There is an intense rivalry between Liverpool and Manchester United fans.
The Merseyside club had dominated English football in the 70s and 80s, winning 18 league titles.
But United ‘knocked them off their perch’ in the 90s and noughties and overtook their league triumphs, winning 20.
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The two sides were considered the biggest two teams in the country but standards have slipped in recent years.
The Red Devils haven’t lifted the Premier League since 2013, while Liverpool have gone 16 years without a title.
Both sides have very little chance of even achieving a top four finish this season but that doesn’t stop the massive rivalry between the two sets of fans.
During Thursday night’s Europa League clash, the atmosphere was electric.
The rude banner
But it appeared that even before the match that Liverpool fans wanted to get one over their arch-rivals.
With United players and fans making the short trip down the M62, Kopites decided to make a cheeky banner to greet them on one of the motorway bridges.
As you can see below, the message of the banner was a plain and simple: ‘Manc B*****ds.’
It didn’t take too long before the police confiscated the abusive sign.
Around 2,300 United fans made the journey to Liverpool to watch their side in their first ever European clash against their enemy.
An insipid performance
But a night which began with getting mocked by a banner, ended with their team getting humbled on the pitch.
Louis van Gaal’s side were comfortably beaten 2-0 by the Reds with a penalty from Daniel Sturridge and a second-half strike from Roberto Firmino leaving Liverpool with one foot in the quarter-finals to compound a miserable evening for United supporters.
In truth, it could have been a lot worse for the Red Devils had their goalkeeper David de Gea not made a string of impressive stops to keep his side in the tie.
Unfortunately, the banner hung on the M62 wasn’t the only case of unsavoury behaviour between the fans of both clubs.
During the first-half, it appeared that a minority of the travelling United fans were singing “The Sun were right, you’re murderers,” to taunt Liverpool about the Hillsborough disaster where 96 fans died.
Hopefully, both sets of supporters will be better behaved during next week’s second-leg. Liverpool go to Old Trafford knowing that if they manage to score an away goal, Van Gaal’s side will have to score at least four to progress to the quarter-finals.
Pressure on Van Gaal
Last night’s defeat saw the Dutch boss hit a new low in his United managerial career with many fans calling for his immediate sacking. Not for the first time this campaign, club legend Paul Scholes slammed his former club following the match.
“It was shambolic ... so bad,” Scholes told BT Sport. “Tonight was a disaster. Liverpool had a way of playing. United? I didn’t have a clue what they were trying to do."
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