When Robin Van Persie scored his hat trick against Villa on Monday night, you could almost hear the groans from the Emirates reaching Old Trafford as Arsene Wenger, not to mention Arsenal fans realised a nightmare had become a reality.
Arsenal’s players would have to applaud the newly crowned Champions on to the pitch, which of course included a certain cow flicked Dutchman who was once he darling of the North Bank- or whatever it’s called in the Emirates and is now about as popular as an Emmanuel Adebayor goal celebration. What older Arsenal fans may think back to in a bid to soften the blow is a time when rivalry with United meant more than just chants and harsh words exchanged over the internet. In October 1990 in a match at Old Trafford Arsenal and United were involved in a real battle. Literally. A 21 man brawl between both sets of players- started when Nigel Winterburn committed an awful tackle on Denis Irwin. Both Irwin and Brian McClair tried to diffuse the situation by kicking the Gunners left back as he lay in the floor and a mass brawl ensued that cost Arsenal a two point deduction and United one- and this before the days of Gilluminati.
After that games between the two sides seemed fraught with tension, anger and even fighting, Ian Wright’s horror challenge on Peter Schmeichel, Roy Keane- Patrick Vieira, the battle of the buffet etc.
But casting our minds back to the 1990/91 season, imagine having a mass brawl with your rivals in a defeat at home in the league then having to applaud them on as Champions in the return leg. Ouch. Check out this video of that brawl, the Gunners season and the unfortunate guard of honour.
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