Football

Keane Vieira.

Ryan Giggs explains what happened during tunnel row between Patrick Vieira and Roy Keane

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Manchester United and Arsenal have had several clashes in the past.

The two sides dominated Premier League football throughout the nineties and fixtures between them often had a big say on deciding the title come the end of the season.

From pizza being thrown at Sir Alex Ferguson to the Arsenal players bullying Ruud van Nistelrooy after he had missed his penalty - there have been plenty of controversial incidents between the two heavyweights.

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But the most famous clash came at Highbury back in 2005. The match hadn’t even kicked-off when TV cameras caught respective captain’s Patrick Vieira and Roy Keane squaring up inside the tunnel.

Footage shows Keane telling Vieira that he’d “see him out there” and accused the Frenchman of portraying himself as a nice guy. You can also hear Gary Neville’s name being mentioned, but the full extent of the argument has never quite been revealed.

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That’s until now.

Ryan Giggs, while writing in his Telegraph column, has revealed exactly what happened on that infamous day.

“As I recall it, Vieira had called it on with Gary Neville and Vieira had actually run into our changing room before the match to find Gary,” he said.

“When I came in from the warm-up there was already a conversation about this going on between Gary, Sir Alex and a few of the players.

“It was around this time that Keaney had got wind of it, and decided he was going to do something about it.

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“Most of what he said was caught on camera as the two teams lined up. If you listen closely to Keaney it is not like he is ranting. Okay, he is pretty angry but he has also put some thought into what he is saying.

“Roy was intrigued by the notion that Vieira had projected this image of himself which he did not agree with. I think at some point Roy was shouting at Vieira about why, if he was so dedicated to Senegal, did he choose to play for France. He might have been angry but he was also looking for Vieira’s weaknesses, trying to push the buttons that would affect his performance.

Roy Keane

“Either way, the thing about Keaney was that he could have that kind of row before a game but it would not affect his performance a single bit. As for the rest of us, we were so fired up. You could feel the electricity in the tunnel. No-one on our side could wait for the game to start.”

If you’ve forgotten what happened in that tunnel - or just simply want to watch it again - take a look at the video below:

When the players did finally take to the field, Giggs recalled that he and his side had a very good 90 minutes.

“That was a good night for me: two assists for Cristiano and a goal myself in a 4-2 win,” he added.

While some people may look back on that incident and believe it was unsavoury and ugly, plenty of Arsenal and United fans would probably love too see that kind of rivalry in today’s fixture.

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Topics:
Thierry Henry
Wayne Rooney
Alexis Sanchez
Roy Keane
Football
Rio Ferdinand
Premier League
Mesut Özil
Patrick Vieira
Paul Scholes
Patrick Vieira
Manchester United
Ryan Giggs
Arsenal

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