Saturday’s game was the first goalless draw between Arsenal and Manchester United in the Premier League since February 2014
While Arsenal’s 0-0 draw with Manchester United on Saturday had plenty of chances, it was yet another example of a goalless game between two of the Premier League’s Big Six teams.
Perhaps the scoreline was inevitable, given Manchester United’s results against the other members of that particular group this season – Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City and Tottenham.
Before Sunday’s trip to Emirates Stadium, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side had scored in only one of five such meetings – the 6-1 defeat by Tottenham in the unusually free-scoring opening weeks of this unique season.
Man Utd 1-6 TottenhamMan Utd 0-0 ChelseaMan Utd 0-1 ArsenalMan Utd 0-0 Man CityLiverpool 0-0 Man UtdArsenal 0-0 Man Utd
That’s 538 minutes Manchester United have played without scoring a Premier League goal against this group of clubs. Last season, in the same fixtures they have played so far, they drew a blank twice but still scored every 60 minutes, on average.
But is is not just United who have found goals hard to come by in these games, highlighted by the fact four teams have also failed to score against them, plus there was Chelsea’s goalless draw with Spurs in November.
So have matches between the big teams become more cagey and, ultimately, more boring?
Manchester United have not won any of their six Big Six games this season, with four ending goalless, though they did beat Liverpool 3-2 in an entertaining FA Cup tie in January, a week after their goalless draw in the leagueHeading for a Premier League record
So far this season there have been 17 meetings between the Big Six, five of which have ended goalless.
That is already the second-highest number of 0-0s between these teams in Premier League history – and we are only halfway through the season.
Only once in the past decade have there been as many goalless draws in a season. That was in 2015-16 and that was…