When Arsenal came to Old Trafford on a 49 game unbeaten streak back in 2004, they were on top of the world. Nobody could stop them. That is, nobody apart from United who beat Arsenal 2-0 to burst their invincibles bubble.
Ruud van Nistelrooy exorcised his penalty demons and slotted home to put United ahead before Rooney sealed the victory with a strike on the end of a sweeping move. After the ‘Battle of Old Trafford’ where Viera was sent off and Van Nistelrooy’s last minute penalty miss led to Arsenal players despicable hounding of the Dutchman, it was sweet revenge for Van Nistelrooy.
You saw how much it meant to Van Nistelrooy in his celebration.
Today, Van Persie plays against his old team and while that isn’t the headline anymore given that he has played and scored in both appearances against them, he could be instrumental in stopping their current rich vein of form.
The 30-year-old hasn’t been at his free flowing best due to some niggling injuries but form is temporary. Up against the league leaders and his former employers, Van Persie will be fired up.
This game against Arsenal has got an old school feeling to it. Wayne Rooney, Mesut Ozil, Aaron Ramsey et al have all stoke the fire ahead of kick off. It has been a while since playing Arsenal in a league game has had so much anticipation about the result rather than individuals and if he can find his form, Van Persie can come back to haunt Arsenal once again so long as he is fit to play.