Tag Archives: rivalry

Image article-2306904-19081DDE000005DC-648_634x453.jpg

Sir Bobby Charlton says Sir Alex Ferguson will carry on at Manchester United "forever"

Fergie's time will never end: United legend Charlton backs Ferguson to 'go on for ever'

By
John Edwards

PUBLISHED:

14:25 GMT, 10 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

17:06 GMT, 10 April 2013

Sir Bobby Charlton fired an ominous warning to Manchester United’s main title rivals by insisting Sir Alex Ferguson looks like he will ‘go on forever.’

The United manager is closing in on his 13th Barclays Premier League crown at the ripe old age of 71, but any thoughts of bowing out after avenging last season’s late surrender to bitter rivals Manchester City could not be further from his mind, according to Sir Bobby.

‘There is nothing in his posture that suggests he is beginning to tire,’ said the United director. ‘Far from being tired, he has the same enthusiasm as ever. He is an unbelievable character, and I don’t see him ever losing that drive and enthusiasm.

Carry on, Fergie: Sir Bobby Charlton says Sir Alex Ferguson will go on for ever at Manchester United

Carry on, Fergie: Sir Bobby Charlton says Sir Alex Ferguson will go on for ever at Manchester United

‘He tried to retire once, and it was an absolute failure. Everyone wants to know the answer to that, because he can’t go on for ever. But I look at him and think that’s exactly what he will do.

‘He is a fantastic lover of football, and he is very clever when it comes to identifying a player he wants and coming to the board about it. He knows exactly what to do in those situations, and, to be fair, we try to give him exactly what he wants.

‘We haven’t got many directors at Old
Trafford, and we adopt the view that we need good players to be a top
team and that the manager is the best person to decide on who they
should be.

United heroes: Sir Bobby Charlton and Denis Law get together at Soccerex in Manchester

United heroes: Sir Bobby Charlton and Denis Law get together at Soccerex in Manchester

'We look after the business side of things, Alex the football side, and we give him what he wants. We leave pretty much everything to Alex, in a football sense.

‘The rivalry with City, and the way they have re-emerged, has probably provided him with an extra incentive. He just hates losing, no matter who the opposition are, and the defeat on Monday night will have hurt him.

'But the great thing is, he will pinpoint exactly why we lost and make sure it doesn’t happen again.’

Class of 68: Charlton exchanges shirts with former Benfica and Portugal legend Eusebio

Class of 68: Charlton exchanges shirts with former Benfica and Portugal legend Eusebio

A World Cup winner in 1966, Sir Bobby despairs of England ever lifting the trophy again.

‘When I’m asked about our prospects, I always feel obliged to say we’ve got a chance, but really it’s a fool’s errand,’ he said. ‘If so many places in Premier League teams are taken up by foreign players, we’ve got no chance.

‘Spain are absolutely my favourites for the finals in Brazil. Heaven forbid, but Germany are in with a chance as well, because they are so well coached, and Holland seem to be re-emerging as well.’

Image article-2290878-188A9F15000005DC-772_634x422.jpg

Darren Barker beats Simone Rotolo to win IBF Inter-Continental middleweight title

Barker makes light work of Rotolo to take middleweight title at Wembley Arena

By
Declan Warrington

PUBLISHED:

23:10 GMT, 9 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

00:15 GMT, 10 March 2013

Darren Barker secured a routine victory over Simone Rotolo and the vacant IBF Intercontinental title after the Italian was forced to withdraw before the start of the fifth round.

The middleweight, fighting for the second time in a matter of months after a cruel run of injuries, needed to make a statement with his domestic rivals also progressing and would have been underwhelmed that the opportunity to do so was taken away.

Barker is one third of a rivalry with world-title contender Matthew Macklin and next month’s WBC challenger Martin Murray and impressed with a relaxed approach at the start but soon after fought more raggedly.

Strong showing: Darren Barker knocks down Simone Rotolo during their IBF Inter-Continental Middleweight bout

Strong showing: Darren Barker knocks down Simone Rotolo during their IBF Inter-Continental Middleweight bout

Fine fettle: Barker took Rotolo to task with a flurry of punches in the first round

Fine fettle: Barker took Rotolo to task with a flurry of punches in the first round

Rotolo was knocked down after a flurry
of punches towards the end of the first round when caught against the
ropes but instead of stopping his opponent there and then, Barker lost
any real polish and instead messily pursued the knockout which
ultimately never came.

Edging each round if not dominating
them as a more polished Barker perhaps would have done, the middleweight
tested his opponent occasionally if not convincingly and was in the
midst of another flurry of punches when Rotolo significantly backed off,
avoiding the fight and shaking his hand in obvious pain until the end
of the round came and the Italian’s corner announced his withdrawal
almost instantly after.

'Macklin and Murray [who fights WBC
champion Sergio Martinez on 27 April]' are looking busy now, so I’d like
a fight with Andy Lee,' he said afterwards.

He told Sky Sports 2: 'I'm ready to push on now. There's the obvious domestic fights
and world title fights – I'm game, I'll fight any of them. It just takes
two of us to get the ball rolling and it could be rematches, trilogies,
whatever.'

Pushing on: Barker is looking ahead to his future which could involve 'rematches' and 'trilogies'

Pushing on: Barker is looking ahead to his future which could involve 'rematches' and 'trilogies'

Image article-2274256-1760DC19000005DC-40_634x988.jpg

Sir Alex Ferguson: Man United boss still affected by the Munich disaster

Liverpool put aside rivalry with poster tribute to Munich victims as Fergie reveals his 'hurt' on 55th anniversary of disaster

By
Graeme Yorke

PUBLISHED:

08:22 GMT, 6 February 2013

|

UPDATED:

10:08 GMT, 6 February 2013

Manchester United boss Sir Alex
Ferguson has revealed how he is still affected by the Munich air crash,
55 years on from the disaster.

It comes as rivals Liverpool posted a heart-warming poster on their Facebook page paying tribute to the victims.

Accompanied by a graphic design of the famous Munich clock and a Liverpool shirt, the poster carries the words: 'We all remember. We won't forget. May their soul rest in peace, by the grace of God. You'll never walk alone.'

Tribute: Liverpool posted this picture on their Facebook page

Tribute: Liverpool posted this picture on their Facebook page

Ferguson was 16-year-old striker at Queen's Park when eight players and 15 staff and journalists died as a result of a failed take-off on a slush-covered runway.

The 'Busby Babes', named after manager Sir Matt Busby, were returning from a
European Cup tie against Red Star Belgrade in Yugoslavia (now Serbia)
when the plane crashed on February 6, 1958.

'I've been affected since a young boy. It was a sad time,' Ferguson, 71, told BBC Sport. 'For many it's probably long forgotten but for someone like me who remembers the day, you won't forget it.'

A minute's silence will be observed at Wednesday's friendly between England and Brazil at Wembley to mark the Munich anniversary as well as victims of the recent nightclub fire in Brazil and the 20th anniversary of the death of World Cup winning captain Bobby Moore on February 26.

Gone but not forgotten: Memory of Munich victims lives on at Old Trafford

Gone but not forgotten: Memory of Munich victims lives on at Old Trafford

Tragic: The snowy-covered runway in Munich

Crash scene: The snowy-covered runway in Munich

Ferguson paid tribute to those who helped rebuild the club, which went on to win the European Cup 10 years later.

'How we rose to get over that is remarkable in terms of [manager] Sir Matt [Busby] and [assistant manager/temporary manager] Jimmy Murphy and all the staff at the time,' he said.

'It was a fantastic group of young men who were destined to be great and that was the tragedy of it in how it was taken away from them.'

Tribute: Sir Alex Ferguson lays a wreath in memory of the 23 victims of the Munich Air Disaster before the Manchester derby

Tribute: Sir Alex Ferguson lays a wreath in memory of the 23 victims of the Munich Air Disaster before the Manchester derby

The Munich clock stopped at 3.04pm is pictured at Old Trafford

Memorial: The Munich clock stopped at 3.04pm, the time of the crash

And Ferguson says the event is one that should not be forgotten.

'When you were caught up in the aftermath of it and the publicity, and when the papers detailed what had happened, you couldn't help but feel that enormous loss for anyone football-minded,' he added.

'That has carried on for a long, long time and every year you have to remember that.'

Image article-2272330-0CA9697E000005DC-774_468x299.jpg

England are Ashes favourites for good reason, admits Jason Gillespie

England deserve to be Ashes favourites, admits Aussie great Gillespie

By
Mike Dawes

PUBLISHED:

10:30 GMT, 2 February 2013

|

UPDATED:

11:45 GMT, 2 February 2013

Yorkshire coach and former Australia fast bowler Jason Gillespie believes England will deservedly start as favourites for their defence of the Ashes later this year.

England retained the famous urn with an emphatic 3-1 win in the five-match Test series on Australian soil in 2010/11, and have been tipped to dictate terms again when the famous rivalry resumes in July.

Gillespie, having been installed as Yorkshire's first-team coach in 2011, has been able to assess the hosts' preparations first hand, and believes English optimism is well-placed.

Jason Gillespie thinks England's Ashes victories give them the advantage

Odds on: Jason Gillespie thinks England's will be full of confidence

Gillespie took 65 wickets in 18 matches against England

Pedigree: Gillespie took 65 wickets in 18 matches against England

'They are incredibly confident over here but they deserve to start favourites, England, no doubt about it,' Gillespie told The Australian newspaper.

'I think potentially they could underestimate our bowling. I've been speaking about it quite regularly over here and saying, ''Don't underestimate the strength of Australia's pace bowling attack''.

'But England won't underestimate Australia. They're too clever for that and I know the England management has already been doing a lot of research.

'They've been planning and researching for a long time. I've got no doubt they'll be wary.'

Gillespie took 7/37 at Headingley on his first Ashes tour to England

Lethal: Gillespie took 7/37 at Headingley on his first Ashes tour

Gillespie, who claimed 259 wickets in 71 Tests for Australia between 1996 and 2006, expects England's well-established bowling attack to trouble a relatively inexperienced Australian batting line-up.

'England's bowling is very good at the moment,' he said.

'Coming up against the Australian batting order, they will rightly feel they're in the game. They feel they can put Australia under pressure and can have Michael Clarke coming in consistently very early, at two or three down for not very many.

James Anderson could prove to be the difference

Match-winner: James Anderson could prove to be the difference

'James Anderson is one of the best going around. He'll lead the attack, (Steven) Finn is a very good bowler, (Tim) Bresnan is a very good bowler, (Stuart) Broad has had a bit of an up-and-down time but he's also a very good bowler.

'Graeme Swann is one of the best spin bowlers in the world, if not the number one. Their batting is strong and they've got the best wicketkeeper-batsman in the world (Matt Prior) so they're in a good place.'

WHO ARE THE LIKELY BOWLERS IN THE MIX

England: James Anderson, Steven Finn, Stuart Broad, Tim Bresnan, Graeme Swann, Monty Panesar, Graeme Onions

Australia: Mitchell Johnson, Peter Siddle, James Pattinson, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Xavier Doherty, Jackson Bird, Steven Smith

Image article-0-16A008D3000005DC-877_468x398.jpg

Andre Villas-Boas left to rue dropped Tottenham"s draw against Stoke

Villas-Boas left to rue dropped points as Spurs start festive season with a whimper

|

UPDATED:

19:15 GMT, 22 December 2012

Andre Villas-Boas was disappointed to see Tottenham drop below Arsenal after his team were held to a goalless draw by stubborn Stoke at White Hart Lane.

Tottenham would have moved ahead of Chelsea into third had they won, but they ended the afternoon in fifth after their north London neighbours and Everton both recorded victories against Wigan and West Ham respectively.

Villas-Boas' men threw everything at the Potters, but they could not find their way through a defence the Tottenham boss had described as one of the best in Europe during the week.

Frustration: Andre Villas-Boas saw his side held at White Hart Lane

Frustration: Andre Villas-Boas saw his side held at White Hart Lane

The Staffordshire side showed exactly why they have the best defensive record in the league as Robert Huth, Ryan Shawcross and Asmir Begovic all put in towering performances to keep the likes of Jermain Defoe, Gareth Bale and Emmanuel Adebayor at bay.

Villas-Boas, whose side face Aston Villa on Boxing Day, was not happy at seeing his team slip below Arsenal on goal difference.

'No one enjoys being level on points with Arsenal at this club,' Villas-Boas said. 'I have experienced this rivalry for the first time this year and I have spoken very highly about it before.

'It is an extremely healthy competition between both teams, but we have to continue now. Today was a difficult game. Stoke are an extremely competitive and physical team who are difficult to break down.

'I want to be extremely positive as the players really tried hard.'

Adebayor and Defoe both had half-chances either side of the break, but Begovic was not really tested until injury time when he saved Gylfi Sigurdsson's header from close range. Stoke have built their eight-match unbeaten run around their solid defence, who have kept nine clean sheets this term.

Getting shirty: Gareth Bale has his shirt pulled by Stoke's Andy Wilkinson

Getting shirty: Gareth Bale has his shirt pulled by Stoke's Andy Wilkinson

Spurs had to resort to long shots for most of the match and Pulis was very happy with his team's shut out against one of the quickest attacks in the league.

'We are delighted. That's nine clean sheets now,' Pulis said. 'We look solid defensively. They had a few shots from outside box and that one great save from Asmir so we are very pleased with how we played.

'We talk about the two centre-halves and the goalkeeper, but I think all the players work so hard on organisation and discipline. It's a great point at a great football club.'

Referee Lee Mason had a busy afternoon, dishing out seven yellow cards – five of which came for the away side. The game threatened to boil over at times, particularly in the second half when Adebayor appeared to square up to Shawcross as they grappled in the box.

The issue of grappling in the box is a hot topic in football, and Villas-Boas thinks referees need to be more consistent.

Clash: Ryan Shawcross and Emmanuel Adebayor may be not be swapping Christmas cards this year

Clash: Ryan Shawcross and Emmanuel Adebayor may be not be swapping Christmas cards this year

He said: 'You have to take out the law (that punishes grappling) as if you pretend to be blind you have to take out the situation and move on.

'We had some given for us when Stoke were attacking but none in their box that could have given us a penalty. Those decisions are very hard to take, and maybe those ones are the stepping stone for people to start learning.'

The officials were at the centre of another controversy in the second half when Bale, who has been booked four times this year for diving, went down easily looking for a foul just outside the box.

Pulis launched an angry tirade at Bale from the sidelines when he went down, but the Stoke boss refused to be drawn on the matter afterwards.

'I will leave that. It's Christmas,' Pulis said.

Image article-0-054D7348000005DC-65_634x447.jpg

Cristiano Ronaldo return to Manchester United with Real Madrid – best goals

As Ronaldo prepares to return to Old Trafford with Real Madrid, we recall his greatest hits for Manchester United

|

UPDATED:

12:13 GMT, 20 December 2012

The forthcoming Champions League clash between Manchester United and Real Madrid pits together two of the world's biggest clubs.

Sir Alex Ferguson will renew his rivalry with Jose Mourinho but the biggest draw is the return of Cristiano Ronaldo to his old stomping ground.

Here, Sportsmail takes a look back at his greatest moments during his time at Old Trafford.

Main man: Cristiano Ronaldo will return to Old Trafford to face Manchester United with Real Madrid

Main man: Cristiano Ronaldo will return to Old Trafford to face Manchester United with Real Madrid

v Aston Villa, 2008

Ryan Giggs sends in a corner from the left which Ronaldo implausibly flicks into the net from 10 yards out.

v Portsmouth, 2008

Possibly the best goal he scored for United, Ronaldo's 30-yard free kick left David James completely bamboozled in the Pompey net.

v Porto, 2009

After
a disappointing draw in the first leg at Old Trafford, United needed to
beat Porto in Portugal to progress in the Champions League. Step
forward Ronaldo…

<br/>

v Arsenal, 2008

Ronaldo proved he can be just as
effective in helping his side protect a lead as he produces one
step-over after another to lure Justin Hoyte into scything him down at
the corner flag.


And he hasn't exactly lost his touch in Madrid…

v Rayo Vallecano, 2012

The ball falls to the Portuguese right of the penalty spot and he nonchalantly backheels it into the net.

Image article-0-0245249B0000044D-889_634x719.jpg

Leeds and Chelsea roll back the years in an old-fashioned cup tie at Elland Road

Memories… Great rivals roll back the years in an old-fashioned cup tie at Elland Road

By
Chris Wheeler

PUBLISHED:

00:00 GMT, 20 December 2012

|

UPDATED:

00:00 GMT, 20 December 2012

At Thorp Arch on Monday, as we waited for Neil Warnock to offer his thoughts on an explosive League Cup encounter, the issue of Chelsea’s exhausting schedule was brought up and, more specifically, the time difference between Yokohama and Leeds.

‘Thirty years,’ came the reply.

It was, of course, meant as a joke. But there were moments last night it really did feel as though we were stepping back in time: to the 1960s and 70s when men with names like wrestlers, men like Norman ‘Bites Yer Legs’ Hunter and Ron ‘Chopper’ Harris, literally kicked lumps out of each other to get their hands on two points.

The good old days: David Webb celebrates after his goal won Chelsea the 1970 FA Cup

The good old days: David Webb celebrates after his goal won Chelsea the 1970 FA Cup after a replay

When the violence off the pitch when Leeds met Chelsea could rarely match the violence on it.

It is frankly amazing that this rivalry has endured for so long, given that these two teams have not played each other in eight-and-a-half years.

Many of the younger fans spitting venom at each other across the length of a packed Elland Road last night were probably not even born when Chelsea won that infamous FA Cup final replay in 1970.

Enemies: The Chelsea and Leeds (pictured) teams of the 70s were huge rivals

Enemies: The Chelsea and Leeds (pictured) teams of the 70s were huge rivals

They probably don’t realise that, even in an era of wildly contrasting fortunes for these clubs, the visitors’ win still leaves them trailing Leeds by five in the overall stakes.

But all the old favourites were back. The home support sang about ‘getting their father’s gun and shooting the Chelsea scum’.

Barely a minute had gone when the away contingent broke into their time-honoured chorus of ‘We hate the Leeds’ to the tune of The Dam Busters.

Ah, you could almost feel Christmas in the air.

Leed's stiker Luciano Becchio

Chelsea's Jaun Mata

Luciano Becchio (left) gave his side the lead after 37 mins, before Juan Mata equalised just after half-time

Outside beforehand, massed ranks of police had come prepared in their riot helmets to make sure that the two sets of fans were kept well apart, helped by mobile CCTV units monitoring their every move.

Inside, the matchday announcer’s proud reminder that Yorkshire had been chosen as the start of next year’s Tour de France — for God’s sake, let’s hope Chelsea don’t come up for the day — was drowned out by the taunts going in both directions.

West Yorkshire Police had even gone to the length of telling both managers to warn their players about their conduct so as not to further inflame emotions.

Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic

Victor Moses of Chelsea celebrates

Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic extended Chelsea's lead on 64mins and Victor Moses added another after 66mins

Warnock and Rafael Benitez, who have a festering disagreement dating back to 2007, may have surprised some people by shaking hands before referee Andre Marriner started proceedings but they were fooling no-one.

After emerging into a cold, wet Yorkshire night, Chelsea’s foreign contingent must have realised people weren’t exaggerating when they warned them about this one.

‘To be honest it was so difficult,’ said Juan Mata afterwards, with a pained smile.

Chelsea's Eden Hazard

Chelsea's Fernando Torres

Hazard (left) added a fourth and Fernando Torres rounded off the scoring with his 13th goal of the season

When Cesar Azpilicueta approached the Leeds fans to take a corner in the seventh minute, he was met with a cacophony of boos normally reserved for someone lining up a penalty.

Deafening: Leeds manager Neil Warnock said he'd 'never heard anything like' the noise inside Elland Road

Deafening: Neil Warnock said he'd 'never heard anything like' the noise

Credit to Chelsea, they gave as good as they got. Within the first 15 minutes, David Luiz squared up to Michael Brown, and then Frank Lampard went straight through the back of El Hadji Diouf.

Warnock was off his seat as well but not half as animated as he was when Luciano Becchio struck in the first half. The Leeds manager just about refrained from directing his two-fisted celebration in the direction of Benitez.

The explosion of noise around the stadium was deafening, the nature of the celebrations reminiscent of the 70s and 80s. ‘I’ve never heard anything like it,’ admitted Warnock.

Then it all went wrong. Another explosion followed Mata’s equaliser.

It was a smoke bomb that sent a plume rising up into the dank night from where the Chelsea fans were gathered in the John Charles West Stand.

A flare greeted the second from Branislav Ivanovic. By the time the fifth went in, the box of tricks was empty.

The scoreline was harsh on Leeds, but they had played their part on a night when football rolled back the years.

And it was quite an experience to take the journey with them.

Image article-0-169128B9000005DC-199_634x518.jpg

Rafael Benitez needs to win the Capital One Cup for Chelsea says Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink as Leeds United bid to stop them

Benitez needs to win the Cup to stay at Chelsea but old foes Leeds will be no pushover, says legend of both clubs Hasselbaink

|

UPDATED:

16:30 GMT, 18 December 2012

Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink believes tomorrow night’s Capital One Cup tie at Leeds United is critical for Chelsea interim manager Rafael Benitez if he is to have any chance of keeping his job long-term.

The former Dutch international was a prolific goalscorer at both Leeds and Chelsea, and is thrilled that the quarter-final at Elland Road will re-ignite a spicy, but dormant, rivalry.

However, he warns that if Benitez is to win over the Stamford Bridge faithful and impress owner Roman Abramovich, he probably needs to win the League Cup early next year.

Up for the Cup: Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink played for both Leeds and Chelsea and is pleased their rivalry is to be renewed in the Capital One Cup tomorrow

Up for the Cup: Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink played for both Leeds and Chelsea and is pleased their rivalry is to be renewed in the Capital One Cup tomorrow

Championship side Leeds will scent an upset, particularly with Chelsea facing a quick turnaround from their trip to Japan for the FIFA Club World Cup, where they lost 1-0 in the final to Brazilian side Corinthians on Sunday.

Hasselbaink, 40, said the failure of Benitez to bring home the Club World Cup heaps even more pressure on them ahead of the match at Leeds, because he knows Chelsea would be the clear favourites out of the four semi-finalists.

‘It will help Benitez greatly to win the Capital One Cup,’ he told Sportsmail. ‘It’s even more important now they haven’t won the Club World Cup because all the Chelsea fans and the owner would have expected him to win that.

Must win: Following the disappointment of losing the Club World Cup final on Sunday, the quarter-final at Leeds takes on extra significance for Rafael Benitez

Must win: Following the disappointment of losing the Club World Cup final on Sunday, the quarter-final at Leeds takes on extra significance for Rafael Benitez

‘The European clubs normally win that competition and Chelsea may have to wait a long time to win the Champions League again and get another shot at it.

‘So now, the League Cup is a very important to Chelsea. They have been fielding strong teams anyway and I bet you they won’t take any chances with the team selection at Leeds.

‘The preparation has not been ideal. They arrived back today and so they only have a day to prepare. You’re tired and jetlagged from the long flight and then you have to go up to Leeds.

‘Benitez will have to find a way to get through this tie, find a way to beat Leeds because if they do get through, they’re the absolute clear favourites to win the competition.’

Prolific: Hasselbaink was a fan favourite at Elland Road, scoring 42 goals in 87 matches in his two seasons in Yorkshire

Prolific: Hasselbaink was a fan favourite at Elland Road, scoring 42 goals in 87 matches in his two seasons in Yorkshire

Leeds United's Dutch soccer star Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink celebrates his goal against Blackburn Rovers August 24

That is not a disrespectful remark, just a matter of fact that Chelsea will fancy their chances in a semi-final line-up alongside Bradford City, Swansea City and Aston Villa.

But as Bradford proved in eliminating Arsenal on penalties last week, nothing can be taken for granted in a competition which has provided great entertainment this season.

Leeds, currently 12th in the Championship, have had plenty of time to perfect their game plan ahead of Chelsea’s visit and are in good form, having won four of their last five.

Hasselbaink is in a good position to talk about the long-standing enmity between the two teams. He arrived in Leeds in 1997 following playing spells at unglamorous sides in the Netherlands and Portugal and quickly became a fan favourite through his prolific scoring.

Leeds had just avoided dropping out of the top flight under the stewardship of George Graham, but with Hasselbaink leading the line, they found themselves challenging for Europe. In all, he notched 42 goals in 87 matches at Elland Road.

Following a season at Atletico Madrid, Hasselbaink returned to England as Chelsea’s record signing – his 15m price tag subsequently dwarfed by the Abramovich-era spending but nonetheless brought its own pressures.

Thankfully, they were no problem for him and his four seasons at Stamford Bridge yielded 87 goals in 176 games, if no real silverware.

Screamer: Hasselbaink finds the net for Chelsea against Manchester United in September 2000

Screamer: Hasselbaink finds the net for Chelsea against Manchester United in September 2000

Sharp shooter: Jimmy scored 87 goals in 176 games for Chelsea

Sharp shooter: Jimmy scored 87 goals in 176 games for Chelsea

Hasselbaink has a good stab at explaining a bitter and enduring rivalry: ‘In the 1970s, they played against each other in the Cup and kicked the hell out of each other! It’s nice that football fans never forget that and remind the players about it, because the players obviously change over the years.

‘There are a lot of fans who saw those games in the seventies who are still watching the clubs now. It might be the case that Leeds especially will play aggressively. Not ‘dirty’ but with tackles flying in, especially in the first 20 minutes.’

The sides haven't met competitively for eight years, during which time an awful lot has happened. Chelsea, fuelled by the petro-roubles of Abramovich have challenged consistently for honours at home and abroad. They were finally crowned Kings of Europe this year and also claimed the FA Cup.

Leeds, by contrast, have found the road leading them back to the Premier League – from which they were relegated in 2004 – a long and winding one. They dropped down to the third tier for three seasons but, slowly but surely, they are now finding their strength again.

A few robust challenges early doors tomorrow night will have little comparison to some of the X-rated encounters in the seventies and eighties that gave birth to this particular manifestation of the north-south divide.

Chelsea were seen as the glamorous and fashionable London side, who tried to play attractive football, while Leeds were the epitome of Yorkshire grit with an uncompromising approach to the tackle.

No love lost: Meetings between Chelsea and Leeds United in the 1970s and 1980s were no-holds-barred affairs

No love lost: Meetings between Chelsea and Leeds United in the 1970s and 1980s were no-holds-barred affairs

Hasselbaink, who now works as a first team coach at Nottingham Forest, has no doubt that Leeds boss Neil Warnock will have his players well versed in the rivalry, perhaps in contrast to some of Chelsea’s South Americans.

‘It will of course be an advantage if the likes of David Luiz, Ramires and Oscar are in the team, but equally, they don’t know anything about the rivalry between Leeds United and Chelsea. They soon will however!

‘Benitez will keep it solid and play his sitting midfielders. He has changed that from [Roberto] Di Matteo, who was all-attack. They were very good going forward but lax defensively.

‘But I was an attacking player, so I want to see attacking football. But I understand why Benitez plays deep-sitting midfielders because if Chelsea keep a zero at the back, they have a big chance of winning games at the other end as they always look like scoring.’

Despite being a fellow striker, Hasselbaink has no sympathy for Fernando Torres, the 50m Chelsea frontman whose performances remain the topic of intense scrutiny despite a recent burst of goals.

No sympathy: Hasselbaink says Fernando Torres must learn to live with the expectation of his 50m transfer tag and score more important goals

No sympathy: Hasselbaink says Fernando Torres must learn to live with the expectation of his 50m transfer tag and score more important goals

‘Sympathise is a big word. When you become a striker, you want to be successful and you want people to look at you and say, ‘He was one of the best.’ If that is the case, your transfer is going to be 50m but as a player you want that recognition.

‘But that also brings pressure with it and you need to be able to cope with it. Obviously, in the beginning, he struggled with whatever was the issue but of late he’s been scoring goals.

‘He’s scored 12 goals and at least he has found the net. I would like to see him score more important, decisive goals – more 1-0s, 1-1s, 2-1s. Those are the goals that separate you from an ordinary striker and he has not done that enough for my liking.’

Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink was talking to the Mail Online on behalf of Capital One. To join the debate ahead of Round 5 of the Capital One Cup, visit facebook.com/capitaloneuk

Image article-2246110-166E3D68000005DC-99_634x470.jpg

Roberto Mancini: Manchester City are MUCH better than United even though we lost the derby!

Mancini: City are MUCH better than United even though we lost the derby! (And I won't sell Balotelli…)

|

UPDATED:

01:46 GMT, 11 December 2012

Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini has claimed his team are still superior to rivals United and has revealed he will not sell Mario Balotelli in the forseeable future.

Mancini and his players are still reeling from Sunday's dramatic derby defeat at home to United and now trail their rivals by six points in the Barclays Premier League.

However, Mancini told a function in Italy that he still believes his team to be better than that from the red half of town.

Friendly rivalry: Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini (right) with United counterpart Sir Alex Ferguson

Friendly rivalry: Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini (right) with United counterpart Sir Alex Ferguson

He said: 'United have more experience but we have a much better team and play much better football.'

Mancini's relationship with young striker Balotelli is under the microscope again this week after he substituted the 22-year-old after 50 minutes on Sunday.

It seems, though, that Mancini is prepared to keep faith in the enigmatic forward. He added: 'We are waiting for the moment he becomes aware of his talent. That is why he is not for sale.'

Mancini would like to sign Roma
playmaker Daniele De Rossi this January but, even though the Italian
international has fallen out with his club, City are unlikely to lure
him to England.

Mancini said: 'I don't believe he will leave at this point.'

If looks could kill... Mario Balotelli (left) had another bust-up with Mancini after being substituted on Sunday

If looks could kill… Mario Balotelli (left) had another bust-up with Mancini after being substituted on Sunday

Meanwhile, the Manchester City supporter who ran on to the pitch to confront Rio Ferdinand has issued a grovelling apology for his action during a tumultuous derby on Sunday afternoon.

Matthew Stott, 21, was restrained by Blues keeper Joe Hart and then arrested after he raced onto the Etihad Stadium pitch following Robin van Persie's stunning late winner.

He has since been charged with pitch encroachment and has released a statement through his solicitors. In the meantime, City have removed his season ticket with immediate effect and he will be banned from the stadium for life if found guilty in court of a charge of pitch encroachment

Bragging rights: Manchester United celebrated a famous derby victory at the Etihad Stadium

Bragging rights: Manchester United celebrated a famous derby victory at the Etihad Stadium

Tainted: But the win was marred when Rio Ferdinand suffered a cut eye from a coin thrown from the crowd

Tainted: But the win was marred when Rio Ferdinand suffered a cut eye from a coin thrown from the crowd

In the statement, the landscape
gardener, from Knutsford, said: 'I would like to apologise to all those
affected by my actions yesterday, particularly Mr Ferdinand and the
other players. I am extremely ashamed of my actions. I have let myself
down, my family down, my fellow fans down and Manchester City Football
Club.

'I intend to write personally to Mr
Ferdinand to express my extreme regret and apologies and also apologise
to Manchester United and their fans. I would like to thank Joe Hart for
his actions when I came on the pitch.'

'I have been a fan of Manchester City
Football club all my life and I have been a season ticket holder for
three years and I attend the games with my father. I have had the same
seat in the section next to the away fans for those three years.'

Rafa Benitez says he tried to win over John Terry and Frank Lampard

Rafa reveals attempts to win over old boys Terry and Lampard after arrival at Chelsea

|

UPDATED:

22:30 GMT, 7 December 2012

Rafa Benitez has revealed that one of his first acts as Chelsea manager was to try to get John Terry and Frank Lampard onside by addressing the club's rivalry with Liverpool.

The former Liverpool boss remains a deeply unpopular appointment among Chelsea fans after comments he made before the 2007 Champions League semi-final between the two clubs, but the Spaniard chose to discuss the issue directly with his skipper and vice-captain.

Both players have yet to play for their new interim manager and Terry, 32, will not travel to Japan for next week's Club World Cup as he continues to recover from a knee-ligament injury.

Didier's back! Drogba returns to Cobham to train with Chelsea during the Chinese off-season

Didier's back! Drogba returns to Cobham to train with Chelsea during the Chinese off-season

Lampard, however, will be among the
substitutes for Saturday's Barclays Premier League clash at Sunderland
after missing the last month with a calf problem.

Benitez cast doubt on the
midfielder's long-term future when he said he did not know whether
Lampard, 34, would stay at Chelsea next season.

But his decision to address the
rivalry with Liverpool with two of his most senior players demonstrates
the influence the pair continue to have at the club.

Benitez said: 'I had a conversation
with Frank and Terry at the beginning because they were injured and we
spent time in the dressing room while the team were doing the warm-up.

'I spoke about the rivalry and the mentality. I have a winning mentality. They have and had a winning mentality.

Running man: Drogba back in Chelsea colours during a training session in Cobham

Running man: Drogba back in Chelsea colours during a training session in Cobham

Looking on: Recognise the chap at the back Drogba watches as Frank Lampard passes the ball to Juan Mata

Looking on: Recognise the chap at the back Drogba watches as Frank Lampard passes the ball to Juan Mata

'We knew the rivalry between
Liverpool and Chelsea was big. We were in the top competitions and close
to the finals, but I will carry on working hard and trying to win
games.

'If we carry on playing at the level
we did the other day (in the 6-1 win against Nordsjaelland in the
Champions League), I'm sure the fans will be happy.

'I'm really pleased to be here, and
the players are really good and their commitment is fantastic. In time,
we will understand each other really well and you will see positives on
the pitch.'

The European champions have won just
one of the seven games Terry and Lampard have both missed, but Benitez
said it was 'too simplistic' to attribute Chelsea's dip in form to their
absence.

Doubt: John Terry (left) has yet to return to full Chelsea training

Doubt: John Terry (left) has yet to return to full Chelsea training

Crocked: Terry was hurt after a collision with Liverpool's Luis Suarez

Crocked: Terry was hurt after a collision with Liverpool's Luis Suarez

He insisted, however, that Lampard's
comeback was a boost. 'Terry and Lampard are important players with big
character but the team has been winning without them. 'Frank is an
experienced player and a great player.

He can find players between the
lines, get into the box and score goals. So he's a different kind of
midfielder to those we have at the moment.'

Benitez said Terry was keen to lead
Chelsea in Japan but will follow medical advice and stay at home because
his right knee is still swollen.

The defender is targeting a comeback
in the Capital One Cup against Leeds United on December 19. Benitez
said: 'He wanted to go, he wanted to help. But it would be better for
him to stay. 'He's training very hard with the physios. We'll have to
wait and see how he recovers.'