Gary Neville admits his “bottle jobs” jibe at Chelsea was harsh but stands by his claim the Blues froze in the Carabao Cup final.

Sky Sports pundit Neville branded Mauricio Pochettino’s side “blue billion-pound bottle jobs” during Sunday’s 1-0 extra-time defeat to injury-hit Liverpool.

Pochettino has overseen a disappointing campaign since arriving at Stamford Bridge last summer and his expensively-assembled squad were beaten by Virgil van Dijk’s late header.

Former Manchester United defender Neville explained the thinking behind his comment when speaking on Sky Bet’s Stick to Football podcast, saying: “I got progressively angrier during extra time with Chelsea… then I thought, should I say it, is it too strong?

“I was thinking that as I said it, and sometimes when you think that you might think that it’s a reason not to say it, but I felt as though it needed to be said, it’s a harsh line.

“I said that they froze in extra time, there is no doubt that they were playing with fear and froze.

“Bottle doesn’t mean cowardness, they just froze on the day, we froze in games sometimes, in Champions League semi-finals.

“Sometimes you do freeze – Manchester United, the year before they won the Premier League title against Leeds, they bottled the run-in.

“We bottled the run-in, when we were without Roy (Keane) in 1998, against Arsenal – we’ve all bottled run-ins.”

Pochettino reiterated his rejection of Neville’s dig after Chelsea’s battling 3-2 FA Cup win over Leeds on Wednesday night.

“I cannot be angry about that,” he said. “With all my love to Gary, it’s not fair to use this type of word for a team that is so brave, a club that always fights for big things.

“We know that we are brave and that we are working really hard. For us, it’s not an important comment.”

Gary Neville believes Dan Ashworth could be an influential figure as Manchester United’s sporting director, should he make the switch from Newcastle.

United are looking to fill the vacancy with an experienced head and are understood to have picked out Ashworth, who has performed similar roles at the Football Association, Brighton and now at St James’ Park.

Neville worked with Ashworth when he was England’s assistant manager between 2012-2016 and rates the 52-year-old as the kind of leader who could change the culture at Old Trafford, alongside incoming chief executive Omar Berrada.

“If Dan does come in, I do think there’s a chance that the performance mentality will improve, the mentality that they do have, (it) could run through the club quite quickly,” he told Sky Bet’s Stick to Football podcast.

“I’m not saying Dan is going to be a success at Manchester United, but if you’ve got the guy in from Manchester City (Berrada) and now Dan Ashworth, at least you’ve got people in roles that belong, as they’ve not had that in the last 10 years.

“(With England) he started with the Under-21s, the Under-18s and with the women’s team. You think of the success of all those teams in recent years, but that has been in the making for eight years, and it all started when Dan came in.

“I’m not saying he’s responsible for what happened, but he had a big influence with FA. They were a terrible organisation from a professionalism point of view, and I felt what he did, he put processes in place where they’re now structured and organised.”

Neville also stressed that Ashworth would expect significant power in a new backroom structure led by Ineos chair Sir Jim Ratcliffe, whose deal to acquire a 25 per cent stake in the club could be completed next week.

“I’ve no doubt that Sir Jim Ratcliffe is trusting in Sir Dave Brailsford in finding the best CEO, the best sporting director, the best head of recruitment and the best coach,” said Neville.

“It looks like they’ve got the first two, and the two yet to be sorted is the head of recruitment and the best coach, but they’re doing it one by one. I suspect that if Dan Ashworth comes in, he’ll want authority at the club to be able to make decisions.”

Gary Neville has described Manchester United’s year a “disgrace to the end” after Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s acquisition of a 25 per cent stake in the club was announced on Christmas Eve.

Neville wished Ineos Group chairman Ratcliffe, 71, a childhood United fan who was born in nearby Failsworth, “all the very best” in attempting to return the club to former glories.

But former United captain Neville questioned the timing of the announcement, which came at 4pm on Christmas Eve, writing on X: “Manchester United 2023 has been a disgrace to the end.

“The timing of this is truly awful and no functioning organisation would even think about it.

“Anyway all the very best to Jim Ratcliffe and I hope he can somehow work out a way to get the club right again and back to being something respectable on and off the pitch.”

Ratcliffe’s purchase of a 25 per cent stake comes after the club’s United States-based owners, the Glazer family, revealed their intention to undertake a strategic review of their options, including the possibility of selling up.

United have suffered a poor season so far, losing more matches before Christmas than in any season since 1930 and have not scored for four games – their worst run for 30 years.

Erik ten Hag’s side have dropped to eighth in the Premier League, eight points from fourth-placed Tottenham, and finished bottom of their Champions League group.

Ratcliffe has agreed to inject around £236million into the club and Ineos will take over the management of United’s football operations.

But Manchester United Supporters Trust has questioned how the relationship between the Glazer family and the Ineos Group will work, calling on the club’s owners to clarify the situation.

MUST also said fans would be left with “mixed feelings” after Ratcliffe’s investment left the Glazers still in overall charge at Old Trafford.

“During 18 years of debt, decay and mismanagement, Manchester United fans have loudly and consistently called for change at our club,” a statement from MUST read.

“When the so-called Strategic Review was announced nearly a year ago, it finally appeared that the sale of the club was on the horizon, potentially bringing the new investment and new direction MUFC so clearly needs.

“Against that backdrop, fans have very mixed feelings today. We welcome the investment from a boyhood red, Sir Jim Ratcliffe and his Ineos company, but many will wish his ownership stake was greater than the initially rumoured 25 per cent.

“We note the statements that he and his team will control sporting activities, yet puzzle how any organisation can put its very core business in the hands of a minority shareholder, and how that meaningfully works in practice.

“It is now incumbent on the club’s owners and management to properly explain how this new structure will work, where the new investment will be directed and how it will benefit the team on the field.

“As the supporters’ trust, we expect to have discussions with the club management and the Ineos team in the near future to understand their plans, and to put to them the very many questions fans have today.

“Today might – just might – be a step forward for Manchester United after some very difficult years. But with the Glazers still in charge, people should understand that United fans will remain sceptical and wait for the proof in the pudding.”

It is understood that Premier League approval for Ratcliffe’s investment could take between four and six weeks.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe has vowed to return Manchester United to “the very top of English, European and world football” after agreeing a £1.25billion deal to buy a 25 per cent stake in the club.

The Old Trafford outfit announced on Christmas Eve that the chairman of INEOS, who will assume delegated responsibility for football operations, had entered into an agreement, which is “subject to customary regulatory approvals”, which will also see him invest US dollars 300million – more than £236million – to refurbish the debt-laden club’s infrastructure.

However, it is boyhood fan Ratcliffe’s promise to put United “back where we belong” which will excite fans who have been in open revolt against owners the Glazer family, who launched a strategic review of the business in November last year.

Ratcliffe said: “As a local boy and a lifelong supporter of the club, I am very pleased that we have been able to agree a deal with the Manchester United board that delegates us management responsibility of the football operations of the club.

“Whilst the commercial success of the club has ensured there have always been available funds to win trophies at the highest level, this potential has not been fully unlocked in recent times.

“We will bring the global knowledge, expertise and talent from the wider INEOS Sport group to help drive further improvement at the club, while also providing funds intended to enable future investment into Old Trafford.

“We are here for the long term and recognise that a lot of challenges and hard work lie ahead, which we will approach with rigour, professionalism and passion. We are committed to working with everyone at the club – the board, staff, players and fans – to help drive the club forward.

“Our shared ambition is clear: we all want to see Manchester United back where we belong, at the very top of English, European and world football.”

Under the agreement, INEOS will acquire 25 per cent of the Class B shares owned by the Glazers and tender an offer for up to 25 per cent of the Class B shares at USD33 each in a deal which will not add to the club’s existing debt.

In addition, he will inject USD200million – £158million – on completion to upgrade Old Trafford and a further USD100million – £79million – by the end of 2024, taking his total investment to around £1.25billion.

Executive co-chairmen and directors Avram Glazer and Joel Glazer, who announced a strategic review 13 months ago, said: “We are delighted to have agreed this deal with Sir Jim Ratcliffe and INEOS.

“As part of the strategic review we announced in November 2022, we committed to look at a variety of alternatives to help enhance Manchester United, with a focus on delivering success for our men’s, women’s and academy teams.

“Sir Jim and INEOS bring a wealth of commercial experience as well as significant financial commitment into the club. And, through INEOS Sport, Manchester United will have access to seasoned high-performance professionals, experienced in creating and leading elite teams from both inside and outside the game.

“Manchester United has talented people right across the club and our desire is to always improve at every level to help bring our great fans more success in the future.”

Ratcliffe found himself engaged in a lengthy battle with Qatari businessman Sheikh Jassim after it became apparent that the club – or ultimately part of it – could be up for sale.

Sheikh Jassim withdrew his bid for full control in October with a long-running saga showing little sign of reaching a conclusion until Ratcliffe’s focus shifted to the pursuit of a significant minority stake.

The deal was announced by United at 4pm on Sunday in a statement which read: “The joint ambition is to create a world-class football operation building on the club’s many existing strengths, including the successful off-pitch performance that it continues to enjoy.”

The Red Devils have not lifted the Premier League trophy since 2012-13, Sir Alex Ferguson’s last season at the helm, and last won the Champions League in 2008.

Confirmation of INEOS’ investment was given a guarded welcome by the Manchester United Supporters Trust.

A statement read: “Today might – just might – be a step forward for Manchester United after some very difficult years. But with the Glazers still in charge, people should understand that United fans will remain sceptical and wait for the proof in the pudding.”

Former United defender Gary Neville was less than impressed by the timing of the announcement.

“Manchester United 2023 has been a disgrace to the end,” he wrote on X.

“The timing of this is truly awful and no functioning organisation would even think about it.

“Anyway all the very best to Jim Ratcliffe and I hope he can somehow work out a way to get the club right again and back to being something respectable on and off the pitch.”

The 10-point penalty imposed on Everton shows the Premier League is a “defunct organisation”, former Manchester United defender Gary Neville has said.

An independent commission sanctioned the Toffees last week after they exceeded losses permitted under the league’s profitability and sustainability rules by £19.5million in the three seasons ending in 2021-22.

Neville compared Everton’s penalty with the £3.5m fines imposed on the ‘Big Six’ clubs in 2021 over their involvement in an attempt to launch a European Super League.

Neville described what those clubs had done as “the attempted murder” of football.

“Everton’s trust and faith (in the Premier League) has gone completely. The greed and selfishness is out of control – it’s lawless,” he said on the Stick to Football podcast brought to you by Sky Bet.

“The Premier League is a defunct organisation because they’ve got 20 clubs all voting with self-interest. This has been coming for many years.

“The Super League clubs that tried to destroy the whole of European football – they were fined a total of £22m, £3.5m for each team, which is an absolute disgrace and a scandal for what they attempted to do, which was the attempted murder of our game.

“I actually feel sorry for the executives at the Premier League because I think they’re dealing with a mob that you can’t control.”

Everton have appealed against the sanction, but could yet face compensation claims from other clubs.

Neville’s former United team-mate Roy Keane told the same podcast Everton should just “take their medicine”.

“I know it’s extreme with 10 points, but it brings a bit of closure to Everton after a difficult few years, and we all think that from a football point of view they’ll still be able to stay up,” he said.

“They’ll have enough to stay up, have got a cup game coming up, and can try and get the feel-good factor back in the club and take their medicine, have closure, move on, and learn from their past mistakes.”

Sports stars and clubs across the world continue to provide an insight into their lives on social media.

Here, the PA news agency looks at some of the best examples from May 15.


Gary Neville analysed Arsenal’s slump.

Millie Bright updated her profile pic to celebrate Chelsea winning the FA Cup for a third season in a row.

Australia international Alanna Kennedy celebrated signing a new contract at Manchester City.


Birthday boy Andy Murray wants the cake he feels he deserves.

Formula One

Max Verstappen made history on this day in 2016.


Howdy! Jason Day is a PGA Tour winner again after victory in Texas.

Lee Westwood is planning to rest up after being forced to withdraw from the final round of the LIV golf event in Tulsa.

Viktor Hovland took in the Niagara Falls ahead of this week’s US PGA Championship.

Manchester United legend Gary Neville declared Manchester City are "far too close for comfort" to matching their rivals' famous treble.

Alex Ferguson's side made history in the 1998-99 season by winning the FA Cup, Premier League and Champions League, a feat not achieved by any other English side.

However, City remain in the hunt on all three fronts this season and, while manager Pep Guardiola has played down talk of a potential treble, the fight is on.

City hold a 3-0 advantage over Bayern Munich ahead of Wednesday's second leg of their Champions League quarter-final, and face second-tier Sheffield United in the FA Cup semi-finals at Wembley on Saturday.

In the Premier League, City sit four points behind Arsenal with a game in hand and take on Mikel Arteta's side a week on Wednesday at the Etihad Stadium.

As a result, Neville has admitted his concern that United's arch-rivals could match his club's historic achievement.

"I thought their Bayern Munich game was sensational. Bayern Munich were fantastic in the game in the first half and when Pep Guardiola said after the game he was worried, I could feel that as Bayern looked dangerous and sharp," he said on the Gary Neville podcast.

"He was resting players against Leicester because he knows he has to go to the Allianz Arena and it will be tough and he knows that. If Bayern get a goal, it is a bit like Anfield where they can go and get two or three.

"They've had a brilliant week, City. To win that game 3-0 and beat Liverpool 4-1, they're purring, they're playing well. They're serious now about it and they're in great form now.

"Rodri, Kevin De Bruyne and Ilkay Gundogan in midfield, the best midfield you can get. Up front, Erling Haaland, Jack Grealish and Riyad Mahrez are really settled now. They're hitting the home straight.

"The treble was mentioned last week, it's definitely on. They can win the European Cup, FA Cup and the Premier League.

"There's a long way to go, they can come up against a team that does them on the way: Real Madrid in the Champions League, Manchester United or Brighton in the FA Cup or they could lose to Arsenal at the Etihad, but they're very close to it. Far too close for comfort."

Gary Neville says only a full sale of Manchester United can satisfy supporters.

United announced in November that their much-maligned owners, the Glazer family, were exploring options including a potential sale of the club.

Jim Ratcliffe and Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani are among those to go public with their offers for United, though Finnish entrepreneur Thomas Zilliacus described the sale process as a "farce" when announcing he would not participate in a third round of bidding this week.

Some United supporters have expressed concerns that the Glazers – who have been widely criticised since taking control via a leveraged buyout in 2005 – may yet remain at Old Trafford.

On Saturday, Sky News reported that American private equity firm Carlyle was engaged in talks regarding a significant minority investment in the club.

It has also been suggested that other US-based investment companies have expressed an interest in acquiring a minority stake. 

The reports of Carlyle's interest provoked the ire of former United and England defender Neville, who wrote on Twitter: "No thank you! This doesn't work for United! 

"The Glazer PR machine keeps leaking this type of minority partnership bi-weekly whilst stressing it is a confidential process! Full sale only."

Trent Alexander-Arnold must forget the idea of being a midfielder and focus on not being a "liability" defensively, otherwise he risks his chances with England in future.

That was the message from former England and Manchester United captain Gary Neville, now a Sky Sports pundit, who was left unimpressed by Alexander-Arnold's defensive lapses against Arsenal.

The Liverpool right-back was caught out of position when Gabriel Martinelli crossed from the left for Gabriel Jesus to head in Arsenal's second, after Martinelli had earlier opened the scoring at Anfield on Sunday.

Alexander-Arnold would make amends by creating Roberto Firmino's late leveller in the 2-2 draw, with his sixth Premier League assist against the Gunners (only Steven Gerrard has more with seven).

But Neville, who has regularly questioned the England and Liverpool defender's abilities at the back, says Alexander-Arnold's error-laden defensive performances cannot be masked by his output going forward.

"He was absolutely sensational going forward," Neville said on his Sky Sports podcast. "I don't know what to say about him anymore because his defensive play is that bad.

"Some of the positions he takes up against Martinelli to defend a straight pass is schoolboy defending.

"I don't understand it. But some of his attacking play, his deliveries and his courage to get on the ball despite those mistakes has got to be admired. I admire him enormously.

"He doesn't need to become the best defender in the world. He just cannot be a liability. He doesn't have to be a great defender with the way in which he attacks. I don't think anybody is asking for that.

"You're just asking for a little bit of competence and attention to your work. The conversation will continue about him.

"I hope somehow over the summer the penny drops and he realises that his defensive work is hurting him.

"It's hurting him because he's been left out of the England squad. How can that talent be left out of an England squad?

"When you're playing for a team that is out of form such as Liverpool, those weaknesses get exposed a little bit more."

Klopp opted to utilise Alexander-Arnold as an inverted full-back when in possession, much like Oleksandr Zinchenko did for Arsenal.

Alexander-Arnold delivered in an attacking sense, with game-leading returns for final-third entries (13), chances created (four), touches (76) and passes into the opposition's third (24).

But Neville remains unsure whether Alexander-Arnold could replicate a similar showing if tasked with operating as an out-and-out midfielder.

He added: "Alexander-Arnold would drift into midfield in any case given the freedom being at right-back gives him, but if he was actually down to play in midfield away from home in the Premier League and he was getting the ball popped into him, when he's got his back to play, that's a different ball game.

"Some of the best midfielders in the world, the Xavis, [Andres] Iniestas, they're the ones who can manipulate the ball and Rodri does it very well. Trent wouldn't be able to do that, honestly.

"It's something we've said before about Declan Rice, and his ability to receive the ball on the half turn. You've got to be a top player who has played hundreds of games as a kid, looking over your shoulder.

"I've heard it said a number of times about full-backs being able to play in midfield before... 'he can play wide, he can play as a winger' – no they can't. That's why they're full-backs."

Mauricio Pochettino is the ideal man to take over at Chelsea in the eyes of Gary Neville.

The Blues are on the hunt for a new boss for the second time this season, having axed Graham Potter less than seven months after he succeeded Thomas Tuchel at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea's defeat to Aston Villa proved to be the straw that broke the camel's back for Potter, the result sending the Blues into the bottom half of the Premier League standings and way off the pace in the hunt for European football next season.

Inconsistent form plagued Potter's reign in west London, with results not improving significantly after Todd Boehly splashed the cash in a mega spending spree in the January window.

Those mid-season recruits have somewhat complicated matters moving forward, with further spending likely to be restricted moving forward, meaning a new boss will likely have to deal with the hand he is dealt.

For that reason, Neville believes former Tottenham boss Pochettino is the ideal fit due to his experience in managing younger players.

"Based on what Boehly has said, Chelsea have done their spending for the next three years - apart from signing a centre forward," Neville told Sky Sports' Monday Night Football.

"If they appoint Zidane, Enrique or Diego Simeone, they're going to want to have another £300m as they won't like some of the players they've previously signed.

"They've got to appoint a manager who is going to inherit and like the squad that they've got, a lot of them are young, and I think that man is Mauricio Pochettino."

Manchester United let Erik ten Hag down in the January transfer window by not signing a striker, club great Gary Neville has declared.

Defeat to Newcastle United on Sunday saw United slip to fourth in the Premier League, one point above Tottenham, who they hold a game in hand over, with a fierce scrap for a top-four finish looming before the end of the season.

United's away form has been a major issue this season, with six of their seven defeats coming on the road, and upcoming trips to face fellow European chasers Tottenham and Brighton and Hove Albion will be a cause for concern.

According to Neville, the club's failure to adequately recruit a new forward in the mid-season window, following the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo, is at the root of their issues.

"He was badly let down, Erik ten Hag, in January, if you look at it. Because that Cristiano Ronaldo interview with Piers Morgan was done in November," the Sky Sports pundit said.

"He was always going to leave at the start of the World Cup. Manchester United then had six weeks before the transfer window began.

"They made a conscious decision not to give Erik ten Hag the money because they have not got the money. They made a conscious decision to tell him he was going to have to bring somebody in on loan.

"Who is going to loan Manchester United a world-class striker in January? Nobody is going to do that.

"I do not blame Wout Weghorst at all. He has done a really good job. He is a placeholder for Manchester United and Erik ten Hag, and I think he is doing absolutely everything he can do out there on the pitch.

"He is obviously not good enough to be a Manchester United striker. But they needed support in January.

"They lost Ronaldo, they lost Edinson Cavani in the summer, and Anthony Martial was injured. You cannot play without a centre-forward. To play football really well your centre-forward and your goalkeeper have to play well. It is just a rule. He does not always play well.

"So, for me, Erik ten Hag was let down badly in January by the club in the sense that they have this £900million of debt and they could not afford to bring in anyone else. That is the harsh reality of it."

Rio Ferdinand was "delighted" to be named among 15 nominees for the Premier League Hall of Fame.

Introduced in 2021, the Hall of Fame has inducted eight players in each of the past two years, adding managerial greats Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger on Wednesday.

Voting for the latest round of player inductees has begun, with greats nominated from across the last 30 years of the Premier League.

The 2023 class of inductees is dominated by defenders, including former Arsenal captain Tony Adams, ex-Chelsea skipper John Terry and Manchester United stalwarts Ferdinand and Gary Neville.

Former Chelsea and Arsenal duo Petr Cech and Ashley Cole are also nominated, along with ex-United defender Nemanja Vidic.

Midfielders Michael Carrick and Yaya Toure represent both sides of Manchester, with strikers Andy Cole, Les Ferdinand, Robbie Fowler and Michael Owen completing the list.

Ferdinand wrote on Twitter: "Delighted to be nominated again on the #PLHallOfFame. Few decent CBs [centre-backs] listed on the nominees."

The former England captain will be hoping it is third time lucky, having also been among the nominees in 2021 and 2022.

Fans can vote for three players they believe should be inducted, with voting open until 6pm BST on Monday, April 10.

Only three players will take their place among the greats this time around.

The shortlist has been reduced from 25 names previously to 15 and players are only eligible if their retirement was confirmed before 1 January 2023.

In order to be eligible, players must have made at least 250 Premier League appearances or made 200 league appearances for a single club, been selected in any Team of the Decade or 20-year Anniversary teams, won a Golden Boot or Golden Glove, been voted Player of the Season, won three titles or scored 100 goals or registered 100 clean sheets.

2023 nominees: Tony Adams, Sol Campbell, Michael Carrick, Petr Cech, Andy Cole, Ashley Cole, Jermain Defoe, Les Ferdinand, Rio Ferdinand, Robbie Fowler, Gary Neville, Michael Owen, John Terry, Yaya Toure, Nemanja Vidic.

Gary Neville is keen for Manchester United to have a new home, telling prospective bidders to modernise the club.

The Glazer family's tenure in charge at Old Trafford could be nearing a conclusion, having announced in November that they were exploring options for a sale.

Last week saw visits to the club from Sheikh Jassim Bin Hamad Al Thani's delegation and Jim Ratcliffe, both of whom are the running for a potential takeover – though there could be as many as eight bidders.

Former United captain Neville is keen for whoever takes charge to invest significantly in the club's infrastructure, including the construction of a new stadium.

"I think we've got to make sure that whoever the new owners are in the next few months, that they harness what the club's history is about, and also take Manchester United forward into a modern era," he told ITV News.

"You look back at the past in terms of what we are and what we should be, but also I think we need to be a modern football club, with a new stadium, a new infrastructure.

"The training ground needs to be brought up to speed and the sporting project needs to be world class.

"And there needs to be that feeling among the fans again, that everyone's aligned on the same page - they haven't had that for the last eight-to-10-years."

While United are perceived to have fallen behind to their rivals off the field, significant gains have been made under the stewardship of Erik ten Hag.

The Dutch boss guided United to League Cup glory in February, the club's first trophy since 2017, with further honours up for grabs with the campaign in the FA Cup and Europa League continuing.

Those improvements have impressed Neville, who added: "I think the thing about Manchester United for me is that the football can never be boring.

"You always have to go to a game feeling that you're going to see something exciting.

"The lads that wear those shirts out on the pitch, they have to look like they're engaged and they've got a spirit and they want to be here.

"You think about how bad it was at the end of last season to what it is now - a huge turnaround."

Gary Neville labelled Manchester United captain Bruno Fernandes "embarrassing" and Roy Keane said Erik ten Hag's players should go into hiding after a 7-0 humbling by Liverpool.

Liverpool's three starting forwards – Mohamed Salah, Cody Gakpo and Darwin Nunez – each scored twice, with substitute Roberto Firmino coming off the bench to add to the humiliation.

It was Liverpool's heaviest-ever win over United, their great rivals, and came just a week after the visitors to Anfield won the EFL Cup.

If United's Wembley win pointed to a bright future, this Sunday shoeing on Merseyside was a wake-up call.

United legends Neville and Keane offered no sympathy.

A stunned Neville said after the game: "They've not understood, I don't think, the dangers of this fixture, that when you concede a goal and the crowd get up, it can just swallow you alive and that's what happened today. That Manchester United group of players have been eaten alive in that second half."

During the game, Neville condemned United's defending as "a mess", "appalling", and at 3-0 he said the visitors had "lost their heads".

At 4-0, Neville said United's experienced stars were "playing like schoolboys", and as the scoreline worsened for the men from Old Trafford so the rage increased.

"The second half has been an absolute disgrace, a shambles," Neville said on Sky Sports, "epitomised by no one more than the captain, Bruno Fernandes, who I think has been embarrassing at times.

"It's not their usual performance, it's not their usual spirit, it's not their usual form, and [Ten Hag] will deal with it, I'm sure, very quickly, like he's dealt with other difficult situations this season."

Looking at Fernandes, Neville said: "Some of his behaviour in the second half has been a disgrace."

Keane agreed on that point, saying Fernandes had been "nothing short of disgraceful" in what goes down as the joint-heaviest defeat in United's history, in terms of goal margin.

"You wouldn't be happy with him in your dressing room today," Keane added.

A no-nonsense midfielder and captain in his time, Keane said the result for United made it "obviously a very, very bad day, obviously a shocking day really".

He added: "The senior players, you can use all the words... embarrassing, they didn't show any leadership skills, particularly the senior players, the goals they gave away were shocking.

"Thank goodness I've never been part of a team that's been beaten by that much playing for Man United. The players will be embarrassed and no doubt be ashamed of their performance, particularly the second half when the going got tough and they just went missing to give up that many goals.

"It is the hardest place to come for a Manchester United player. When you go two goals down you've got to show some sort of pride, fight, spirit. They didn't show any of that."

Keane praised Liverpool, saying Jurgen Klopp's team were "brilliant", "back to their very, very best" and "ruthless".

But there was no doubt United let them walk over them.

"The senior players for Man United, the players we give the big build-up to, they're the ones who let the club down today," Keane said. 

"I always try and imagine that if you get beaten in a game like this, six or seven nil, you'd go into hiding as a player. I think I'd go missing for a few months. It really is that embarrassing for the players."

Manchester United legend Roy Keane saluted Marcus Rashford for proving he has the character to be the team's main man, but Gary Neville now wants him to replicate his form season after season.

Rashford is enjoying a phenomenal campaign, with his 25 goals across all competitions prior to Sunday's trip to Liverpool already his best return for a single season.

There appeared to be doubts about Rashford's long-term future at United after a hugely underwhelming 2021-22 season, but he has had a new lease of life since Erik ten Hag's arrival.

He showed real promise before the World Cup, but it is since his return from Qatar that Rashford's form has reached new heights, scoring 10 goals in his previous 10 league games ahead of Sunday.

That haul includes a run of five successive goalscoring appearances, with the England international giving United a clinical touch in attack – his 25 goals have come from just 16.5 xG (expected goals).

Keane acknowledged he had reservations about Rashford in that regard, but the 25-year-old is emphatically proving him wrong.

Speaking to Sky Sports, Keane said: "He's in great form and what's been surprising in the last few months is, I wasn't sure if Marcus had that personality to want to be the main man, but he has, particularly with [Cristiano] Ronaldo leaving and [Anthony] Martial injured, he has definitely taken that responsibility.

"His goals, the type of goals he's getting: he's scored a couple of headers recently. I never knew he had that in his locker.

"We know obviously about his pace, his skill when beating people, but I think he's enjoying the responsibility. He's in the form of his life, he seems fit, he seems mentally clear, he's focusing more on his football now.

"There were question marks over the past few years about whether he was distracted, a lot of people hanging on to him. Now it looks like football is his priority and he's getting the rewards."

However, Neville – another former United captain – feels Rashford now has to ensure this season is not just a flash in the pan.

Twice before he has broken the 20-goal mark in a single season but been unable to maintain that level, whereas one of his opponents on Sunday – Liverpool's Salah – has done so in all six of his campaigns with the Reds.

Such ability has inspired Liverpool to success in the Premier League, FA Cup, EFL Cup and the Champions League.

"I think Marcus can look at Salah," Neville added. "What Marcus has done this season is fantastic, but Salah's been doing that for six or seven seasons, winning Premier League titles, Champions League trophies.

"He's reliable and consistent, and that's where Marcus now is building that sort of feeling and momentum in his game, but he's got to do it for the next three, four, five seasons and take Manchester United to those titles that Salah has at Liverpool."

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