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Roy Keane opens up on famous tunnel bust-up with Patrick Vieira

Manchester United

Roy Keane has revealed more about his famous 2005 spat with Patrick Vieira in the Highbury tunnel.

The Manchester United (opens in new tab) captain clashed with his Arsenal (opens in new tab) counterpart ahead of a midweek Premier League meeting in February.

After the pre-match warm-ups, Vieira confronted Gary Neville over United's treatment of Jose Antonio Reyes in the reverse fixture at Old Trafford.

When Keane learned that the Frenchman had exchanged words with his team-mate, he leapt to Neville's defence.

"People look back on my career… I wasn’t really into that argy-bargy stuff in the tunnels and threatening people. It wasn’t my scene," Keane told Off The Ball (opens in new tab).

"But when I see lads almost picking on somebody – and I don’t just mean on Nev. There were three or four of them, Martin Keown and people like that.

"That irritated me. It was more the bullying than getting stuck into each other on the pitch. I think if you have any aggro with anybody, you bring it out onto the pitch.

"The most important thing about that night was that we went on to win the game. There's no point doing all this carry-on in the tunnel and then going out and getting beaten. So the key was to win the match and just put Arsenal, one or two lads, in their place."

Despite their 4-2 victory, United finished six points behind second-place Arsenal in 2004/05.


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Greg Lea
Greg Lea

Greg Lea is a freelance football journalist who's filled in wherever FourFourTwo needs him since 2014. He became a Crystal Palace fan after watching a 1-0 loss to Port Vale in 1998, and once got on the scoresheet in a primary school game against Wilfried Zaha's Whitehorse Manor (an own goal in an 8-0 defeat).