Mikel Arteta believes Arsenal have the “perfect scenario” to win at Manchester United on Sunday and end a torrid run of away form against their big-six Premier League rivals.
The Gunners have gone 28 games without a win at United, Manchester City, Chelsea, Liverpool or Tottenham – a record which stretches back to a victory at the Etihad Stadium in January 2015.
Arteta managed to pick up wins over United and Liverpool at home in the Premier League last season while also beating Manchester City and Chelsea to lift the FA Cup.
But it is at the home of their main opponents where Arsenal have notoriously struggled under Arsene Wenger, Unai Emery and now Arteta – although the current boss believes it may be time to bring that run to a close.
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United may have thrashed RB Leipzig 5-0 in their Champions League meeting at Old Trafford on Wednesday night but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has seen his side take just one point from their first three home league games.
A loss to Crystal Palace was followed by a shock 6-1 reverse to Tottenham and former boss Jose Mourinho before Chelsea left with a 0-0 draw last weekend.
Now Arsenal head to the north-west on Sunday looking to continue United’s miserable domestic home form – with the Red Devils without a Premier League win at Old Trafford since the 5-2 thrashing of Bournemouth on July 4.
“It would be great,” Arteta replied when asked how important it was to address Arsenal’s form against the big six with a win.
“I think it’s been 14 years since Arsenal have won a Premier League game at United and, after the defeat like we had against Leicester last week, I think it’s the perfect scenario to go there and try to do that.
“Since I was in this country and was watching the Premier League, it (Manchester United v Arsenal) was the most exciting game probably of all season. As well as the rivalry between the two clubs at that moment, because they were constantly fighting with each other for the Premier League title.
“They were tense, emotional, it was passionate, some really good games and situations that occurred there.”
Arsenal need a result following back-to-back defeats to Manchester City and Leicester – but Arteta has been impressed with the evolution of his side since he took over last December,
“We’ve done it against some big teams already, now we have to do it in a consistent way,” he added.
“I’m not concerned about performances because, as you mentioned, you can see the trend and how we are evolving.
“It’s just those margins, how we manage the margins within the games and those game moments when we try to get wins and not lose those games.
“It was against Liverpool, we had two or three chances to do what they did, the same with Manchester City and the one against Leicester which was a different game because they approached the game in a really different way.
“But again, we will go to Old Trafford with the same mindset to go there and try to win the football match and improve. Every three or four days. We are in a process and hopefully we will be a more solid and ruthless team week in and week out.”