As Manchester United and Liverpool gear up for their top-of-the-table clash this weekend, legendary former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson, heaped praise on Liverpool - once his bitter rivals. During his time as Manchester United manager, Sir Alex Ferguson had famously once said that his greatest challenge as the Manchester United manager had been "knocking Liverpool off their f****** perch".
When he was appointed as the manager in 1986, Manchester United had only won the league seven times in their history, whereas Liverpool were the most successful English side with 15 league titles to their name. Sir Alex Ferguson went on to manage the club for more than 26 years, cementing his legacy as one of the best managers to have ever graced the game as he managed 1,500 Manchester United games over the course of his glittering stay at the club. When he retired in 2013, the Red Devils had become the most successful English side with 20 league titles, while Liverpool had 18.
Since his retirement, Manchester United and Liverpool seem to have traded roles, with the former failing to dominate while the latter have established themselves as a force to be reckoned with.
Led by Jurgen Klopp, Liverpool have been sensational, especially over the last couple of seasons. They won the UEFA Champions League in the 2018-19 season and followed it up by lifting the coveted Premier League trophy in the 2019-20 campaign, as they got their hands on the trophy for the first time since 1990.
However, the ongoing season has been difficult for Liverpool as they have constantly been hounded by injuries and ailments. As the league's halfway mark approaches, the Reds sit second on the table while Manchester United are first, rendering this weekend's clash extremely crucial.
Ahead of the match, Sir Alex Ferguson and Jurgen Klopp were part of an online panel (alongside Kenny Dalglish and Gareth Southgate) on a Zoom call for charity when the former hailed the latter's team and their success.
"Thank goodness I've retired when I see Liverpool's performances in the past two years. They have been phenomenal," Sir Alex Ferguson said.
He also spoke about the upcoming match and said "They are the two most successful teams in Britain when you add up all the trophies. United against Liverpool, it is the game of the season – the most successful sides in the country"
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp looks forward to match against Manchester United
Speaking on the same online panel, Jurgen Klopp admitted that Manchester United have excelled so far this season while his side has struggled in comparison. However, the German tactician said that he is looking forward to the historic derby nevertheless.
As things stand, Manchester United are first on the table with 36 points from 17 matches, with Liverpool breathing down their neck in second place (33 points from 17 matches). With top spot on the line, the match on Sunday will naturally be one with high stakes and is expected to be a thriller.