Gary Neville Reveals The Truth Behind Keane And Vieira's Infamous Tunnel Bust-Up
It remains one of the most iconic moments in Premier League history, but what really happened on that fateful day in North London?
When two of the biggest characters in Keane and Vieira locked horns and began scrapping in the Highbury tunnel on that evening in February 2005, it gave us a unique insight into how intense the rivalry was between Manchester United and Arsenal.
Looking back, the Keane and Vieira rivalry was the biggest in football. Every time these giants clashed onto the pitch, words and tackles were exchanged - and trust me, it wasn't the normal pleasantries.
The days of Roy Keane vs Patrick Vieira! Simply one of the most iconic rivalries to ever grace football! :soccer: pic.twitter.com/ted6igSrPe
- Soccer AM (@SoccerAM) April 27, 2018
Back in 2013, during the ITV documentary 'Keane and Vieira: The Best of Enemies', the former Manchester United midfielder mentioned that Gary Neville was the reason why it kicked off, saying:
"What really annoyed me that night was that you were picking on Gary, you were almost picking on the weakest link, so that's what got my back up. There were two or three of you ganging up on Gary, simple as that."
Four years after the documentary aired, Neville himself has spoke about the incident for the first time, and mentions Arsenal winger Jose Antonio Reyes as the reason why Vieira mouthed off to Keane in the tunnel:
"It came out of the previous game we played at Old Trafford." Neville explained during an interview with Soccer AM:
"It was suggested that we were quite tough with [Jose Antonio] Reyes where he got subbed after an hour. I think I'd put a couple on him, I think Phil did and I think Scholesy did. But I got the brunt of it because I was playing against him as a direct opponent.
"I just remember hearing these footsteps behind me and Vieira shouting 'Neville, Neville... You're not going to kick our players out on this pitch today!'
"Roy obviously turned back, heard him and started having a go at him. And he sort of squirted his water bottle towards Roy. Then all hell broke loose."