Since 1894, the two biggest sides in England – Manchester United and Liverpool – have faced 196 times against each other, with every match, a story in itself. The two giants of English football will meet again tonight at Anfield, in what will be the biggest match in many players' careers.
United legend Gary Neville has been a part of many memorable matches between the two sides and was always a hated figure in the eyes of Liverpool supporters after his infamous celebration after United scored a last-gasp winner.
Neville, speaking to Sky Sports in the build-up to the game, spoke about the complexity of the fixture and how the fixture has more to it than just hate.
Liverpool is enemy territory, says Neville
The former United defender, a true Mancunian, always loved to play against United's bitter rivals, Liverpool. He recalled the first time he went to play at Anfield, “I'll never forget the first time I went to Anfield as a United player. We travelled on the M62 to Merseyside, and when we got to the end of the motorway and turned onto the side streets, that's when it hit me. We were in enemy territory. It was claustrophobic.”
He also talked about the madness and passion associated with this fixture.
“Liverpool and Manchester are so different, yet so alike. There's a realness to both cities, an honesty to the people, a love of hard work, graft and most of all, football. It's more complicated than hate. It takes your breath away.”
The former England international was fined £5000 for his celebration in front of the Liverpool supporters and his actions were found to be instigating by the FA.
For 90 minutes, you’re a kid again: Neville
On many condemning that action of Neville’s and questioning if that was suitable for a 30-year-old to do, he said, “They were right. And that's what makes football so magical. For 90 minutes, you get to be a kid again. That's what we all dreamed about, isn't it? Celebrating that goal was one of the best feelings of my life.”
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Liverpool and Manchester United have issued a warning to their fans of any hateful chants and songs.
Liverpool sit fourth in the league table while the Red Devils are sixth, three points behind Klopp's men. A win for the hosts could see them go joint-top of the table and would take them to the top if they beat United by a three-goal margin.
United will have Luke Shaw and Henrikh Mkhitaryan fit for tonight's clash whereas Adam Lallana and Georginio Wijnaldum are still doubtful for the hosts.
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