Sir Alex gave Wenger unwanted praise on the day Man Utd "humiliated" Arsenal

The rivalry between Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger is the most iconic in Premier League history.

For years, the rivalry between Arsenal and Manchester United was, without doubt, the money fixture in the English top-flight.

The pair who were in charge of those respective clubs during that era have achieved legendary status through their host of achievements over the years – often dueling each other in the process.

Ferguson and Wenger have been embroiled in highly public feuds during their clashes on and off the pitch, but perhaps one of their most famous battles occurred a decade ago today.

It's 10 years to the day that Manchester United destroyed Arsenal 8-2 at Old Trafford – one of the most memorable games in Premier League history.

Wenger admitted that the shocking loss had left him "humiliated" and that it was "a terrible day".

However, Ferguson managed to find the time to praise his downtrodden adversary on one of Wenger's most difficult afternoons.

"We live in a cynical world these days and the media are so cut-throat," sympathised Ferguson in the aftermath of the drubbing.

"It is hard to understand at times, but the job he has done for 15 years now is phenomenal.

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"He has introduced a philosophy of football and a way of playing and has brought in entertaining players and has sold fantastically well. I respect that."

That touch of class from Ferguson outlined the respect the pair had for each other despite their prolonged battle for domestic dominance – it was always there; even if that didn't always come across when they came head-to-head.

The rivalry between the two clubs reached a fever-point just before the Millennium.

The pair had traded places at the summit of the Premier League multiple times over the years as they dominated the top of the domestic game.

Since United won the title in 1995, it took the championship-winning exploits of Chelsea in 2005 to finally topple the monopoly that the Red Devils and Arsenal had held over the Premier League for a decade.

If clashes between Arsenal and United were box office, then it was the touchline tussles between Ferguson and Wenger which were the main event.

The infamous 'Battle of the Buffet' was probably one of their most iconic clashes back in October 2004.

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Arsenal rolled into town on a staggering 49-game unbeaten run after their Invincibles won the league the season before without losing a single league game.

The pair's last clash the season before had already stoked the flames ahead of the re-match, with Arsenal reacting emphatically and aggressively to Ruud van Nistelrooy's last-minute penalty miss.

"They got away with murder," Ferguson insisted. "What the Arsenal players did was the worst I have witnessed in sport."

Wenger however, refused to see what all the fuss was about.

"Maybe it would be better if you have us put up against a wall and shot us all. I hope that he will calm down."

United would battle to a controversial 2-0 win to end Arsenal's historic unbeaten run – a result which caused chaos in the aftermath.

The teams scrapped in the tunnel before throwing food at each other, where it's said that a slice of pizza was thrown directly into Fergie's face.

Despite their infamous food fight and various verbal jousts, the pair's relationship mellowed over the years.

Ferguson's good-natured comments after the 8-2 result back in 2011 were one of the first signs of that.

The pair even came together in a touching moment on the pitch at Old Trafford in the wake of Wenger's final visit ahead of him standing down as Gunners boss.

The warm embrace between the pair summed up the mutual respect they'd built up during their duels – as well as providing a fitting close to the final chapter of their storied rivalry over the years.

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