Roy Keane has been left red-faced after an old argument with Everton icon Tim Cahill emerged.

Cahill argued that Arsenal were making progress after a 1-0 victory over Manchester United in November 2020, while Keane believed that view was misplaced.

Arsenal had lost three of their opening seven matches in 2020-21 and Arteta was facing mounting pressure to improve his side’s form. However, Cahill spotted positive signs that progress was being made at the Emirates Stadium.

The Gunners halted a run of successive defeats against Manchester City and Leicester by defeating United at Old Trafford, thanks to a Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang penalty. Keane and Cahill clashed on the subject of Arsenal’s progress, with the former United captain unconvinced by the development under Arteta.

Cahill began: “When you watch Arsenal against Leicester, and you see the high press and how aggressive they were. Here against United, they had all their players inside 18 yards at a corner. They were trying to suffocate United, win the second and third ball.”

But Keane interjected, pointing out Arsenal’s poor form despite their progressive style of play. He said: “You talk about the high press, did they lose to Leicester?”

Cahill snapped back: “But Mikel will know the reason why they lost. They missed their chances in the first half.”

Keane continued to play down Arsenal’s improvement, continuing to ask: “How many league games have Arsenal lost this season?”

But in analysis that has aged particularly well, Cahill continued: “Arsenal are progressing because there is an identity. There is a formula to the way they play. They will play out from the back and will continue to play out from the back. Mikel deserves credit.”

Keane quipped that Arsenal were being made to sound like an elite team, which did not tally with their form. The Irishman quizzed Cahill: “How many games have Arsenal lost this season? They just won against a poor United team. All of a sudden Arsenal are the new Bayern Munich. Do me a favour.”

Cahill has been proven correct over Arsenal and Arteta. Despite a victory by the same narrow 1-0 scoreline on Sunday, Arsenal have proved the gulf in quality between themselves and United in the four years since Keane and Cahill debated their progress.

The Gunners have twice competed for the Premier League title, and a Manchester City defeat before the end of the season will likely hand Arteta’s side the trophy. United, meanwhile, are enduring a disastrous campaign and sit eighth in the top-flight.