Gary Neville : “We Need That Dramatic Goals”


Not for the first time in his successful career, Gary Neville’s face said it all when the final whistle blew at Eastlands following the fourth dramatic derby of this exhilarating season.

Just when United’s title hopes looked dead and buried, Paul Scholes popped up to instead bury a header and end a difficult run of results for the Reds in the best possible way. The way the players celebrated, with backroom staff and substitutes racing onto the pitch to join in, was perfectly understandable, says Neville.

“We weren’t getting carried away at the end – if you win a derby in that manner, four games from the end of the season, to give yourself a hope of still winning the title, then obviously you’re going to be excited,” Gary told MUTV.

“Obviously there are always question marks at this club when you lose matches. Today we’re delighted we’ve won that game in such a manner.

“I think the celebration was about coming out of a difficult two or three weeks. And winning the derby means everything, to us, to the players, the fans. It’s something that we needed. We definitely needed that as a club.”

Like his manager, Gary felt the Reds merited all three points against Manchester City, citing his team’s greater number of goalscoring opportunities.

“I thought we deserved to win, from the chances we had in the first half for Ryan Giggs and Wayne Rooney and a couple of chances in the second half,” assessed the skipper.

“They had a couple as well but I do think we deserved to win. Sometimes you have to watch it back on TV to see if that’s true or not because in the game itself it’s difficult to know if that’s a correct statement. But I felt during the game we had the chances to win it.”

In the end, one chance was enough – thanks in part to a solid defensive performance.

“Nemanja Vidic and Jonny Evans were both excellent. And when we keep a clean sheet, we always think we can win a game because we can always score goals.”

While Neville and his fellow defenders laid the foundations for victory, it was secured right at the death by Paul Scholes’ seventh strike of the campaign. Coming the day after he had signed a new contract to keep him at United for another year, the midfielder’s intervention was reward for a majestic display.

“He deserves it,” said Neville. “He’s passed them to death from the first minute until the last. Then in injury time he’s gone forward and scored a goal. It was a perfect performance from a really great player.”

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