Arsenal eye best ever season start against United



Arsenal will be out to equal a 75-year-old feat when they travel to Manchester United’s Old Trafford for Sunday’s Premier League showdown.

Mikel Arteta’s side have made a phenomenal opening to the new Premier League season, picking up five wins from five to cement their position at the top of the rankings.

Crystal Palace, Fulham, Leicester City and Bournemouth all fell to the Gunners’ superiority before the midweek visit of Aston Villa to the Emirates, where Arsenal edged a 2-1 victory.

Arteta’s men were forced to do it the hard way despite dominating the Lions in the first half, as Douglas Luiz’s corner evaded everyone after Gabriel Jesus’s first-half opener for the Gunners.

However, Arsenal – who have developed a habit of responding quickly after conceding this term – went back ahead after just 151 seconds through Gabriel Martinelli to continue their perfect start.

As things stand, the three-time Premier League champions are two points clear of current holders Manchester City, but Pep Guardiola’s side can return to the summit with victory over Villa on Saturday evening.

Three points at Old Trafford would propel Arsenal back to the top in that scenario, but it has been 75 years since the capital outfit last opened a top-flight season with six successive wins.

That year, the Gunners bested Sunderland, Charlton Athletic twice, Sheffield United, Man United and Bolton Wanderers before their run came to an end in a goalless draw with Preston North End.

However, under the tutelage of Tom Whittaker, Arsenal went on to win the league title in that season, ultimately finishing seven points clear of the second-placed Red Devils.

Interestingly, Man United have never won their first six games of a Premier League season, but their city rivals Manchester City achieved the feat in 2016-17, while Liverpool did so in 2018-19 and 2019-20.

Prior to that, Chelsea took 18 points from the first 18 on offer in their 2005-06 and 2009-10 title-winning seasons after Newcastle United did so first in 1994-95.

Arsenal only have to go back to the 2013-14 season for the last time that they secured three opening wins away from home, but only in the 1995-96 campaign have they kept three successive clean sheets in their first three away matches.

Old Trafford is not a happy hunting ground for the Gunners, though, as they went down 3-2 to a Michael Carrick-led United last term and have won just two of their last 20 Premier League games at the Theatre of Dreams.

Interestingly, all four of Arsenal’s Premier League wins at Old Trafford have come by a 1-0 scoreline, with Marc Overmars, Sylvain Wiltord, Emmanuel Adebayor and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang making the net ripple in those games.