The 2004/2005 season saw the United/Arsenal rivalry at its highest. The season before Arsenal had won the league, without losing a league game and and the 2 fixtures between the clubs were full of flashpoints. (see Battle of Old Trafford)
Their first encounter of this season saw Utd end the Gooners unbeaten run at 49 with a 2-0 win at Old Trafford but by the time the reverse fixture game about both clubs were struggling to keep pace with Chelsea at the top of the table. United sat 3rd, 11 points of Chelsea and 1 point behind Arsenal. Whilst both sides were in desperate need of all 3 points to keep up the challenge and at the same time kill of the others, a win against the other was almost as important to both players and fans than the points.
The game started with a bang, before a ball was even kicked, Roy Keane led a battle cry in the tunnel. He knew what was needed, and he knew what he had to do. He was our captain, our leader and his actions made sure that each of his team mates were pumped to win.
Arsenal took the lead, before Ryan Giggs equalised thanks to a wonderful first time pass from Wayne Rooney. Arsenal retook the lead only for a quick fire 2nd half double from Ronaldo put United 3-1 ahead. His first was a brilliant finish from a tight angle, his second was harder to miss as he stabbed a Ryan Giggs cross home into an empty net from on the line.
Then came the moment of magic. The icing on the cake. The spoonful of sugar. The beautifully red.
With United looking to keep hold of the ball and see out the game, Paul Scholes plays a superb first time pass into John O’Shea who finds himself in on goal with just the keeper to beat.
What happened next took everyone by surprise even John O’Shea himself as he stood silent and still, almost as though the spirit of Eric Cantona had left his body leaving O’Shea slightly baffled as to what had just happened.
The GIF says it all. A stunning finish to an epic game.