Alex Ferguson’s half-time words during Tottenham 3-5 Manchester United revealed by Veron.

Alex Ferguson’s half-time words during Tottenham 3-5 Manchester United revealed by Veron

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Manchester United have been involved in some classic matches during the Premier League era; none more so, some fans would argue, than the epic 5-3 victory over Tottenham back in September 2001.

Spurs took a shock 3-0 lead against the Red Devils thanks to goals from Dean Richards, Les Ferdinand and Christian Ziege.

However, United staged one of the most remarkable comebacks to secure all three points. Andy Cole, Laurent Blanc, Ruud van Nistelrooy, Juan Sebastian Veron and David Beckham all scored to complete the dramatic turnaround.


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How Sir Alex Ferguson managed to rally the troops and inspire such an unexpected comeback remains a mystery even now, 15 years later.

But Veron, in an exclusive interview with Manchester United’s official website, has revealed what an angered Ferguson told the players in the visitors’ dressing room at White Hart Lane at half-time.

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Veron: Fergie said we had no respect for the people!

“I’ve never been involved in anything like it,” Veron, who scored United’s fourth goal, explained. “El Mister, Ferguson, was not happy at half time. He said we had no respect for the people. We scored five in the second half.”

Veron Press Conf X

Video: Spurs 3-5 United

Veron admits Premier League was too intense

Veron enjoyed an excellent start to his Manchester United career following his £28.1 million move from Lazio in the summer of 2001, picking up the Premier League’s Player of the Month award in 2001, but his performances dipped as the 2001-02 season wore on.

The former Argentina international was terrific in the Champions League, often producing spellbinding performances in Europe’s premier club competition, but admits the pace and intensity of the Premier League took him by surprise.

Cisse battles with Veron

“Games were intense for 90 minutes,” Veron continued. “In Italy, it was more tactical and about closing down the games. In England, the games were more open, the ball came back and forward. It was more physical too. The difference between, say United and Aston Villa and Lazio and a smaller team, was smaller.”

Veron: I should have stayed at United

After two full seasons at Old Trafford, Ferguson agreed to sell Veron after Chelsea tabled a £15 million offer for the South American playmaker.

However, Veron admits he wishes he had stayed at Manchester United instead of moving to Stamford Bridge.

Roy Keane and Juan Sebastian Veron

“Sometimes I played with Scholes and Keane,” Veron added, “sometimes in a 4-4-2 with Dwight Yorke and Andy Cole. The system varied, but I should have stayed at United and not left.”

Man United fans: what are your favourite memories of Juan Sebastian Veron? Have your say in the comments below.

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Alex Ferguson
Manchester United
England Football
Premier League
David Beckham

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