Former Manchester United full-back and Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville has been reflecting on some of the rivalries he experienced during his time at Old Trafford, singling out Leeds United as a fiery encounter.
It’s been a while since Leeds have been in the Premier League, with a 16-season hiatus edging closer to being put to an end as Marcelo Bielsa sees his side sit top of the table and seven points clear of third place with nine games to go.
Some lofty finishes in the Premier League and success in the Old First Division put Leeds amongst the heavyweights in the top tier, where they went toe to toe with some of the league’s current big hitters, one of those being Manchester United.
The late 90s and turn of the millennium saw Leeds and Man United engage in some very fierce contests.
Leeds losing multiple star players to the Red Devils only heightened the intensity of the rivalry, and they still hold a fairly strong hatred for each other, despite the time in different divisions, with cup clashes in 2010 and 2011 showing that both home and away.
Speaking on a retro Monday Night Football panel on Sky Sports, Gary Neville commented on key rivalries, focusing on Leeds in particular. He stated: “It was brutal – often more brutal than Liverpool in a way because the Leeds-Manchester United rivalry was like a deep hatred.
“There’s a little bit of respect between Liverpool and Manchester United – just a little bit – but with Leeds there was a real nastiness.
“They would come on the pitch if they could and you felt the players at the time who had that tenacity and a narkiness about them.
“That’s how it felt when we went there.”
Have these players featured for both Leeds and Huddersfield Town?
Even though Leeds have been out of the Premier League for some time now, there still remains a lot of tension between the two clubs.
While Man United dislike the Whites, there would probably be an awful lot affiliated with the club happy to see Leeds return to the top flight.
Their last clash against the Red Devils wasn’t quite as intense as previous occasions, being a friendly in Australia, but there’s still no love lost.
Neville played for United at the height of this rivalry and epitomised the feeling between the two clubs, being an academy product.
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