Manchester United legend Roy Keane has admitted that it was ‘silly’ of Leeds and their fans to think they were as ‘big’ as the Red Devils, with the sides’ historic rivalry being reignited today.
Keane, who enjoyed a massively successful spell with the Red Devils which cemented him as one of the best central midfielders to ever hail from the British Isles, discussed the rivalry on Sky Sports.
The Irishman admitted that Leeds were certainly up there alongside sides like Arsenal, Liverpool and of course the Red Devils during those famed days, with Manchester City nowhere near as good then.
The 49-year-old is clearly a fan of the side’s character though, adding that they ‘always had a go’ at United, with the same kind of approach expected from today’s side led by Marcelo Bielsa.
Keane does believe that Leeds and their supporters were ‘silly’ to think they were as big as United, but certainly showed respect to their playing style.
? “It was silly of them to think they were as big as Manchester United”
Roy Keane on the rivalry between Manchester United & Leeds United pic.twitter.com/BluwRMF5Jc
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) December 20, 2020
Pictures from Sky Sports via Football Daily.
“Leeds were certainly up there with those teams you’ve just mentioned, Arsenal, Liverpool rivalry with them, Man City probably weren’t so strong at the time when I was playing, but Leeds were up there.”
“It was fantastic, the beauty of them back then – I know they’ll say Leeds today will have a go at United, they’ll got toe to toe – they always did, they always came and had a go at United.”
“I always think Leeds players, maybe and the supporters, probably silly of them to think they were as big as Man United – obviously they’re not – but they’d always come and have a go, I’d give them that.”
“You’d always be up for a physical battle, always tense, obviously a lot of rivalry with the supporters, a lot of hatred there, brilliant.”
Bielsa has led the Yorkshire outfit back to the top-flight after a lengthy and dramatic 16-year hiatus, Leeds came away with a draw and a win when the sides met in their doomed 03/04 season.
This afternoon will be the first time the two teams have faced off – and only the second after Leeds’ relegation – since a League Cup tie at the start of the 2011/12 season.