What happened when Roy Keane and Alex Ferguson sat on the same plane?

It will make Manchester United fans sad.

"Football is a small world and eventually you will cross paths with people again."

Those were Roy Keane's words a few months ago when the prospect was raised of an end to his feud with old boss Alex Ferguson.

Last night, the pair's paths did cross, on a flightpath from Paris to Manchester. But according to an eye-witness account of the almost-meeting by the Guardian's Daniel Taylor, a peace accord remains some way off.

"On one side, Keane sat impassively by the window. On the other side, Ferguson was three rows back. Two men who once had so much in common but who now give the impression they would rather not share one another’s oxygen. The plane had not even taken off before another passenger was speculating whether the flight might have to be diverted due to air-rage."

Keane had been working for ITV on Chelsea's Champions League tie with PSG. Ferguson reportedly caught up with old adversary Jose Mourinho ahead of that game.

But there was no old pals' act here.

"Ferguson and his wife, Cathy, had been first on the flight after he was recognised by a member of Air France’s staff and moved to the front of the queue," wrote Taylor.

"Keane was the last after hanging back. As the Irishman took his seat, Cathy gave her husband a nudge. Ferguson took one look, narrowed his eyes and then lifted up his newspaper to continue reading the sports pages."

"That newspaper was a handy shield over the next hour or so in the air."

The awkward dance saw roles reversed back at Manchester.

"It ended without so much as a backward glance. Keane was off the plane first while Ferguson hung back this time Their feud has been a captivating story and offers a fascinating insight into their personalities and flaws. But they really do need their heads knocking together."

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