Date: 1st January 2006 at 3:30pm
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Ruud van Nistlerooy has begun the war of words ahead of Tuesday’s historic clash at Highbury.

The game will be the last ever league meeting between to two teams, and if previous matches are anything to go by, it will be firey to say the least.

There is bad blood between the two teams as on and off field incidents often make more news than the actual games, the latest of which was Patrick Vieira and Roy Keane clashing in the tunnel at Highbury last season.

‘There have been a lot of incidents over the past few years, the Arsenal manager has said certain things in the press. It was the Arsenal camp that especially created a bad atmosphere.

‘They are the cause of the ill-tempered games. The edge has gone off it a bit now, but I do love to beat Arsenal – I can’t deny that.’

Van Nistlerooy himself is far from being a saint, in United’s 2-0 victory at Old Trafford last season, he went ‘over the top’ in a potentially leg breaking tackle on Ashley Cole, and no action was taken at the time.

Another incident in the 0-0 draw at Old Trafford two seasons ago, saw Patrick Viera stupidly swing a boot at Ruud, but missed, however the United front man suggested to the referee that he’d made contact. Vieira was then sent off.