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Phil Neville reveals what Sir Alex Ferguson did after Arsenal won 01-02 title at Old Trafford

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A Premier League without Sir Alex Ferguson or Arsene Wenger.

It just doesn’t sound right, does it?

That will be the case next season, though, with Wenger announcing last week that he will leave Arsenal at the end of the season.

It means England’s top flight will be without the two behemoths who, at one point, absolutely despised one another.

Ferguson and Wenger’s rivalry was at its peak in the late 90s and early 2000s, after the Frenchman arrived in north London in 1996 and upset the status quo by making his players fitter and healthier and making full use of his knowledge of the French market.

Wenger won the double in 1998; Ferguson and his Manchester United side bounced back to win the treble in 1999.

The two clubs traded trophies for years until Roman Abramovich arrived at Chelsea in 2003 and Arsenal began to fade away. But what a time it was.

Fergie's class gesture

Through pizza-gate and The Battle of Old Trafford, many spiteful things were said by Wenger and Ferguson about each other.

And yet despite the barbs, the clashes and the brawls, Ferguson remained a class act.

It was in the 2001-02 season that Arsenal won the title at Old Trafford, Sylvain Wiltord scoring the only goal as the Gunners claimed their second title in five seasons.

Ferguson could have been forgiven for making a quit exit from the stadium. But that wasn’t in his nature.

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Fergu

Phil Neville, speaking in a Channel 5 documentary about Fergie and Wenger’s rivalry, claims the Scot entered Arsenal’s dressing room to congratulate the coach and players and hand them bottles of champagne.

“They came to our place and won the Premier League,” Neville said on The Feud: Ferguson vs Wenger.

“Sir Alex Ferguson went in their dressing with a couple of bottles of champagne and said ‘congratulations’ to them.

“That’s class. That’s the last place in the world that he would have wanted to go.”

Fair play, Fergie.

The rivalry became less intense when Arsenal faded from the picture, to be replaced by Chelsea and Manchester United, and Ferguson now reflects on his relationship with Wenger without any sinister thoughts.

"He is, without doubt, one of the greatest Premier League managers and I am proud to have been a rival, a colleague and a friend to such a great man," the 76-year-old said after Wenger announced his impending departure from Arsenal.

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Topics:
Premier League
Arsene Wenger
Manchester United
Phil Neville
Arsenal
Alex Ferguson
Football

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