Aston Villa's previous Villa Park victory over Arsenal was almost 14 years ago. It says much about Villa's record against the Gunners that even that thrilling 3-2 triumph is best remembered for the half-time entertainment going tragically wrong.

Sunday, December 13, 1998 was the afternoon when a parachuting Santa Claus was severely injured as he crashed into the Trinity Road stand.

RAF skydiver, Flight Sergeant Nigel Rogoff, almost died during the charity descent, breaking his pelvis, hips and ribs, and subsequently having a leg amputated.

From despair came joy and when Rogoff fell in love with one of the nurses who helped save his life and the couple went on to have twins and thankfully at least there was a happy ending. We wish the Rogoff family well.

As for the match, that was the last time Villa enjoyed a happy ending at home to the Gunners. They have beaten Arsene Wenger's Arsenal just four times in 32 matches, twice at Villa Park and twice at the Emirates Stadium.

Managing a winning Villa side against Wenger during the French master's 16-year tenure is an achievement only John Gregory, Martin O'Neill and Gary McAllister can boast of.

Saturday will provide the latest significant challenge for Paul Lambert, the ninth Villa boss, including caretaker McAllister, to take on Wenger.

After coming so close yet so far to denting Villa's Sir Alex Ferguson curse in the previous home match against Manchester United, history will hardly be on Lambert's side against Wenger either at Villa Park this weekend.

Villa's record against Arsene's Gunners is not quite as bleak as their record against Ferguson's United. Not quite. Since Wenger took over at Highbury in late September 1996, Arsenal have won 17 of their 31 Premier League matches against Villa, with four Villa wins and 10 draws. The Gunners also edged the only FA Cup tie between the clubs in Wenger's time, coming from behind to triumph 3-2 at the Emirates back in January this year.

Only Gregory can claim to have beaten Wenger's Arsenal at Villa Park, with both of his wins coming at home (May 1998 and December 1998), while McAllister (May 2011) and O'Neill's (November 2008) were at the Emirates.

Despite going on to enjoy such success against Villa, Wenger actually failed to beat them during his first four matches. After being held to two draws against Brian Little's team, Arsenal suffered two successive defeats in their first encounters with Gregory's Villa.

Dwight Yorke's audaciously chipped penalty past David Seaman earned Villa a 1-0 home victory in the fixture on May 10 1998 after they played more than two-thirds of the game with 10-men following Ugo Ehiogu's sending off.

Villa's next win over Arsenal came eight months later - in that December 13 1998 Santa Claus clash - when an exciting win restored them to the top of the Premier League table.

It's true! Ask your dad, young Villa fans...

Denis Bergkamp's double gave the Gunners a 2-0 half-time lead, but after the interval was extended to allow Rogoff to receive life-saving treatment, Villa produced a stirring second-half comeback. Gregory sent on Stan Collymore and the substitute inspired a fightback crowned by Julian Joachim's goal and a Dion Dublin double, as Villa triumphed 3-2.

It was another 10 years before Villa again conquered Wenger, this time on his own patch for the first time, under O'Neill's management.

On November 15, 2008, despite Ashley Young missing a penalty, a Gael Clichy own-goal and Gabby Agbonlahor's strike sealed a 2-0 away victory which bolstered Villa's Champions League hopes. It's true! Ask your dad, even younger Villa fans...

The most recent victory over Arsenal came in unlikely circumstances at the Emirates on May 15 2011, when McAllister was in caretaker charge as Gerard Houllier recovered from heart trouble. It was arguably the claret and blues' best display of the season as Darren Bent's delightful double earned a surprise 2-1 success and sparked a carnival atmosphere among the travelling fans. How, Villa could do with a repeat performance this weekend.