While Group A of this season’s Champions League isn’t exactly the proverbial ‘Group of Death’, its participants still pack quite a punch.
Comprising Napoli, Ajax, Liverpool and Rangers, the group, aside from being very competitive, also accumulates arguably the best atmospheres in all of European Football.
Anfield’s reputation speaks for itself, the Diego Armando Maradona Stadium is practically electric these days, Ajax at home is usually a noisy affair, and Ibrox is always up for European Nights.
Safe to say, all 4 sides have extremely passionate fanbases, although, sometimes the passion just treads too far beyond the limit.
This was apparent during the build-up to Liverpool’s most recent fixture against Rangers.
Dubbed ‘The Battle of Britain’, the atmosphere inside Anfield was always going to be unruly, owing to drastic cultural differences between the two clubs which stem from clashing political ideologies.
Matters also aren’t helped by the fact that Liverpool fans usually align with Celtic, Rangers’ old-firm rivals, as they share cultural similarities and even the pre-match anthem YNWA.
Any hopes of an olive branch between the two factions were firmly planted in the bin after travelling Gers’ fans engaged in some truly abhorrent practices, leading to outrage from Reds online.
Among their appalling actions is the vandalism of Jurgen Klopp’s mural on Randolph Street.
As seen in this clip, the mural had offensive graffiti painted all over and was further spoilt using blue and white paint.
Rangers fans managed to take the vile behaviour up a notch by printing out flyers depicting The Sun’s controversial article on the Hillsborough Disaster.
Labelled ‘The Truth’, the infamous report looked to blame disorderly Liverpool supporters for the death of 97 people, the scandalous piece eventually led to Liverpool fans ostracizing the publication entirely.
Travelling supporters even stooped to an all-time low and sang songs about the Disaster, revolting to say the least.
Naturally, this meant that the affinity Liverpool supporters shared for Celtic increased even further, and fans will likely carry anti-Rangers sentiments for years to come.
The game itself saw the Reds pick up a decisive 2-0 victory, with Jurgen Klopp tweaking the formation.
Hopefully, the reverse fixture at Ibrox won’t lead to images such as these, although that is just wishful thinking at the moment.