Sir Alex Ferguson - on watching Arsenal play

Ex-Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has led the tributes to Arsene Wenger ahead of the Frenchman's 1000th game in charge of Arsenal against Chelsea this afternoon.

Saturday’s top of the table clash between Chelsea and Arsenal will be a landmark moment for Arsenal boss Wenger.

Wenger is set to complete his 1000 match in charge at the Gunners, continuing his bitter rivalry with Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho.

But before Mourinho made his mark on the Premier League (and Wenger's psyche), the Arsenal manager’s first and perhaps most enduring rivalry was with former Manchester United boss Ferguson. Over a period of 17 years, Wenger and Ferguson pitted their wits against each other, winning the Premier League some 16 times between them between 1993-2013.

Despite some bad-tempered matches and famous bust-ups, the two managers share a mutual respect for each other’s accomplishments.

Ahead of the Wenger’s 1,000 game in charge at Arsenal, Ferguson congratulated his old adversary, admitting that he has always enjoyed watching Arsenal under Wenger play:

'I congratulate Arsene in reaching this momentous landmark', the former Manchester United manager is quoted in the Daily Mirror

'Over the years we enjoyed some fantastic battles and you could say we had survived together and respected each other’s efforts to play good football', he conituned.

'I always enjoy watching Arsene’s sides - Arsenal play the right way. Perhaps the biggest compliment I could give Arsene is that I could never be anything other than competitive with my rival for 17 years'.


Register for ARSENAL team updates

Register for MANCHESTER UNITED team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch