Patrick Viera Reveals Reason Behind Famous Highbury Bust-up With Manchester United Players As He Reunites With Roy Keane And Gary Neville


    Patrick Viera has lifted the lid on his famous bust-up with Gary Neville and Roy Keane before the commencement of Manchester United’s clash against Arsenal at Highbury in 2005.

    Arsenal and Manchester United battled fiercely in the early years of the Premier League, competing squarely for the league crown.

    Matches between the two clubs at the time were always stoked in rivalry, as fans, and players aimed to get one over each other.

    The Gunners and Sir Alex Ferguson’s side dominated the Premier League in its early years, winning 11 of the first 12 league titles.

    However, the encounter got immensely heated in February 2005 after Manchester United had halted Arsenal’s 49-game unbeaten league run earlier in the season.

    The North London side were unhappy at some of the treatment of their players at Old Trafford, as the Red Devils employed stern moves to thwart the continuation of the run.

    Vieira made it a duty to make his feelings clear before the reverse fixture at Highbury, as he famously clashed with Roy Keane in the tunnel ahead of kick-off.

    Patrick Viera recently reunited with Keane and Gary Neville to discuss what happened on that cracking day.

    Speaking on a podcast called The Overlap, co-host Neville brought the incident back to the consciousness of everyone, saying: 

    “The context of this is that we’re warming up before the game and I run down the tunnel at Highbury, and I can hear thuds behind me all of a sudden, and Patrick shouting my name, “Oi you”, or something like that.”

    Gary Neville added that the Frenchman “ran up behind me in the tunnel and said, “You won’t kick our f***ing players today”, or something like that.”

    Viera On His Bust-up With Gary Neville

    Patrick Viera responded: “That was planned by me. Because of the nine years I spent at Arsenal, I didn’t like you at all. 

    “It is true, I couldn’t stand you at all [Gary Neville] because you were kicking everybody, and especially Robert [Pires] when he was there.”

    Neville then shared that he got back to the dressing room to prepare for the encounter and informed his teammates about what Viera had said to him.

    Roy Keane Stern Reply To Patrick Viera Following His Message To Gary Neville

    This apparently resulted in Roy Keane becoming “agitated”, and that led to the Irishman giving Vieira a piece of his mind and pointing his finger at the Gunners captain in the tunnel.

    Keane also wore his usual confident and stern demeanor, telling Patrick Viera “See you out there” as referee Graham Poll tried to calm him down.

    Roy Keane, who also co-hosts the podcast alongside Ian Wright and Jamie Carragher, revealed the reason for his reaction and subsequent assertions.

    The 52-year-old said: “I came out and I knew there were noises. I forgot my armband so that’s why I had to go back up the tunnel. 

    “When I came back out the second time, I knew that something had gone on, and I remember what you [Gary] told me previously.

    “I was agitated. My annoyance was that he went after Gary – you go after one, you go after all of us.”

    Tempers flared in the tunnel, and that was also witnessed on the pitch in an electric game that delivered six goals and saw Manchester United’s Mikael Silvestre receive a red card for headbutting Arsenal’s Ljungberg.

    Manchester United Humbled Arsenal At Highbury

    Alex Ferguson’s men were victorious on the day, as they defeated the Gunners 2-4 in North London, completing a league double over Arsene Wenger’s side.

    Patrick Viera put Arsenal in front in the 8th minute, before Ryan Giggs equalized for Manchester United in the 18th minute.

    Dennis Bergkamp thrusted the Gunners back into the lead, before a brace in quick succession from Cristiano Ronaldo in the 54th and 58th minute respectively.

    One minute before the end of normal time, John O’Shea put the icing on the cake for the Red Devils, with the defeat ending Arsenal’s hopes of defending the Premier League title.

    Chelsea ultimately went on to win the 2004/05 league crown, with Jose Mourinho inspiring the side to a triumphant season.

    Moreover, Patrick Viera made 405 appearances for Arsenal, scoring 32 goals and providing 50 assists across all competitions.

    The 47-year-old won 3 Premier League and 4 FA Cup titles with the Gunners.

    In addition, Gary Neville made 602 appearances for Manchester United, scoring 7 goals and providing 49 assists in all competitions.

    Neville is one of the most successful players in English football history, as he won 12 League crowns, 4 FA Cups, and 3 English Football League Cup titles with the Red Devils.

    Roy Keane made 477 appearances for Manchester United, scoring 51 goals and providing 39 assists in all competitions.

    The 52-year-old won several trophies with the Old Trafford side, including; 7 Premier Leagues and 4 FA Cup titles.

    These players were certainly standout footballers during their playing days, as they accentuated quality in their respective positions, Viera alongside Keane (midfield), and Gary Neville (right back).


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