Games with Man United are still key battles, Wenger says
LONDON - Reuters
Robin van Persie. AFP photoMatches between Arsenal and Manchester United are as fascinating as ever despite fresh teams emerging as Premier League title contenders, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said on Jan. 20.
The game at the Emirates on Jan. 22 is the clubs’ first meeting since champion United mauled Arsenal 8-2 at Old Trafford in August.
Despite that crushing defeat, the North Londoners are still involved in the hunt for a top four finish if not the title itself.
They are also capable of beating anyone on their day and, unlike United, have qualified for the knockout rounds of the Champions League.
The two clubs dominated the League for much of the late 1990s and in the first years of the new century, but Chelsea, Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur have all closed the gap with Chelsea winning three titles since 2005 and City and Spurs ahead of Arsenal this season.
However, asked about the importance of the United game, Wenger told Arsenal Player on the club’s website: “It’s still the same. It is not the only game any more with Chelsea and Man City coming in, with Liverpool still there. But it is a game that is watched all over the world.”
The match will be the first Premier League game to be shown live on terrestrial TV in the United States with the U.S.’ Fox screening it.
It forms part of an intriguing double with Manchester City hosting Spurs on the same day. City has 51 and United is on 48 points. Arsenal has 36 points.