Indeed there was even a link between the two contests as at the 1933 match against Rangers, Arsenal invited Racing to be guests of honour. In return Herbert Chapman and Samuel Hill Wood (the chairmen) were given the French Medal of Physical Culture. Allison later received the same medal as the series continued.
So it was that three seasons after Arsenal started the series against Racing Club de Paris the series started, of which one of the high points was the midweek friendly between Arsenal and Rangers in December 1951. 62,012 was the official total, with many more locked outside.
It was the first game under the new floodlights at Highbury floodlights and a big black and white picture of the night hung in the Marble Halls at Highbury – and hopefully still has a place at the Emirates.
In the first year of the games there was a home and away format, the first match in Glasgow on September 20 1933 and the second at Highbury on September 27 – one week later. After that it was once a year, alternating in venues, sometimes at the start of the season sometimes at the end.
The sequence of matches at Highbury ended in August 1967. Arsenal won 3-0 with two from Sammels and one from Armstrong. The following season a 2-2 draw was played out and that was that.
Results from Arsenal v Rangers friendlies:
- 1933/34 Rangers 2, Arsenal 0 (Ibrox)
1933/34 Arsenal 1, Rangers 3 (Highbury)
1934/35 Arsenal 1, Rangers 1 (Highbury)
1935/36 Rangers 2, Arsenal 2 (Ibrox)
1936/37 Arsenal 2, Rangers 1 (Highbury)
1938/39 Rangers 1, Arsenal 0 (Ibrox)
1951/52 Arsenal 3, Rangers 2 (Highbury)
1953/54 Rangers 1, Arsenal 2 (Ibrox)
1954/55 Arsenal 3, Rangers 3 (Highbury)
1955/56 Rangers 2, Arsenal 0 (Ibrox)
1958/59 Arsenal 0, Rangers 3 (Highbury)
1960/61 Rangers 4, Arsenal 2 (Ibrox)
1962/63 Arsenal 2, Rangers 2 (Highbury, Jack Kelsey Testimonial)
1966/67 Rangers 2, Arsenal 0 (Ibrox)
1967/68 Arsenal 3, Rangers 0 (Highbury)
1968/69 Rangers 2, Arsenal 2 (Ibrox)
1973/74 Rangers 1, Arsenal 2 (Ibrox)
1980/81 Rangers 2, Arsenal 0 (Ibrox)
1989/90 Rangers 1, Arsenal 2 (Ibrox) (Zenith Data Challenge)
1996/97 Rangers 3, Arsenal 0 (Ibrox)
1996/97 Arsenal 3, Rangers 3 (Highbury, Nigel Winterburn Testimonial)
2003/04 Rangers 0, Arsenal 3 (Ibrox)
After that we had a game in the Emirates Cup: 2 August 2009: Arsenal 3 Rangers 0, but that was the end.
Rangers, as I am sure you will know, won the Scottish league last season playing an unbeaten season in the league
It wasn’t a very closely fought competition!
Curiously in competitive games we don’t seem to have played them much at all. In fact the only match I can find occurred on 19 December 1989 at Ibrox in the much loved (!) Zenith Data Systems Challenge Cup. We won 1-2.
This season Rangers have played a couple of friendlies, losing to Tranmere Rovers 1-0 on 10 July and beating Partick Thistle at Firhill by the same score.
As for what sort of game this will be, the key attributes we are now using (as you will know if you followed us through last season, where the power of these figures was revealed) are the tackles, fouls and yellows per game.
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