Keane, Neville and Vieira rewatch infamous tunnel clash between Arsenal and Man Utd


Premier League fans will never forget what happened in the Highbury tunnel before Arsenal vs Manchester United back in 2005.

Respective captains Patrick Vieira and Roy Keane clashed with referee Graham Poll trying to settle things down.

It transpired that Vieira had attempted to intimidate Gary Neville ahead of the title clash.

And 15 years on, the three players mainly involved in the clash were shoulder-to-shoulder again in the ITV studio ahead of Italy vs Switzerland at Euro 2020.

The three players were asked to give their version of events as they watched back the infamous footage.

It made for fascinating viewing.

Host Mark Pougatch first asked Vieira what started it all to which the Frenchman replied: “I think it all started with Roy losing his temper.”

Vieira then turned his attention to Neville and explained how the former right-backs strength was ‘intimidating’ other players.

“At that time, I was getting really frustrated at the number of challenges and fouls he was giving to our players,” Vieira explained. “As a captain and a leader, I wanted to put him under pressure a little bit.”


As the players went back into the dressing room after the warm-up, Vieira decided to give Neville a taste of his own medicine.

“He was chasing me up the tunnel, screaming at me!” Neville chipped in.

“I was trying to mind my own business,” claimed Keane. “But Patrick wouldn’t let it go – typical Arsenal bully. Then he started again in the tunnel just before the match and that’s where I got a bit irritated.”

Check out the famous incident below:

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During an interview with Soccer AM, Gary Neville explained that it was his constant heavy tackles on Jose Antonio Reyes earlier in the season that had sparked the debate.

However, a 2018 documentary has opened up on the fracas to an even greater extent and a combination of the players present have opened up on what was said before the fall-out.

Take a look at the transcript below:

Graham Poll: “I walked past the old Highbury ground, I passed the away dressing room on the right, and Fergie was standing outside. And he just said to me: ‘Good luck,’ and you just think ‘oh no.'”

Paul Scholes: “Vieira said something to Gary Neville in the warm-up, which was crazy really. You know, a warm-up, who’s even thinking about talking to another player?”


Phil Neville: “Gary came in the dressing room and told everyone and I didn’t know that Roy Keane was actually listening. Roy was doing his boots and having his drink.

“And Gary, being Gary, was saying: ‘Vieira said this, Vieira said that, he said he’s going to do this to me, he said he’s going to do that to me!'”

Poll: “I’d just reminded Vieira that the last time we’d been together with Roy Keane the previous season, we’d made Roy laugh in the tunnel. So, I said: ‘let’s see if we can do that again tonight.’

“And he just went: ‘Not tonight, Graham.'”

Scholes: “Roy felt that Patrick was trying to bully him. I don’t think any of us could be bullied.”

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