Video: Eight-year anniversary of Vieira v Keane Highbury tunnel spat
Watch Arsenal & Manchester United captains Patrick Vieira and Roy Keane have their famous spat eight years ago today
Manchester United v Arsenal used to be one of the most heated and highly contested rivalries in Premier League football and today is the eighth anniversary of one of their most notorious clashes.
In the 2004-05 season Arsene Wenger’s side were defending the title won with the “Invincibles’ side, but their unbeaten run came to an end at 49 and the trip to Old Trafford.
A memorable match contained a Wayne Rooney dive, accusations of foul play on Jose Reyes and the now infamous ‘Pizzagate’ or ‘Battle of the Buffet’ ruckus around the teams’ changing rooms afterwards.
Sir Alex Ferguson’s team made the return trip with tensions high on February 1, and something was bound to spark a scuffle or two, especially with captains Patrick Vieira and Roy Keane present.
The legend goes that Vieira was holding Gary Neville up against a wall berating him for the tough treatment of Gunners attackers in the previous clash, before Keane arrived on the scene to step in and start off a furious exchange.
However, Neville revealed some time afterwards that it didn’t go quite as the stories said.
The now retired United legend could not deny that Keane and Vieira were certainly not pleased with one another, as the footage in the tunnel is conclusive in that much.
Keane can be heard saying “I’ll see you out there” to the Frenchman, with the reply being “come on then”.
The famously fiery former United captain then complains to referee Graham Poll that Vieira “shouldn’t pick on Gary Neville, he should pick on one of us”.
The bad feeling continued on the pitch and the two players failed to shake hands lining up before the game - an issue that obviously did not garner as much outrage as nowadays.
It was a perfect example of the kind of tension felt between the sides at the time – a state of affairs many Arsenal fans might find painful to recall.
Watch the footage from the famous spat above.