‘I couldn’t stand you,’ Patrick Vieira tells Gary Neville as he reunites with Roy Keane to discuss infamous tunnel clash

1 week ago 14

PATRICK VIEIRA has revealed the truth about his famous tunnel bust-up with Roy Keane and Gary Neville.

Arsenal and Manchester United dominated the Premier League during the 1990s and 2000s which made every clash between them a must-watch affair.

The Overlap
Patrick Vieira and Roy Keane revealed all about their infamous tunnel[/caption]
Sky Sports
The bust-up occurred at Highbury before a 2005 Premier League clash[/caption]
Sky Sports
The ref had to step-up in calm down Keane in the tunnel[/caption]
Vieira has revealed that he ‘could not stand’ NevilleGetty

However, things threatened to boil over in February 2005 just months after the Red Devils had ended the 49-match unbeaten run of the Gunners’ Invincibles.

Ahead of the return game at Highbury, French World Cup winner Vieira made his feelings clear after the warm-ups as he issued a warning to Neville.

That led to Keane clashing with his fellow midfield hardman in the tunnel as the teams prepared for kick-off.

All three were reunited on this week’s episode of The Overlap, brought to you by Sky Bet, and all was revealed about that spat.

Neville said: “The context of this is that we’re warming up before the game and I run down the tunnel at Highbury, and I can hear thuds behind me all of a sudden, and Patrick shouting my name, ‘Oi you’, or something like that.

“He ran up behind me in the tunnel and said, ‘You won’t kick our f***ing players today’, or something like that.”

Vieira replied: “That was planned by me. Because of the nine years I spent at Arsenal, I didn’t like you at all. It is true, I couldn’t stand you at all [Gary Neville] because you were kicking everybody, and especially Robert [Pires] when he was there. 

“In that game I was like I must make you aware that today you are not going to touch Robert – I knew that was the plan for you because you struggled against Robert.

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“That day I had to tell you to leave him alone. I felt that you were over the top against him. Robert was nice, he was too nice to complain, and I felt at that time you went over the top, it was too much, and it was too obvious.”

He then joked: “Obviously, because of Manchester United controlling all the referees, you had so much power you were allowed to do what you really wanted to do, so I had it planned in my mind.

“In the warm-up, if I saw you going into the tunnel, I would run after you. I saw you running, and I just ran behind you and wanted to make you aware that today would be different and something that wasn’t going to happen.”

Neville stated how he told his team-mates about Vieira’s warning once he returned to the dressing-room.

That “agitated” Keane, who went on to confront the Arsenal legend and point his finger at him in the tunnel before telling him “see you out there” as referee Graham Poll stepped in to try and calm things down.

He said: “I came out and I knew there were noises. I forgot my armband so that’s why I had to go back up the tunnel.

“When I came back out the second time, I knew that something had gone on, and I remember what you [Gary] told me previously.

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“I was agitated. My annoyance was that he went after Gary – you go after one, you go after all of us.”

Vieira was laughing when he broke the deadlock after just eight minutes but United levelled through Ryan Giggs.

Dennis Bergkamp restored the home side’s advantage before the break but two goals from Cristiano Ronaldo turned the scoreline on its head.

Then, despite Mikael Silvestre being sent off with just over 20 minutes to go for United, John O’Shea secured a 4-2 win late on.

However, neither side would enjoy title success that term as it was Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea that romped to glory as they finished 12 points clear of second-placed Arsenal.

BBC and ITV's Euro 2024 line up in full

Here's how each channel will line-up:

BBC presenters:

Gary Lineker, Alex Scott, Gabby Logan and Mark Chapman

ITV presenters:

Mark Pougatch and Laura Woods 

BBC pundits:

Alan Shearer, Micah Richards, Rio Ferdinand, Ellen White, Frank Lampard, Ashley Williams, Wayne Rooney, Joe Hart, Cesc Fabregas, Thomas Frank, David Moyes, Rachel Corsie and James McFadden

ITV pundits:

Ian Wright, Roy Keane, Gary Neville, Karen Carney, Graeme Souness, Eni Aluko, Ange Postecoglou, Danny Rohl and Christina Unkel

BBC commentators:

Guy Mowbray, Robyn Cowen, Vicki Sparks, Steve Wilson, Steve Bower and Jonathan Pearce

ITV commentators:

Sam Matterface, Clive Tyldesley, Seb Hutchinson, Pien Meulensteen and Joe Speight

BBC co-commentators:

Danny Murphy, Martin Keown, Jermaine Jenas and James McFadden

ITV co-commentators:

Lee Dixon, Ally McCoist and Andros Townsend

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