Roy Keane is no stranger to the fierce rivalry between Manchester United and Leeds, and the former Red Devils’ captain was less than impressed by claims from some Whites supporters
The two old foes lock horns again on Sunday in their latest Premier League encounter at Elland Road.
The Red Devils were victorious in the reverse fixture at Old Trafford on the opening day of the season, running out 5-1 winners courtesy of a Bruno Fernandes hat-trick and goals from Mason Greenwood and Fred.
Former United captain Keane was no stranger to the fiery fixture during the 1990s and early 2000s, however, despite relishing the “hatred” that the Leeds clash brings, he is clearly unimpressed by the claims of their fanbase.
Last season saw the famous rivalry renewed as they faced-off in the Premier League for the first time in almost 17 years following the Whites top-flight promotion.
While Keane was full of praise for United’s opponents ahead of the eagerly-anticipated reunion, he took aim at Leeds’ supporters, brandishing their claims that they are as big as the 20-time English champions as “silly”.
“It was fantastic. The beauty of them is that I think Leeds will have a go at United, they always did.
“They always came and had a go at United.
“I think Leeds’ players and supporters, it’s probably silly of them to think they’re as big as Man United as they’re not, but they always have a go, I’ll give them that.
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“They’d always be up for a physical battle. It was always tense, there was obviously a lot of rivalry with the supporters, a lot of hatred there.”
Last season’s encounter at Old Trafford ended in a 6-2 rout for the Red Devils, however the Elland Road fixture finished goalless – a scoreline which will provide Marcelo Bielsa‘s side with far more optimism heading into Sunday.
Both teams have endured their fair share of setbacks this season, however a crucial 2-0 triumph over Brighton on Tuesday night saw Ralf Rangnick‘s United move up into fourth and back into Champions League contention.
Leeds finished ninth last campaign, however they face an anxious battle to avoid the drop this time around.
The Whites current languish down in 15th in the Premier League standings, six points above the relegation zone.
Prior to United’s Old Trafford triumph last season, Keane’s header was the difference the previous time the Red Devils saw off Leeds in the Premier League in October of 2003.
Back then, at the turn of the century, the Yorkshire outfit were one of United’s main title challengers, before their demise.
The footballing rivalry originates from the age-old animosities between the historic counties of Lancashire and Yorkshire, which was born out of the Wars of the Roses back in the 15th century.