by Bulldog Drummond
The last time we had a regular series of league matches against Sheffield United was in the early 1990s, but then the club dropped ouf of the top league in 1994. However during that era although they didn’t manage to beat us they did manage a series of 1-1 draws.
Eventually they did get the better of us in the FA cup in January 1996 and we did lose to them in their last round of appearances in the Premier League, in December 2006. But the record since 1990 shows just two defeats to them.
|29 Dec 1990||Arsenal v Sheffield United||W||4-1||Division One|
|06 Apr 1991||Sheffield United v Arsenal||W||0-2||Division One|
|21 Sep 1991||Arsenal v Sheffield United||W||5-2||Division One|
|18 Apr 1992||Sheffield United v Arsenal||D||1-1||Division One|
|19 Sep 1992||Sheffield United v Arsenal||D||1-1||Premier League|
|09 Jan 1993||Arsenal v Sheffield United||D||1-1||Premier League|
|29 Dec 1993||Arsenal v Sheffield United||W||3-0||Premier League|
|04 Apr 1994||Sheffield United v Arsenal||D||1-1||Premier League|
|06 Jan 1996||Arsenal v Sheffield United||D||1-1||FA Cup|
|17 Jan 1996||Sheffield United v Arsenal||L||1-0||FA Cup|
|23 Feb 1999||Arsenal v Sheffield United||W||2-1||FA Cup|
|13 Apr 2003||Arsenal v Sheffield United||W||1-0||FA Cup|
|19 Feb 2005||Arsenal v Sheffield United||D||1-1||FA Cup|
|01 Mar 2005||Sheffield United v Arsenal||W||0-0||FA Cup|
|23 Sep 2006||Arsenal v Sheffield United||W||3-0||Premier League|
|30 Dec 2006||Sheffield United v Arsenal||L||1-0||Premier League|
|31 Oct 2007||Sheffield United v Arsenal||W||0-3||League Cup|
|23 Sep 2008||Arsenal v Sheffield United||W||6-0||League Cup|
What is noticeable is that in these 18 games since the start of the 1990s they have only once scored more than one goal – and that in a 5-2 defeat. At the time Arsenal were fifth and United were 15th. And to add to Arsenal’s ignomony with no substitute keeper on the bench, Phil Jagielka took over in goal after Paddy Kenny went off with an injury after 61 minutes. United went to an 10 man defence and held on.
Their specialism however has been the 1-1 draw and that will be what they go for this time around.
But the game I suspect most people remember was the last game between the two, not just because it was the most recent and we won 6-0, but because of the side we put out. It was a team of by and large 18 and 19 year olds… although to be fair Djourou was 21. Wilshere on the other hand was 17.
Gavin Hoyte Johann Djourou Kieran Gibbs
Fran Merida Alex Song
Aaron Ramsey Jack Wilshere Mark Randall
Nicklas Bendtner Carlos Vela
We then rubbed in the salt by bringing on Henri Lansbury for Alex Song, Francis Coquelin for Fran Merida and Jay Simpson for Nicklas Bentner, with 20 minutes to go.
In the 2006 defeat we unusually had two Brazilian players in the team: Julia Baptista and Gilberto Silva.
But these more recent games are quite a change from the early matches between Sheffield United and Woolwich Arsenal between 1903 and 1907. Arsenal only won one of the first seven league and cup games between the sides, and United regularly got the better of Arsenal right up to 1929 when they beat Herbert Chapman’s team in December 4-1.
Arsenal did however then get their revenge with an 8-1 victory in 1930. Mind you there had been 28 goals in the previous five games between the sides so maybe that was not too surprising. In 1932 we went even better and beat them 9-2. And we have knocked in five or more five times since then, despite not playing them every season.
But because of those early defeats we are not that far ahead of them in the reckoning. They’ve won 39 league and cup games, and we have won 48, with 26 draws – but recent history remains firmly on our side.
Original article: https://untold-arsenal.com/archives/77568