With Bayern coach Van Gaal renewing old acquaintances with Wolfsburg boss McClaren in tonight's Bundesliga's opener, Goal.com looks at their previous meetings...
24/11/2005: AZ 0-0 Middlesbrough
The first meeting between the two came in the UEFA Cup group stage in the old Alkmaarderhout, an intimidating venue in the centre of Alkmaar, which seated less than 9,000 people. AZ were in free-scoring form in the Eredivisie in Van Gaal's first season at the club as he continued the attacking style of predecessor Co Adriaanse. Middlesbrough came as underdogs but also in the knowledge that a point would send them through to the knockout stages. The home side had a goal controversially ruled out after 12 minutes when Moroccan winger Tarik Sektioui fired past Brad Jones as AZ had the better of a first half played in torrential rain. McClaren, for his part, would point to a credible shout for a penalty just before the break for an alleged foul on James Morrison. After the interval though the rain abated, and so did the amount of goalmouth action. AZ continued to enjoy the lion's share of possession but ultimately failed to make the breakthrough. The match ended scoreless and Boro qualified for the next round after continuing an excellent result away to one of the Eredivisie's leading lights.
9/11/2008: AZ 3-0 FC Twente
After a difficult start to the campaign for AZ, which left Van Gaal one game from the sack before his side beat PSV, they had gathered a great deal of momentum and by the time Steve McClaren took his Tukkers to Alkmaar, AZ were on a seven-game unbeaten streak. It was a very different team to the previous one between the two managers, with not one survivor from AZ. The home side took the lead on 35 minutes when a delightful Maarten Martens cross from the left was poked home by the Brazilian striker Ari for his first of the season. The former Kalmar FF striker would then go on to score in five successive league games. The lead was doubled three minutes later. Cheikh Tiote was drawn out of position by Demy De Zeeuw and Twente made the fatal error of allowing the on-fire Mounir El Hamdaoui carte blanche to dart through the centre of their defence before slotting past Sander Boschker. AZ then made sure of the three points just before the hour mark. After being put through by Demy De Zeeuw, El Hamdaoui rounded Boschker before having the wherewithall to then stand up a far post cross to Ari, who headed into the empty net from point blank range. It was an important win for AZ against another title contender and despite the scoreline, the key element of the game was how Twente enjoyed the majority of the possession. Van Gaal knew Twente would be expecting a dominant AZ at home and chose to hand the initiative to the Tukkers, knowing his side's quality on the counter would decide the match in favour of the Alkmaarders.
3/5/2009: FC Twente 3-0 AZ
By the time the return game came around, AZ had already been crowned champions for the second time in their history. Twente were locked in a battle for second place with Ajax and PSV and as such had a great deal more to play for. Furthermore, it was an excellent opportunity for Steve McClaren's side to lay down a marker for the following season. After a scoreless first half, former AZ player Kenneth Perez opened the scoring. Given his status as a 'Judas' amongst AZ supporters after his move to Ajax in 2005, this was a bitter pill to swallow. After a foul on Tiote by De Zeeuw, the Danish international exhibited his prowess with the dead ball, exquisitely curling the ball over the wall and beyond a sprawling Sergio Romero. The home side were now very much in the ascendancy and doubled the lead on the hour mark. Theo Janssen's far post corner was helped back by Douglas into the path of Peter Wisgerhof. The centre-back showed more composure than one would expect of a defender to smash the ball home from close range, although Romero did get two hands to it and should have kept the ball out. A minute later, AZ were reduced to 10 men when Gill Swerts was sent down the tunnel for a rash lunge on Elijero Elia. However, the tricky winger recovered to seal a famous win for Twente 12 minutes from the end. The man of the match jinked inside Kew Jaliens before firing the ball past Romero into the net. Twente booked second spot and a place in the Champions League. Hindsight is a wonderful thing and, looking back, it was a sign of things to come as Twente, under their English gaffer, succeeded AZ as champions.