Arsenal face Manchester United at Old Trafford on Saturday, the venue where Arsene Wenger believes his side’s title chances came to an end last season.
Many pundits and supporters expected the Gunners to finally end their wait for the Premier League crown last term, with so many of the usual leading sides enduring difficult campaigns. A win in the red half of Manchester would certainly have sent a strong signal out, but they were left reeling when Marcus Rashford inspired the hosts to a 3-2 success.
This defeat left Arsenal five points behind Leicester City with 11 games to play, and although this is sufficient opportunity to collect a significant number of points, they were unable to overhaul the Foxes. And as Wenger prepares his side for a return to Old Trafford this weekend, he admits the memories of his last experience there still rankle.
“The game we lost at Manchester United – I have still not swallowed that because it was basically our biggest chance to win the championship,” he told Geoff Shreeves for Sky Sports. “We could not afford to lose that game last year and I will never forget that result. What is important to me is we turn up on the day with a strong performance.”
Arsenal have failed to win on any of their last nine league visits to Old Trafford, but they know three points on Saturday would take them to the top of the table even if just for a few hours. As for Jose Mourinho’s side, only a win could keep them in touching distance of the top four having slipped six points behind Wenger’s side in recent weeks.