Manchester United have defended their decision to take Wayne Rooney's controversial comments about Liverpool off their official website.
Immediately after Wednesday night's Champions League triumph over Inter Milan, Rooney was interviewed by United's in-house TV station MUTV and went public with his long-held 'hatred' for Liverpool, who come to Old Trafford for a vital Premier League game on Saturday.
"I have always hated Liverpool and that's not changed," said Rooney, before going on to claim that if United were to win this weekend, Rafael Benitez's men would be out of the title race.
As a boyhood Everton fan and a current United player, Rooney's views are hardly a surprise.
The England striker is mercilessly taunted by supporters of the Anfield outfit whenever he plays them and has responded with various gestures which do not hint at a lessening of opinion from either side.
While the interview has not been broadcast because MUTV were covering a reserve team game - against Liverpool - in Warrington last night, the quotes were obtained by United's official website and posted on Thursday afternoon.
When the nature of Rooney's comments was pointed out to Red Devils officials, the decision was quickly taken to remove them.
However, they had already been picked up by other news outlets and broadcast around the world.
Nevertheless, United insist they took the right stance.
"In advance of the game we felt this was the best option," said a club spokesman. "The comments are open to wilful mis-reporting and neither the club, nor Wayne wanted that to happen."
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