Manchester United’s clash with Liverpool hadn’t even kicked off and Roy Keane was already laying into Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s players for their behaviour in the Old Trafford tunnel. Despite United’s miserable run of form after only two wins in the Premier League, Keane spoke with optimism about his former club’s chances against top-of-the-table Liverpool. However, the sight of United’s Brazilian contingent hugging and kissing their fellow countrymen sent the ex-midfielder into a rage. Fred and Andreas Pereira embraced compatriots Roberto Firmino and Fabinho as the sides prepared to take to the field and Graeme Souness began chuckling as Keane reacted to the pictures. For context, Keane was of course involved in a now iconic tunnel altercation with Patrick Vieira before United beat 4-2 Arsenal in very contrasting scenes at Highbury back in 2005.
‘I’m disgusted with the players. You’re going to war!’ Keane said in the Sky Sports studio. ‘They’re hugging and kissing – don’t even look at the opposition, you’re going into battle with them. ‘The players have changed. You’re going to war with these players and they’re hugging each other. ‘Chat to them after the game… well don’t even chat to them after the game.’
On United’s chances against Liverpool, Keane said: ‘You just hope there’s some sort of reaction from United. There has to be. ‘You’ve got to turn it into war today. ‘There might be a twist today, you never know.’
Jose Mourinho agreed that United had a ‘great chance’ of putting their recent struggles behind them and beating Liverpool. ‘Everyone expects Liverpool top of the league to come here and win, I’m not so sure,’ Mourinho said. ‘I think United has a great chance to change the feelings. ‘This game means a lot for the fans, and in the dressing room, you know that. ‘You feel that, you breathe that, and you know that for sure as a player.’