Rivalry: Competition for the same objective or for superiority in the same field.
How true is that meaning when we are talking about football? Or more to the point when it is Liverpool -v- Manchester United. The fixture itself is one of the biggest, hard fought, competitive games in the footballing calendar, although not officially a derby game as they are not from the same city, it is still up there with your Glasgow, Yorkshire, Geordie, London and European Derby matches.
But why is there so much hatred between Liverpool and Manchester United? To be honest it’s all a bit hypocritical, take Wayne Rooney for example, a Liverpudlian through and through, and given the fact that United supporters hate us scousers they would noy mind him scoring the winning goal for them in a cup final, a World Cup Final or even in the European Championship final, and we certainly would not complain if a United player did the same, so hatred is probably too strong a word, although recently it did not feel that way.
The recent Europa League games between Manchester United and Liverpool was probably two of the most tension filled matches we have seen in a long time, the chanting, which was much more than just good humoured banter and to be fair it was coming from both sides, the fighting and scuffles set football back thirty years and has no part in today’s modern football, and any punishment should be dealt out on both sides, banners should be checked for derogatory wording before being allowed in to football grounds as they create tension and are just another form of insult, that is up to the clubs and ground security to check this.
Even though the good old fashioned United v Liverpool games are still as exciting as ever, does it really matter, as in Liverpool’s case that hardly any of the players are actually from the city itself, and does this take the edge off the game? If you go back to when Steven Gerrard, Jamie Carragher and the Neville brothers played it certainly seemed more personal, although as professional footballers there was also mutual respect for each other, though at the time it didn’t seem that way.
Yes, of course United have been more successful than us, especially under Alex Ferguson, not so much since he left though, and both our records show historically, that we both have had great teams over the years so jealously plays more of a part rather than hatred, If you look at some of uniteds players in the past like, Geprge Best, Ruud Van Nistelrooy, David Beckham, Wayne Rooney etc as a football fan you have to say they where great footballers (except when they played against us) and surely Manchester United fans had some respect for players like Steven Gerrard, Jamie Carragher and the amazing although slightly nutty Luis Suarez. Of course all Liverpool fans want to beat United every time and at all cost and vice versa, but after all it’s only a game and if you look at what’s all around you in the world today…it is only a game of football.