Sir Alex Ferguson’s class response to Arsenal winning Premier League title at Old Trafford revealed

Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson
Ferguson was famed for his classy gestures (Pictures: Getty Images)

Martin Keown and Ray Parlour have revealed that Sir Alex Ferguson congratulated Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal side in the away dressing room after they beat Manchester United at Old Trafford to win the title in 2002.

The Gunners went into the game less than a week after beating Chelsea 2-0 to clinch the FA Cup, knowing a victory against their bitter rivals would seal the Double for the second time in four years under Frenchman Wenger.

Arsenal were without two of their best players, Thierry Henry and captain Tony Adams, but came away with a hard-fought 1-0 victory courtesy of a Sylvain Wiltord goal in the second half.

Despite the agony of being beaten on their home turf and surrendering the title, Ferguson congratulated the Gunners team and promised his side would come back with a vengeance in the following campaign.

Keown told BT Sport: ‘Fair play to Sir Alex Ferguson, he came into the dressing room to congratulate us and set about trying to get back on top as he would do looking straight away to the next season, when they won.’

Arsenal players celebrating on the Old Trafford pitch
Wenger’s side won the Double for the second time in 2002 (Picture: Getty Images)

‘That’s where Sir Alex Ferguson had so much class to come in and congratulate us, he was probably fuming in the end that we won but that’s what football’s all about, you’ve got to your local or big rivals and win games,’ Keown’s former teammate Parlour added.

‘We knew it was a big, big night for us and we just had a little bit more than Manchester United that night and they probably had to hold their hands up and say, “We gave everything, but they defended well and took their chance when they got it”.

‘That was how close Arsenal and Manchester United games were, you could see the joy on Arsene Wenger’s face, he knew it was a big result as well and a big week for Arsenal football club, another Double which was a very proud moment for everybody involved in the club.

‘That was your big rivals, Manchester United, and Spurs was a massive game as well, for supporters more, probably, the bragging rights going to work on a Monday morning if you beat your local rivals.

‘But certainly, Manchester United was our biggest game, if you could get four points out of Manchester United during the season you got half a chance maybe in that era to go all the way and win the Premier League, the most important trophy to win.’

MORE: What Sir Alex Ferguson told his Manchester United squad after they lost Premier League title & FA Cup in six days

MORE: ‘Who the hell do you think you are?!’ When Sir Alex Ferguson blasted Manchester United squad for ignoring fans

Follow Metro Sport across our social channels, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

For more stories like this, check our sport page.

No comments