DURBAN – As far back as I can remember, the Manchester United and Liverpool rivalry has been a part of my life. Heated family arguments about Domestic honours and European titles have been a topic of conversation at any and every gathering.
Liverpool welcome United to Anfield last night. A win for United would draw them level on points with Liverpool who are currently fourth with 16 points. Conversely, a win by three goals to nil (or any result that will overtake Arsenal’s goal difference of +10) for The Reds at home will see them sitting pretty comfortably in second place with 19 points with eight games played.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic had a clear chance to win the game for United. The No 9 missed what seemed to be a simple header at goal. A pinpoint pass from the world’s most expensive player Paul Pogba from the right wing was met with a mistimed header. This goal could have sealed a 1-0 win.
Manchester United’s shot-stopper David de Gea made an acrobatic save in the 71st minute, denying a right-foot thunderbolt from Liverpool’s playmaker Philippe Coutinho.
Manchester United have 20 Domestic League titles whilst Liverpool has 18. The opposite can be seen in Europe, where Liverpool have held five European Cups/UEFA Champions League Trophies and United have three. These honours may be a part of the history books, but one cannot ever imagine the trophy rivalry to not play a part in a current football season or a fixture like tonight.
Whilst points symbolise how well a team is currently doing in the domestic league, fixtures like these are often played more for the bragging rights and the pride – well, for the fans’ at least. For many a fan, this is the biggest fixture of the football calendar. That being said, three points was necessary for both teams this early in the season.