Manchester United against Liverpool ranks as one of the eagerly awaited matches in the world of football, says Louis van Gaal who has downplayed his recent dominance over Thursday night’s opponents insisting its business as usual.

  • By Amos Abuga
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gaal vgThe history of the United versus Liverpool fixture extends to 122 years and 194 matches but Thursday’s Europa League last-16 encounter at Anfield will be the first time the famous clubs have ever met in European competition.

Van Gaal admits finding it strange to face a domestic rather than continental opponent but fully understands the importance of the clash to fans and says the rivalry is unlike any other he has experienced.

Ahead of the first leg, the manager said: “It’s a big game but normally we play against a club in Europe. It’s fantastic for the fans, but only when we beat Liverpool. When you lose, everyone is disappointed.

“The feeling is different here; it’s more deep in the life of the fans. Of course, I have noticed that also in Spain and Germany but it was less deep than here. It’s fantastic to see and it’s one aspect why I wanted to come here, to have that experience.

“I like to see it because you can see the heart of the club and also the feeling that they are with you every game. It’s nice for the players, I think, but also nice for the manager.”

“I don’t have any secret. We have to prepare for the game with the players, and we do that the same way as usual,” he said.

“Sometimes I change the approach with the players, depending on the last result. But it’s more or less always the same, with individual and team meetings, with training sessions, with 11 against 11.

“We want to win all the matches, but you cannot win all the matches, which is why it’s unbelievable in my period we have won all the matches against Liverpool,” the Dutchman was speaking in the club’s website.

Amos Ondieki (24 Posts)

Amos is a Kenyan who is passionate with sports but has a bias for football. Currently doing his MBA course from the Greenwich and Saxion Universities. follow him on Twitter @AMOKC1oo1