This weekend sees one of the greatest rivalries in English football as Liverpool and Manchester United go head-to-head at Anfield in the Premier League. Liverpool are looking to press their claims for a European place, while Man United need a result to ensure that Arsenal and co can’t close the gap at the top of the Premier League table. Here is Paul Ince, a football legend who played for both the Reds and the Red Devils, talking about the occasion we have in prospect…
Q) Two of your former teams Liverpool and Manchester United play at the weekend. What makes these matches so special in your opinion?
I think it’s just a rivalry between the fans. I think it’s the history Liverpool actually probably conquered the eighties wining title after title and European Cups. Then Man Utd came along in the nineties winning the Premiership and now its 18 titles a piece the last thing Liverpool want is Man Utd to win the title. It is just a rivalry between the clubs and the history that is steeped in the clubs. The games are fantastic occasions they really are, the football, tackles that are flying in makes it a great game to be involved in.
Q) Did you enjoy the seriously competitive edge those matches had?
Yeah you do, it means so much to both teams and so much to the city. I think sometimes you know meeting up with Arsenal and Chelsea is big but the biggest one is meeting up with Liverpool. That just shows what a big a game it is.
Q) As one of those few people who have played for both teams, did you notice a difference in the way the respective clubs and fans view the game?
I don’t think so. On the day when you play those games first of all its about wining your personal battles and you have to visualise who you are up against and know what type of player he is. You have to make sure you win your battles on the day. In those games if you have 7 or 8 players winning those one on one battles, 9 times out of 10 you win the game. Obviously whoever wins the game their fans get the bragging rights in to the next encounter. There is a lot to play for.
Q) If you could pick a favourite memory from a Liverpool/ United game what would it be?
I suppose I’ve had a couple, I scored against Liverpool for Man United at Old Trafford with a header. And I scored at the cup end for Liverpool against Man United to make it 2-2. I’ve had some great moments and great times, there both fantastic clubs with fantastic fans.
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