on a foe that’s already had their home record disturbed.
The 17 points that separates second-placed United from Arsenal in sixth is the largest we’ve seen at this stage of a season for some years. The Gunners are closer to Newcastle United in 10th—16 points below them—than they are to challenging for the Premier League’s runner-up spot.
Arsenal are still waiting on an away Premier League win in 2018 and have a 12-year Old Trafford curse hanging over their head leading into Sunday’s clash, making for a potentially nightmarish trip to the Theatre of Dreams.