'I couldn't stand Gary Neville': Patrick Vieira reunites with Roy Keane and the Man United stars he...

Patrick Vieira

The famous argument between Patrick Vieira and a Manchester United player prior to their Premier League match at Highbury in 2005 has been explained by Vieira himself.

When the Premier League was established in 1992, Arsenal and United were the top teams during the early years. These two teams won 11 out of the initial 12 titles, which turned every match between them into a highly anticipated event.

When they encountered each other in February 2005, there was an extra level of tension. This was because United had previously brought an end to Arsenal's 49-game undefeated streak in the league, and the Gunners were dissatisfied with the manner in which some of their players had been treated at Old Trafford.

Before the return game at Highbury, Vieira decided to express his sentiments and had a well-known argument with Roy Keane in the tunnel before the match began. He spoke to Keane and Gary Neville recently to discuss the incident in detail.

While discussing The Overlap, sponsored by Sky Bet, Neville shared the following story: "Let me give you the background to this. Before the game, we were doing our warm-up routine when I took off running down the tunnel at Highbury. All of a sudden, I heard loud thuds behind me and Patrick yelling out, 'Hey you!' or something like that."

In 2005, a well-known altercation took place in the Highbury tunnel between Patrick Vieira (on the left) and Roy Keane (on the right).

Keane was extremely angry and extended his arm towards Vieira while the referee, Graham Poll, attempted to soothe him.

Vieira confessed that he had previously approached Gary Neville (on the right) and that he had an intense dislike towards him.

The person approached me from behind while we were in the tunnel and uttered the following words: "You won't be harming our players today, or something along those lines."

Vieira said, "I purposely did that. Due to the nine years I spent with Arsenal, I had negative feelings towards you. It's true; I could not tolerate you at all [Gary Neville] because you were aggressively tackling everyone, and specifically Robert [Pires] when he played for us."

During the game, I made it clear that Robert was off limits. I had a hunch that you were planning to target him since you had a tough time playing against him.

I remember having to tell you to stop bothering him that day. In my opinion, you were being too aggressive towards Robert. He was a kind person who didn't want to cause any trouble, but your behavior was too much and it was clear to everyone around.

It is clear that due to Manchester United's influence over the referees, you had significant authority to act as you desired. As a result, I had preemptively set a plan in my thoughts.

During the pre-game preparation, if I spotted you entering the tunnel, I would hurry after you. I observed you sprinting, so I followed suit and aimed to notify you that today's game would be unusual and unexpected.

Vieira disclosed that he pursued Neville as he was upset with how he mistreated Robert Pires.

Keane became very upset by Vieira's behavior and asserted himself because he did not agree with the Frenchman singling out Neville.

Neville shared that he headed back to the changing room to get ready for the game and shared Vieira's comment with some of his colleagues. This caused Keane to become really upset. He expressed his displeasure to Vieira and even pointed his finger at him in the tunnel, telling him that they would settle the matter on the field. Referee Graham Poll tried to calm Keane down during this time.

Keane said, "As soon as I stepped out, I could hear some sounds. I realized that I had forgotten my armband, which made me go back up the tunnel."

As soon as I returned for the second time, I could sense that something had occurred, and I recollected the words you had shared with me earlier, Gary.

I was feeling restless. The reason for my frustration was that he pursued Gary - when you target one person, you target all of us.

Emotions ran high in the tunnel, which carried over onto the field in an intense game resulting in six goals and one player from United being sent off.

Keane and Neville had the final word on that occasion when they led United to a 4-2 victory over Arsenal at Highbury.

After leaving the incident in the past, Vieira managed to give Arsenal an advantage in only eight minutes. However, Ryan Giggs responded with a goal for United just ten minutes later.

The team led by Arsene Wenger scored a goal through Dennis Bergkamp, but later on, Manchester United made a comeback by scoring two quick goals in just four minutes, with Cristiano Ronaldo taking the spotlight.

The Manchester United football team, also known as the Red Devils, incurred a disadvantage when Mikael Silvestre was given a red card with a little over 20 minutes left on the clock. However, under the leadership of Sir Alex Ferguson, the team managed to retain control of the game and secured a 4-2 victory with a last-minute goal from John O'Shea.

The harmful loss brought an end to Arsenal's aspiration of maintaining their championship title. Instead, Chelsea reigned supreme under the guidance of Jose Mourinho, winning the league by 12 points. However, the Gunners managed to secure second place, finishing six points ahead of United.

Gary Neville, Patrick Vieira, and Roy Keane chatted on The Overlap, which is sponsored by Sky Bet.

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