Gary Neville claims Manchester United’s encounters with Leeds were “often more brutal” than against arch-rivals Liverpool.

Leeds are closing in on a Premier League return after a 16-season hiatus, with Marcelo Bielsa’s side top of the Championship and seven points clear of third place.

A return to the top flight would see Leeds and Manchester United rekindle the fierce rivalry which saw some fiery contests in the late 90s and at the turn of the millennium.

Neville said of the contests on Sky Sports: “It was brutal – often more brutal than Liverpool in a way because the Leeds-Manchester United rivalry was like a deep hatred.

“There’s a little bit of respect between Liverpool and Manchester United – just a little bit – but with Leeds there was a real nastiness.

“They would come on the pitch if they could and you felt the players at the time who had that tenacity and a narkiness about them.

“That’s how it felt when we went there.”

Neville and Ryan Giggs revealed last Thursday that they had given health workers free access to their hotels from last weekend in a show of solidarity during the coronavirus outbreak.

 

“Over the last week we have been in consultation with the health services in the Greater Manchester area, and in particular the Manchester University National Health Services Foundation Trust,” Neville said in a video posted on Twitter.

“And our 176 beds will be occupied by National Health Service workers and medical professionals from Friday onwards.

“It is in this moment in time that I think the whole of our industry needs to show solidarity not just for our staff in these uncertain times, but for the people who need the accommodation most in the coming months.

“It is something we are delighted to have come to an agreement with. It will be free of charge our staff will operate the hotels as normal.

“And the health workers will be allowed to stay there without any cost whatsoever in these next few months when they need isolation away from family members who may be affected by what’s going on.

“It’s obviously very difficult times and we hope we can grow out of this stronger as a hotel business beyond what is happening.

“But for the time being, stay safe and I wish everybody all the best.”

Meanwhile, Leeds owner Andrea Radrizzani feels the impact of the coronavirus pandemic will prove an economic “disaster” for the Championship club.

 

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