Ruud van Nistelrooy wants Manchester United and Arsenal to put
their past problems in the shade for Saturday's FA Cup final.
The Premiership titans lock horns at The Millennium Stadium this weekend and
there are fears that the previous bad blood between the teams could ruin the
There has been a history of antagonism between the clubs over the past couple
of seasons with United striker van Nistelrooy often in the thick of things.
Van Nistelrooy was hounded by Arsenal players after missing a last-minute
penalty during a 0-0 draw at Old Trafford in September 2003.
In this season's meeting at United, the Dutch hot shot angered Arsenal
players with a crude challenge on Gunners full back Ashley Cole.
He also rammed home a disputed penalty which set The Red Devils en route to a
2-0 success which ended Arsenal's record-breaking unbeaten run.
There were also unsavoury incidents in the tunnel after the game, while
Mikael Silvestre was sent off at Highbury in February for elbowing Freddie
Ljungberg during United's 4-2 triumph.
But despite the potential for further trouble in Cardiff on Saturday, van
Nistelrooy admits he is anxious for the football to take centre stage.
"It's going to be a great final, the best you can imagine and the one that
everybody wanted," said van Nistelrooy.
"There is a history between the two clubs and there have been problems
"But the world will be watching the final and let's hope it is a great
football spectacle and a great occasion for the game."
Van Nistelrooy scored twice in last season's final success over Millwall and
the hit-man conceded the importance of retaining the trophy.
"We have got one trophy left to go for and that is the FA Cup," he added. "We
have to win it."