Former Manchester United captain Roy Keane was left bemused by the tepid nature of Saturday’s goalless Manchester derby and criticized players from both teams for their display of camaraderie after the game.
With no fans inside a chilly Old Trafford due to COVID-19 restrictions, the passion and energy normally associated with the Manchester derby was absent, with both teams sharing the spoils after United had a penalty award overturned by VAR.
“The game was really poor. Looking at the teams, they have to show the desire to win the game,” Keane, the catalyst for many of United’s fiery derbies during his 12 years at the club, told Sky Sports.
“We got two bookings in a derby. I’ve never seen so many hugs and chats after the game. I’m scratching my head. I’m really frustrated.
“At the end, the staff are smiling and hugging, the players are chatting. Just get down the tunnel. I don’t get it. Everyone wants to be pals,” added the 49-year-old, whose tackle on City’s Alf Inge Haaland during a derby game in 2001 effectively ended the Norwegian’s career.
Keane’s former United team mate Gary Neville echoed the Irishman’s comments.
“There was no intent, whether on the pitch or from the managers to win the match. That was really poor, and we shouldn’t accept that,” Neville said.
United won last season’s Premier League fixture 2-0 but manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer felt Saturday’s was a more complete display, despite the lack of intent shown by his side.
But Neville said that Solskjaer must start implementing a more attacking style of play if he is to remain in the Old Trafford hotseat.
“In the next six to eight months, they have to dominate matches. That will be the determining factor. This was ‘OK’, but it’s not a tactic for United to win matches or titles,” Neville added.