On this day: United & Arsenal exchange blows at Old Trafford

It was 26 years ago when tensions and nerves got the better of Manchester United and Arsenal players at Old Trafford.

Sport360 staff
by Sport360 staff
20th October 2016

article:20th October 2016

Tense: Man United vs Arsenal.
Tense: Man United vs Arsenal.

On this day, 26 years ago, Arsenal travelled to the North West to face Manchester United in their Football League First Division encounter. The game wasn’t particularly exciting for spectators and produced the single goal in favour of the North London side.

However, the fixture is remembered when goalscorer Anders Limpar and United defender Denis Irwin attempted to win the ball before Arsenal’s Nigel Winterburn tackled Irwin, sparking a pitch brawl involving 21 players. Only Limpar and Winterburn subsequently received a booking.


Both clubs wasted no time and fined a number of their players with Arsenal going as far as disciplining then-manager George Graham. The English FA followed suit, fining both clubs for bringing the game into disrepute.

Arsenal and Manchester United were also docked points  for the brawl, with the former receiving a heftier point deduction for a similar precedent against Norwich City in 1989.

Nevertheless, this punishment didn’t dent Arsenal’s title hope as the Gunners went on to become league champions with just one defeat.

>More memorable events on this day:

1996: Manchester United concede biggest defeat in 12 years after losing 5 – 0 to Newcastle United.

2004: Formula One’s contract recognition board refuse to ratify Jenson Button’s move to Williams.

2011: Stuart Pearce and Hope Powell named by the FA as coaches for the British men’s and women’s football teams at the 2012 Olympic Games.


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