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When Gary Neville Refused Handshake With Peter Schmeichel In The Tunnel Before Manchester Derby

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When Gary Neville Refused Handshake With Peter Schmeichel In The Tunnel Before Manchester Derby

Gary Neville had absolutely no time for Peter Schmeichel's handshake before the 2002 Manchester derby.

The two had been teammates for a number of years and won a whole lot of silverware at Old Trafford but that was completely irrelevant to Neville going into the final City-United game at Maine Road.

Schmeichel left United after the treble-winning campaign in 1999 and spent two years at Sporting CP in Portugal before returning to English football with Aston Villa.

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After a season at Villa, he joined United's rivals City on a free transfer in 2002 and faced his former employers on 9 November.

In the tunnel prior to the game, Schmeichel, with the captain's armband on, received acknowledgement from a few of his ex colleagues and shook hands with opposite number Fabien Barthez.

But when he got to the front and tapped Neville on the back, offering his hand after informing him United needed to be on the other side for the walk-out, he got pied big-time.

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Neville had a stern facial expression throughout, while Schmeichel couldn't help but laugh at the United skipper.

City won 3-1 and Neville made one of the worst mistakes of his career when he tried to shield the ball out, only to allow Shaun Goater to knock him off the ball and slot home.

Neville's head was in hands, while Schmeichel was seen celebrating that goal and shouting "Get in!" - which saw him go down in a lot of United fans' estimations.

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The victory, as well as a 1-1 draw in the reverse fixture, meant he never lost a single Manchester derby.

Speaking on the Quickly Kevin, will he score? podcast a few years back, Sky Sports pundit has explained his cold approach to Schmeichel.

"When you look back now and you're 43, like I am, there's two things about that," he said.

"One, he left Man United at the age of whatever he was, 35, and he said he was retiring, basically to go abroad.

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"At the time, when he came back, he played for Manchester City.

"You can't play for Manchester City. I'm a United fan and I can't play for Manchester City, I can't play for Leeds [United] and I can't play for Liverpool.

"That's just written in stone. You just don't play for those clubs, irrespective of what happens."

Years later both Neville brothers, Gary and Phil, ignored one another when they lined up in the tunnel ahead of captaining United and Everton respectively in a game at Goodison Park.

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Featured Image Credit: Sky Sports

Topics: Football News, Football, Manchester United, Gary Neville, Peter Schmeichel

Josh Lawless
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