This is the list of Arsenal football club’s greatest rivals in the history of the club. There’s a story of fierce competition that circles this exciting team. And this has been going on for years, filled with excitement, drama, and unforgettable moments.
Arsenal’s performance in top-level football has been outstanding, they have been super consistent, finishing below fourteenth place only seven times. Moreso, they have won the second-highest number of matches in English football’s top league.
And when it comes to points, Arsenal ranks second. The team went on an unbeaten streak of 49 league matches, that’s nearly two full seasons without losing. They even managed to do it for an entire season, something only one other team had done way back in the late 1800s.
In this post, I wouldn’t want to keep telling you the extraordinary feats Arsenal F.C. has achieved, Instead, I will share with you their greatest rivals, and you will learn how it all started.
Top 5 Arsenal Greatest Rivals
- Tottenham Hotspur
- West Ham United
- Manchester United
- Manchester City
Let’s dive right in.
1. Arsenal F.C. Vs Tottenham Hotspur Rivalry (North London Derby)
Arsenal and Tottenham are two neighbors who are also aggressive rivals, something we call the North London derby. Both teams call North London their home, and whenever they meet, it’s fireworks on a football ground.
This rivalry started getting super intense in 1913 when Arsenal moved to their new stadium, Highbury, which was really close to Tottenham’s White Hart Lane. They became next-door enemies.
Since then, they’ve faced each other 193 times, and it’s been quite a battle. If we go way back, the count goes up to 207 games, with Arsenal winning 86 and Tottenham 67.
Arsenal won their league title at Tottenham’s home ground in 1971, and in 2004, they didn’t lose a single match in the entire season.
There have been crazy moments when Tottenham beat Arsenal 5-0 at home in 1983 and Arsenal returned the favor in 1978. In 1990-91, Tottenham won 3-1 in an important game that led them to win a big tournament. Impressively, the highest-scoring match was when Arsenal won 5-4 at Tottenham’s ground in 2004.
The very first time they met was in 1887, in a friendly game that ended in a draw because it got too dark to play, and their first official match was in 1896, and Arsenal won 2-1. This rivalry got more interesting after World War I when Arsenal secured the first position in the league from Tottenham.
2. Arsenal F.C. Vs West Ham United Rivalry (London Derby)
These two teams have been at each other’s throats for a hundred years. The Arsenal and West Ham United rivalry might not have a century behind it, but the 2023 EPL transfer window drama has certainly turned heads and raised eyebrows.
When we talk about football rivalries, we usually think of teams with bunches of trophies, like Arsenal and Manchester United.
But rivalry can also be charged by other things, for instance where the teams are from and who they sign on the dotted line. The buzz right now is all about West Ham’s Declan Rice making his way to Arsenal.
West Ham fans are up in arms because they didn’t want to let Rice go, especially not to Arsenal. They see it as borrowing their neighbor’s prized possession without asking, and they’re not happy about it.
But to be realistic, Arsenal and West Ham don’t have the same fame as the North London derby. Arsenal’s been rocking the domestic league for a while, which means there’s been less fuss around their rivalries.
When Arsenal swiped West Ham’s star player, Declan Rice, it was like a thunderclap in football because I couldn’t believe it until the deal was official. I mean Rice is West Ham’s face, so it’s hard to let go, but it is what it is today.
West Ham fans are fired up, and Arsenal fans are enjoying the fireworks. This rivalry is getting more heated than ever before, and the headlines are loving it.
3. Arsenal F.C Vs Manchester United F.C. Rivalry
These two teams have been in the same league since 1919, but it wasn’t until the late 1990s and early 2000s that they announced their rivalry.
It all started with a dramatic match in 1958, just days before the tragic Munich air disaster that shook Manchester United to its core. Then came clashes like the FA Cup final in 1979, a roller-coaster of emotions that ended with Arsenal’s triumph.
In September 2003, we saw Arsenal angry due to how they felt about the undeserved red card, it was a real-life drama playing out on the pitch. The tensions boiled over, even spilling into the tunnel after the match.
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4. Arsenal F.C Vs Chelsea F.C. Rivalry
Arsenal and Chelsea may not be Arc-rivals, but the competition between them is always intense. Chelsea fans are widely known for their friendly (or not-so-friendly) banter about which team is better.
They love reminding everyone that they’ve won some of the biggest international trophies, like the UEFA Champions League and the UEFA Europa League.
While Arsenal fans proudly declare themselves as the kings of London when it comes to domestic success. They’ve won the most Premier League titles, League Cups, and FA Cups compared to Chelsea.
Overall wins, Arsenal won the most, having triumphed 82 times to Chelsea’s 66, with 59 matches ending in a draw (as of May 2, 2023).
5. Arsenal F.C Vs Manchester City Rivalry
Arsenal and Manchester City may not be the oldest rivalry, but it’s definitely one that’s noticed fiercely in the game. The team that Manchester City has clashed with the most in league competition is Arsenal.
These teams have locked horns 190 times in league matches, while Arsenal defeated Manchester City in league matches 87 times. City has suffered the most losses against Arsenal compared to any other club. Every match between Arsenal and Manchester City is a battle of skill, technique, and determination.
Now, you have a glimpse into Arsenal’s greatest rivals, The passion, the pride, and the fierce competition make these matches more than just a game.