LIVERPOOL – Liverpool’s massive 7-0 victory over Manchester United at Anfield last season was a once-in-a-lifetime result that will not be repeated but Sunday’s derby promises to be a ‘special’ game, manager Juergen Klopp said.
Erik ten Hag’s United were flying high after winning the League Cup last season to end a six-year trophy drought but came crashing down to earth a week later when Liverpool handed the Old Trafford side their worst defeat in 92 years.
“The 7-0 we knew on the day was a freakish result that happens once in life pretty much. And if it helps anybody for the next game, it’s the team who lost 7-0 and not the team who won 7-0, that’s another thing,” Klopp told reporters.
“If you take it all out of consideration then we just play a football game against the rival, the historical rival, of Liverpool FC, at home, at Anfield.
“That itself must make it a special game and that’s what I want to see from us, a special game. Really understand the situation and give your all, that’s all I need.”
Liverpool go into the weekend as Premier League leaders while United are sixth, 10 points behind. United have been in dire form in recent weeks with just one win from their last five games in all competitions.
Ten Hag is also under immense scrutiny after his side crashed out of Europe when they finished bottom of their Champions League group, but Klopp feels United are a stronger team when their backs are against the wall.
“I do not like all this talk around it. The more bad things people say about them, the stronger they will show up. That is always the case,” Klopp said.
“I will make sure from our point of view that we will be 100% focused on the right stuff, but we are human beings and there is a noise around.
“When even I am aware of the noise that means that there is obviously something going on.”
Having topped their Europa League group, Klopp rested key players for their final group fixture, a 2-1 loss at Union St Gilloise.
The German said rotation was important with a League Cup quarter-final against West Ham United on Wednesday and title rivals Arsenal visiting Anfield the following weekend.
“I’m not sure what the other schedules are but that is the worst you can get,” he said.
“From now on they are all finals, that’s how it is. December is always about getting through.”