Despite it being 17 years since he hung up his boots, Manchester United legend Roy Keane showed in a legends match that he is still the same figure he used to be. The Red Devils icon shoved away team-mate Ronnie Johnson as he attempted to hand over the captain’s armband against Liverpool at Anfield.
United were beaten 2-1 by Liverpool in the second leg of the Legends of the North Clash at Anfield, with the match finishing 5-2 on aggregate after they also played at Old Trafford. Dimitar Berbatov opened the scoring for the away side early on when he rolled back the years to fire home a fantastic volley.
But Liverpool, managed by Sir Kenny Dalglish, Ian Rush and John Aldridge, soon bounced back early in the second half when Mark Gonzalez slotted home to continue his good form in the fixture. The Reds then snatched a late winner when Florent Sinama-Pongolle pounced on a loose ball in the United box to win the match.
Though one of the moments of the match was when TV pundit Keane entered the fray to a chorus of boos, which he soaked up with glaring stares into the stands. Soon after, he found himself palming away team-mate Johnson, who was keen to honour the 51-year-old with the captain’s armband after his success in the role as a player.
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Johnson quickly got the message that Keane wasn’t having it and the players dispersed, though Keane will have been hoping for a more positive influence as he was unable to strengthen the United midfield prior to Liverpool’s late winner. The former Nottingham Forest star enjoyed plenty of success at Old Trafford, winning the Premier League on seven occasions and the Champions League once, with his influence in Sir Alex Ferguson’s side instrumental.
Keane would lead by example in the centre of the park with tireless performances, though those days are certainly behind him as he has revealed that he is ‘embarrassingly’ unfit. Speaking earlier this year, Keane told the Off the Ball podcast: “I’m not fit. I’m far from fit. My fitness levels are actually very, very embarrassing.