Liverpool and Manchester United fans don’t tend to like each other very much. Okay, they tend to openly loathe each other.
There’s the general rivalry of two cities — separated by only 35 miles in Northwest England — that has ties to the shipping industry and its decline. Then there’s the soccer rivalry that, according to the “Rough Guide to Cult Football” once caused former United manager Ron Atkinson to remark that going to Liverpool was, “like going to Vietnam.”
In soccer terms, the rivalry nowadays stems from Manchester United leaping over Liverpool as the No. 1 team in England. From 1970-1990 Liverpool won the old First Division 11 times and captured the European Cup (now Champions League) four times. Since the onset of the Premier League era Liverpool has never won the league, while Manchester United has won it 13 times.
That’s the quick refresher course, there’s obviously more to it.
The foes are set to meet each other Sunday in the Premier League. An innocent question Twitter about which three-songs to play has caused a big controversy. A fan responded with a list that included “Come Fly With Me” — a dark reference to the Munich Air Disaster – and the Liverpool account asked if the fan had been listening to the team’s locker room iPod. That’s like touching the third rail for United fans.
Here’s the offending tweet which has since been deleted. Liverpool apologized for the tweet and is looking into the incident.
Liverpool fans have changed the lyrics of the other two songs mentioned to mock the tragedy, as well.
The matches between these two are also intense. Remember the whole Luis Suarez/Patrice Evra racism flare up last season? Suarez is suspended for the match, so figure on this Twitter controversy to fan the flames.
As far as the game itself, Liverpool looks improved from last season, even after two nervy 1-0 wins in the league. The goal-scoring form of Daniel Sturridge makes this an intriguing matchup as United don’t quite yet look comfortable under new manager David Moyes. Liverpool’s injuries in defense open up the potential for much more scoring chances than there were during Monday’s Manchester United/Chlesea 0-0 snoozer.