When one thinks about the great rivalries in English football, Liverpool-Manchester United is one that comes to mind first, more often than not. A rivalry between the two most successful clubs in England. A rivalry that dates back to the 1800’s.
There’s no doubt that the North-West derby takes precedence for both clubs over their own local rivalries; the Merseyside derby for Liverpool and the Manchester derby for United.
It really is a heated affair when these two clubs cross paths, regardless of the competition. Tensions flare when these two sides meet, and the action is nothing short of breathtaking.
From a historic standpoint, Liverpool have the upper hand in Europe, while domestically, United have dominated the league in seasons past. Shift to more recent times, with United struggling to settle under life after Fergie, and a revival of Liverpool’s title aspirations under Klopp.
With Liverpool remaining strong title contenders throughout this season and United falling short of the leading pack; hovering in and around 6th place, it was time for the fans to take center stage.
It’s no secret that Liverpool fans love to get the better of their United counterparts, and vice versa. So, given the contrasting fortunes of both clubs currently, it was advantage Liverpool.
So when Reds fans spotted United right-back Antonio Valencia in public, they took the show on the road.
In a video that saw the Liverpool fans pose as United fans in order to get a picture from United’s club captain Antonio Valencia, the “con” men are seen saying, “United are sh*te” when the pranksters and Valencia came together for the snap.
Valencia’s reaction can only be described as instantaneous and honest. Having been trolled by fans of the old enemy, his wry smile paired with his realization of being the center-piece of the prank is indicative of how off-guard Valencia was in this situation.
Needless to say, it was brilliant from the big Ecuadorian to have reacted to the incident in such light spirit. Realizing it was a prank, he just laughed it off and seemed to shy away from the posers and appeared to carry on.
With fans of clubs firing shots at each other (like this) till the death, it is established that this is merely the beginning of a new era in modern football. An era where we are divided by clubs, entertained by banter and united by football.