By Bulldog Drummond
Manchester United are one of that small number of teams that have beaten Arsenal, more than Arsenal have beaten them. The current score is 100 wins to them, 85 to us with 50 draws. Although to get to this total we go back to the days when neither side had the names they have now. The first game was on 13 October 1894 which ended Newton Heath 3 Woolwich Arsenal 3 in League Division Two.
But if we look back over the most recent half-dozen games, we have had the advantage with three wins, two draws and one defeat.
|10 Mar 2019||Arsenal v Manchester United||W||2-0||Premier League|
|30 Sep 2019||Manchester United v Arsenal||D||1-1||Premier League|
|01 Jan 2020||Arsenal v Manchester United||W||2-0||Premier League|
|01 Nov 2020||Manchester United v Arsenal||W||0-1||Premier League|
|30 Jan 2021||Arsenal v Manchester United||D||0-0||Premier League|
|02 Dec 2021||Manchester United v Arsenal||L||3-2||Premier League|
And moving on to the current season we can see that Manchester United have themselves had a bit of an up and down time…
|20 Feb 2022||Leeds United v Manchester United||W||2-4||Premier League|
|23 Feb 2022||Atlético Madrid v Manchester United||D||1-1||Champions League|
|26 Feb 2022||Manchester United v Watford||D||0-0||Premier League|
|6 Mar 2022||Manchester City v Manchester United||L||4-1||Premier League|
|12 Mar 2022||Manchester United v Tottenham Hot||W||3-2||Premier League|
|15 Mar 2022||Manchester United v Atlético Madrid||L||0-1||Champions League|
|02 Apr 2022||Manchester United v Leicester City||D||1-1||Premier League|
|09 Apr 2022||Everton v Manchester United||L||1-0||Premier League|
|16 Apr 2022||Manchester United v Norwich City||W||3-2||Premier League|
|19 Apr 2022||Liverpool v Manchester United||L||4-0||Premier League|
So across those last ten games in all competitions, they have won three, drawn three and lost four. Goals for, total 13 while goals against, total 18.
Thus we are now three points above them with one game in hand and a better goal difference and a home record that is much better than their away record.
In terms of domestic honours, Manchester United have won the league more times than any other club (20 all told as opposed to Arsenal’s 13. They last won it in 2013, and we last won it in 2004.
But we are ahead of them (and indeed everyone else) in terms of FA Cup wins (14 to Arsenal, 12 to them), although they have outdone us in Europe with five trophies to our two.
However, let us move forward and consider the style of play.
In terms of tackling Manchester United are 11th, Arsenal 18th. For yellow cards Manchester United have the sixth-highest total, Arsenal 15th. Leeds have the highest numbers in terms of all three categories and Manchester City the lowest numbers in each case.
Manchester United get 1.94 yellow cards per game, while Arsenal get 1.47 cards per game played this season – which means they get 32% more yellow cards than Arsenal when we take into account the fact that they have played one more game.
So let’s see why…
Arsenal can thus commit fractionally more tackles before a foul is called than Manchester United can. But Manchester United really fall foul of the referees when it comes to tackles being penalised by yellow cards. They are more likely to have a tackle result in a yellow card than even Leeds United.
And this is reflected again when we look at the relationship between fouls and yellow cards. The target here must be Manchester City who only get a yellow card once every 7.83 fouls. That is clearly what Arsenal are aiming for, and have now got to a yellow once every 6.40 fouls.
That difference is still a gap – and there is another big gap between Arsenal and the rest, with Manchester United’s figures (one yellow every 5.3 fouls) having more in common with Leeds United (one yellow every 4.27 fouls) than with Arsenal (one ever 6.40).
This process of taking Arsenal from being the most yellow-carded club in the league down to one of the least has been a significant achievement by Mikel Arteta, and has taken us away from the area we found ourselves in under Unai Emery who didn’t seem to realise just how different is the number of cards shown to clubs across the Premier League, from other leagues.
When it comes to refereeing decisions, the Premier League most certainly is in a world of its own.
- Everton v Arsenal: a happy video, line-up and what the league table will look like after
- Everton v Arsenal: Injuries, points needed for 4th, and Arsenal the first to 100?
- Everton v Arsenal: extraordinary figures seen in the last 6 games table
- Everton v Arsenal: how this referee treats the home and away team
- Everton v Arsenal and the oddity of referee behaviour