By Brian Sears
6 April 2012
At the start of this Easter weekend, Manchester City trail Manchester United by five points in the Premier League title race. By the time they kick-off at Arsenal on Sunday afternoon that gap could be eight points.
What greater motivation can Roberto Mancini’s men have, then – aside from a league crown, ahem – to try to lay to rest a league hoodoo at Arsenal that stretches back more than 36 years?
City have not won at Arsenal in a league game since 4 October 1975, when Asa Hartford, Joe Royle and Rodney Marsh scored the goals for City, with Alan Ball and Alex Cropley replying for the Gunners in a 3-2 win for the visitors.
Since then, City have made 26 winless league visits managing eight draws.
In the Premier League era alone (since 1992-93), City have played at Arsenal 14 times without a win, drawing just four times. Their points per game tally at Arsenal in the Premier League era is 0.29 per game on average.
City are far from alone in getting meagre rewards at Arsenal in the league in the past 20 seasons, as our graphic below illustrates.
It shows the records of all Premier League clubs, past and present, at Highbury and The Emirates combined in the era. (Current clubs left, past clubs right).
A total of 25 of the 44 Premier League clubs to have visited Arsenal have failed to gain a single win. City are one of eight current Premier League clubs with no win at Arsenal in the Premier League.
Altogether Arsenal have only lost 47 of their 382 home Premier League games played, and only Manchester United of the other ever-present clubs have lost fewer home games. United and Liverpool have the most Premier League victories over Arsenal at either Highbury or the Emirates (six each), an achievement that, of course, both have added to already this season.