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04th Dec 2016

“There will be bans, fines and the rest… but I liked it” – Gary Neville on the Man City vs Chelsea clash

"Maybe I shouldn't say I liked it given the position that I am"

Rob Burnett

Gary Neville had a brutally honest assessment of the mass brawl that broke out during Chelsea’s win at Manchester City, declaring “I liked it”.

The Blues pulled off an impressive 3-1 win at the Etihad but the match turned ugly and City ended the game with just nine men after Sergio Aguero and Fernandinho were both send off.

Aguero for a shocking tackle on David Luiz, and Fernandinho for a clash with Cesc Fabregas.

And speaking on his podcast after the match Gary Neville said he couldn’t help but be impressed by the raw passion on show from the players.

“I can’t like the Aguero challenge. I can’t. But what I saw at the end, and it may be the wrong thing to say, I liked that. The Premier League won’t like it and the FA won’t like it. There will be bans, fines and the rest of it but I don’t want boring.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 03: Players squre off after David Luiz of Chelsea is fouled by Sergio Aguero of Manchester City during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Chelsea at Etihad Stadium on December 3, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)(Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)


“That is players defending the shirt, their teammates and showing passion for the shirt. When there’s a tackle like that you expect your teammates to steam in and then the other players to steam in.

“Maybe I shouldn’t say I liked it given the position that I am in but it is a considered thought and I’d say the same thing tomorrow too.

“Yes, the Premier League has an image around the world but on the other hand I am constantly hearing there’s a lack of loyalty and a lack of passion. Well you’ve seen some.”

Neville said incidents like what happened on the pitch at the Etihad is what makes football worth watching.

“We talk about the old clashes and they are almost folklore. People say: ‘Do you remember that Arsenal and Man United clash in the tunnel?’

“Those moments make football great. There are enough ordinary games in the world out there. But I’ll go home tonight and think that was a fantastic game. I’ll remember this game.”

Catch up with this week’s episode of Football Friday Live