TV View: Roy Keane provides the jabs on a blue night for United
Corkman was right at home alongside Graeme Souness as Paul Pogba took the heat
“It’s a complicated night for United fans,” said Sky’s David Jones. Not bloody half. Marooned somewhere between the devil and the deep blue sea and a rock and a hard place, all the while fretting over Thursday morning’s headlines reading something like ‘United win the League – for Liverpool!’
Jamie Carragher and Gary Neville’s heads – not to mention hearts – must have felt like they’d been in the tumble dryer for the day, Jamie rooting for United for the first and most probably the last time in his life, Gary bleeding sky blue blood for just these 90 minutes plus added time. He was professional enough not to admit it, of course, but that moment in the first half when City were under the cosh and he hollered “USE DAVID SILVA!” confirmed our suspicions.
Roy Keane was rooting for no one, him being Roy, although a handful of minutes in to the pre-match chat Graeme Souness was very definitely rooting for the Cork lad, him making Graeme sound like a temperate commentator on all things Paul Pogba.
After Pogba’s chat with Sky, when he expressed his extreme regret about the quality of that performance against Everton, David asked Roy what he made of it.
“I wouldn’t believe a word he says, no meaning behind it,” he said. “I don’t even think he believed what he was saying there. He’s on about being a team-mate – if you’re going to be a good team-mate you’ve got to run back when you’re defending. He said it got a bit heated after the game against Everton, I heard they were actually throwing their hair gel at each other, it got that heated.”
Gary and Graeme chuckled violently, but Joe Hart, another of the studio guests for the night that was in it, remained stony-faced, perhaps because he once did an ad for Head and Shoulders and was therefore sensitive about any hair product gibes.
Team news and United had made five changes. “You can’t change 11 players, although I’m sure Ole was tempted,” said Roy, who then removed the silencer from his gun and took aim at Ole’s squad.
“These are the same players who threw Mourinho under the bus and they will do exactly the same thing to Ole – leopards don’t change their spots. There are too many bluffers at this club to get United back to the top.”
And the notion that the level of the club’s ambitions this season is to scrape its way in to fourth left Roy’s jaw muscles flexing so ferociously all that was needed to tip him over the edge was for David to ask him about John Delaney’s credit card expenditure.
“There were like a pussy cat that wanted its tummy stroked,” said Graeme of that display against Everton, and he didn’t even need to add that Pogba was the biggest pussy of all because Roy had already dealt with the matter.
Game time. And five minutes in Gary noted that “United have already made more tackles than they did on Sunday”, even Fred proving quite useful. And Pep Guardiola was looking a bit stressed in his technical area, as the viewers were too on spotting that he was wearing that grey knitted hoodie again for the 37th consecutive match, when you’d imagine City would give him an ample enough wardrobe budget to freshen up his attire.
0-0 at half-time, the chief talking point for the panel Jesse Lingard’s tackle on Bernardo Silva that left Silva with a tattoo of Lingard’s studs on his ankle. David, with a grin, asked Graeme and Roy – Graeme and Roy! – if the challenge merited a red card. Both nearly died from the laughing, Graeme’s only query why United kicked the ball out to allow Bernardo’s ankle to be reattached to his leg.
Second half. Bernardo’s ankle had recovered nicely. 1-0.
And Leroy Sane’s limbs were in fine working order too when he made it 2-0, David de Gea finding his inner Massimo Taibi as he allowed Sane’s shot enter the net through his body.
All over. Manchester was blue. Liverpool was too. And the United faithful quite possibly never enjoyed a derby defeat more. Mad auld game.