Sunday’s Premier League clash between Arsenal and Manchester United at the Emirates Stadium was nothing like the unmissable battles that used to take place between the two clubs during the late 1990s and early 2000s.
Many fans of the two teams - and even more neutrals - took to social media to express their boredom during the match.
The days of Roy Keane v Patrick Vieira and Sir Alex Ferguson v Arsene Wenger felt like a lifetime ago as the two top-four contenders combined to produce a thoroughly underwhelming spectacle in north London.
It didn’t help that Jose Mourinho rested a few first-choice players with Thursday’s Europa League semi-final second leg against Celta Vigo the priority.
But even still, the Portuguese coach still deployed several top-class players including Juan Mata, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Anthony Martial.
Compared to the classic battles of yesteryear, Sunday’s match - before, during and after - felt far too ‘nice’.
Neville and Keown weren't happy with pre-match scenes
And this was highlighted by Phil Neville and Martin Keown on Match of the Day 2.
Footage showed the two sets of players hugging in the tunnel prior to kick-off - standard scenes before most Premier League matches these days - and this disappointed both Neville and Keown.
“This is a nonsense to me. It's a total nonsense,” Neville said. “Look at Wayne Rooney there: old school, looking forward and not hugging or kissing.”
Video: Neville destroys Monreal
He then destroyed Nacho Monreal, adding: “I think [Nacho] Monreal's going to a Christening there rather than a football game. I can't imagine doing that to Martin Keown ten years ago in a tunnel at Highbury.”
Watch it here...
Keown also hated the pre-match niceties
Keown then added: “I wouldn't have given you the chance.
“Listen, this is modern day and this is what players are like. As long as they do the business on the pitch... I hated it when the French players were like this with one another, the English players certainly didn't do it.”
Neville: Just concentrate in the tunnel!
Neville continued: “It doesn't matter if you know them. You see each other in the bar afterwards. But before a game just concentrate in the tunnel.”
Twitter enjoyed Neville's take down of Monreal
Although a little harsh on Monreal, Twitter found Neville’s ‘Christening’ comment amusing…
Fans would prefer to see scenes like this...
Given the choice, we reckon most fans would rather see pre-match scenes like this instead…
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