Whether it's Argentina's River Plate and Boca Juniors, Spain's El Clasico between Real Madrid and Barcelona or Manchester United vs Liverpool, the word that club football's most fiercely contested derbies evoke above all others is "passion."
Alas, it was only Brendan Rodgers' men who showed up on Sunday afternoon at Old Trafford and offered any kind of passion in this most historic of local rivalries.
The attending Manchester United fans remained vocal but had to look on in envy as the side from down the M62 played with the kind of conviction lacking in Liverpool's performances at this stadium prior to Sir Alex Ferguson's departure last May.
David Moyes offered up his usual prosaic Friday press conference—even conceding that his side were underdogs—leaving many United fans disappointed that they couldn’t sense any fire within their manager for such a momentous fixture.
It seems for all the world like this conservative approach permeated the pitch, as it has all too often at home this season, as Manchester United produced another abject display in front of their loyal masses.
But is it just the passion that's absent from this Manchester United team, or is it so much more than that? These Red Devils fans do their best to get their heads around the situation right now…