Gary Neville says the famous argument in the tunnel between Patrick Vieira and Roy Keane started because Vieira made a comment about Neville himself.
Talking about the incident on Sky Sports, Neville said the fight stemmed from a previous encounter that saw Jose Reyes persistently fouled by a number of United players.
Neville largely received the blame because he was the direct opponent against Reyes based on their positions for each team, reports the Express.
“I just remember these footsteps behind me Vieira shouting ‘Neville, Neville, you’re not going to kick our players out on the pitch’ Roy turned back and heard him and started having a go at him.
“Vieira then squirted his water bottle at him and all hell broke loose. Everyone got pulled back and it was a bit of nothing really but I’ve never seen Arsenal like that.”
The incident was one of many between Arsenal and Manchester United during that time period, and in particular between Patrick Vieira and the United players, with whom he commonly clashed.
In the end, Arsenal lost 4-2 that day, but the Gunners rallied back and a 12-game winning streak meant they finished above United in the league that season. Vieira then scored the winning penalty in the FA Cup final between the two clubs, before leaving for Juventus that summer.
Iit’s been a while since the two clubs fought against each other for the Premier League title. Jose Mourinho’s United seem to be on track to make a challenge this year, so it’s up to Arsenal to show they can compete now.
Personally, I believe Arsenal having their old fight and menace back would help them in their quest for major silverware this season.