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Last Updated: Sunday, 17 October, 2004, 11:08 GMT 12:08 UK
Ferguson takes swipe at Arsenal
Arsenal's Martin Keown (right) lets Ruud van Nistelrooy know his feelings after the Man Utd striker missed a penalty during their infamous match last season
Manchester United's Sir Alex Ferguson has told Arsenal they got away with "murder" for their part in the infamous match at Old Trafford last season.

Ferguson's team meet the Gunners again in a Premiership game next Sunday.

The Football Association suspended four Arsenal players and imposed fines totalling 275,000 after the pair met in a fiery encounter last September.

But United manager Ferguson said: "They got off scot-free. They got off with murder really last year."

He added: "The sentences they got were ridiculous considering what had happened."

Ferguson's comments come a week before his side again host Arsenal in what he has described a must-win match for his side as they try to reduce an 11 point gap in the Premiership.

What the Arsenal players did that day was the worst I have witnessed in sport
Sir Alex Ferguson

And he has been angered by comments from Arsenal midfielder Robert Pires citing the psychological advantage those events may have given the Gunners.

Ferguson added: "Look at Eric Cantona. He got nine months for tackling a supporter.

"Of course it was wrong, nobody disagrees with that. But Manchester United took action immediately and suspended Eric for four months.

"I don't think Arsenal would ever suspend any of their players for four months, no matter what they did."

Man Utd boss Sir Alex Ferguson (right) and Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger
Ferguson (right) and Wenger are known for their verbal jousting

"What the Arsenal players did that day was the worst I have witnessed in sport. No wonder they were delighted at the FA verdicts."

But Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger says his team's discipline has improved since the game.

"It is vital for the image of the English game that we do not see a repeat of such an incident," said Wenger.

"This is a game that not only the whole of England is waiting for but the whole world is waiting for it too.

"It is not the kind of thing you want to see at any match. But I have to say that since that incident our discipline has been very good - we responded very positively to what happened."

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