Saturday 18 November 2017

Phil Neville slams Arsenal and Manchester United players for 'hugging and kissing' in the tunnel

Phil Neville called the pre-match niceties a 'nonsense' CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES
Phil Neville called the pre-match niceties a 'nonsense' CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES

Callum Davis

Phil Neville has criticised Arsenal and Manchester United players after the two teams greeted each other in the tunnel before Sunday's match at the Emirates.

A number of rival players, including Petr Cech and David De Gea, embraced and shook hands as both teams waited to walk out onto the pitch.

Speaking as a pundit alongside former Arsenal defender Martin Keown, Neville called the familiarity between opposing players 'a nonsense.'

"Oh this is a nonsense. Look at Wayne Rooney, there: old school, looking forward, not hugging and kissing.

"I think Monreal thinks he's going to a christening and not a football match. I can't imagine doing that to Martin Keown ten years ago in the tunnel at Highbury.

"It doesn't matter if you know them. You see each other in the bar afterwards but before the game you need to concentrate," added Neville.

The former Manchester United defender's disdain for the pre-match niceties was shared by Martin Keown.

"This is what modern day players are like. I hated it when French players were like this with one another."

Arsenal bounced back from derby defeat to Tottenham to end Manchester United's 25-match unbeaten run thanks to goals from Granit Xhaka and former United graduate, Danny Welbeck.

Arsene Wenger's side remain outsiders for a top four spot, sitting six points behind Manchester City with one game in hand.

The Frenchman insisted they would not give up on qualifying or the Champions League, but admitted they needed 'help' from other teams.

"We still have a mathematical chance [of making the top four]," he told Sky Sports.

"We need some help but the best help we can get is from our own focus and to win our games," he added.

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