Siao Mates Mar 09

Thankful Liverpool humbled by Manchester United's victory over Manchester City


 

Manchester United virtually buried the last shreds of their noisy neighbours’ Premier League title hopes at Old Trafford early this morning (SGT) when they won 2-0 with goals from Anthony Martial and Scott McTominay. 

 

Astonishingly, with just 27 per cent of possession, they managed 12 shots at goal (with six on target) while restricting Manchester City to just seven shots (and four on target).

 

On any ordinary day, Liverpool fans would have scoffed at this win as a lucky one, especially since Ederson played like he wanted Liverpool to win the title next week. Credit to Martial, though, who performed as if he wanted Liverpool to sign him for next season, and McTominay, who ended the contest with a lovely finish like a fine scotch whisky.

 

30' - Martial puts United in the lead

 

96' - McTominay secures the victory for United

 

But this morning, Liverpool fans – many of whom may have been described, perhaps a tad unfairly, as being unbearable – were astonishingly gracious.

 

“Perfect weekend!” said one Bernard Tan, a life-long Liverpool fan who this season was more worried about me jinxing his team by calling them winners since September than the actual threat of Manchester City actually pipping the Reds to the title again.

 

“Thank you, Manchester United. Thank you, Ederson,” he added, before pleading to the powers that be at Manchester United to extend Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s contract.

 

WATCH: The best of Ederson

 

Another Liverpool fan, Singapore entertainer John Molina, was full of love for Manchester United. He described them in a Facebook post as something amounting to toilet roll, which has to be of great value in this day and age, right? Especially when people are killing each other for them in supermarkets all over the world. 

 

Yet oddly, he appeared to have had a change of heart when we spoke to him.

 

“It’s impertinent to even suggest that the scums have helped us in any way,” said John, who believes his beloved Liverpool are so far ahead that nothing can change the inevitable outcome of Liverpool winning the title. Not VAR, not match officials, and especially not Manchester United beating Manchester City.

 

 

In fact, he would have loved it if United had lost the Manchester derby this morning – it would have added to a season in which, he says, they’ve been “slapped and humiliated”.

 

However, he considered Manchester United’s victory at Old Trafford a “bittersweet” experience for him, especially since he admitted he “can’t wait for Hendo (Liverpool skipper Jordan Henderson) to lift the title”, which now, thanks to Manchester United’s endeavours, could happen as early as Tuesday next week when Liverpool visit Everton.

 

WATCH: How Henderson rose to prominence at Liverpool

 

Manchester United fans insist, though, that this win had nothing to do with their wanting Liverpool to win the title more quickly.

 

Royston Jalleh, whose underwear bears the colour and crest of Manchester United, said: “There are only two things I hate in this world. The first is Satan,” said the Red Devils fan. “The other is Liverpool.”

 

He attributes this hatred of Liverpool to an episode that happened about a decade ago, when one Phil Thomson, a former Liverpool player, abused him for wanting to share his views about a Liverpool victory over Manchester United, while he was wearing a Man United jersey. It is not known if he wore matching United underwear at the time, but he said: “There were children present at the event, and he should not have used such language.” 

 

Ever gracious even in defeat, Royston insists he started hating Liverpool only from that moment, though eyewitnesses said the children present were well in their 20s, and that Thompson’s comments were just regular, good-natured football banter. 

 

What’s important to Royston, though, is that this morning’s Manchester United win confirms a turnaround in fortunes of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side. 

 

“Manchester City are effectively over after this season, with the two-year European ban taking effect soon,” he said. “As for Manchester United, they have an 11-match unbeaten streak now in all competitions, and that shows how much they have been improving under Solskjaer,” added Royston, who adamantly refused to recognise the existence of Liverpool, let alone mention them. 

 

As for this neutral, it is great to see Manchester United back. If United continue this form till the end of the season, a Champions League place looks likely. And future Manchester United v Liverpool fixtures will be a lot more meaningful than they have been in the past two seasons. 

 

WATCH: The story behind the Liverpool-Manchester United rivalry

 

Manchester United fans can also stop supporting Manchester City or whoever plays Liverpool.

 

“Manchester United won and still you are talking about Liverpool,” said Cher, a modest United fan who insists I’m a closet Liverpool supporter. 

 

I’ve assured her I’m as neutral as one can get. And her team’s rise and rise means that next season, the only time I’ll need mention Liverpool and Manchester United in one breath is when they meet each other. 

 

And I’m anticipating and relishing many breathless encounters between these two in the near future.