Liverpool: 5 Reasons Fans Hate Manchester United on Derby Day

Karl Matchett@@karlmatchettFeatured ColumnistJanuary 10, 2013

Liverpool: 5 Reasons Fans Hate Manchester United on Derby Day

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    One of the biggest clashes of the Premier League season comes up on Sunday as Liverpool travel to Old Trafford to face Manchester United.

    Always an exciting date in the calenders of both sets of supporters because of the rivalry of the teams, the United supporters have been left better off at the end of the season more often than not over the past two decades, though on the day of the game itself the Reds and the Red Devils are close to inseparable.

    The last five fixtures in all competitions between the two have resulted in two wins apiece and one draw, while over the entirety of time United have picked up 62 league victories to Liverpool's 53.

    Both players and coaching staff have a huge amount of rivalry before and during the game—but the fans perhaps even more so. They are the ones who go to school, to work or even just go home to find familiar faces filled with glee while their own is downcast and miserable following an undeserved late defeat.

    For the Reds, here are five reasons why the fans cannot bear to put up with United on derby day.

Late, Late, Late, Late, Late Winning Goals

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    It's bad enough having to lose to one of your biggest rivals, but the manner of defeat can sometimes multiply the pain by a factor of 10. Or 100.

    Seeing your club dominate the match, as indeed the Reds did in this season's fixture at Anfield, perhaps even take the lead and look good value for the three points, only to see United come back (yet again) and take all three points themselves (yet again) is galling in the extreme.

    As they did in this season's fixture at Anfield, of course.

    But there's something even worse: the chaffing, frustrating nature of the late goal.

    In a game where you could have, should have been out of sight already as the clock ticks past 90:00, one of two things you are desperately hoping for as a supporter is a late winning goal for Liverpool.

    The other, is that United don't go up the other end of the pitch for the first time in about 20 minutes and nick one of their own.

    John O'Shea did it at Anfield, Eric Cantona did it at Wembley. At Anfield in September, Robin van Persie did it with only eight minutes left.

    They're not the only times, and you suspect they won't be the last.

Berating and Baiting the Reds' Players

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    Not all Liverpool fans love all Liverpool players, but that doesn't matter when Manchester United come to town.

    You protect your own.

    Some Reds players have been particular targets for the United supporters down the years, the likes of Steven Gerrard for example and Robbie Fowler. Now, Luis Suarez gets the brunt of the abuse from the stands—not that he seems particularly bothered about it.

    Liverpool fans are hardly the angelic faces of innocence themselves of course; Gary Neville in particular can testify to that. But there's still something about supporters of other clubs—especially United—having a go at players they couldn't possibly understand and love the way Reds do which brings up the taste of bile in the back of the throat.

    Of course the best antidote the fans have should be to outsing the hostile home crowd—easily done—but a goal or two from the Uruguayan wouldn't hurt either, of course.

Title Reminders

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    For a long, long time, Liverpool's 18 league titles was the source of pride for the Kopites and one of frustration and envy for the red half of Manchester.

    No longer.

    Since 1990 Liverpool have been waiting for another league championship to arrive; in that time United have clawed back, caught up and then finally overtaken the Reds in winning their 19th top flight title.

    Manchester United are now the all-time leaders in championships won in England, something they have no intentions of letting Reds forget in a hurry after two decades of being told "come back when you've won 18."

    Liverpool have come close, mightily close, on a couple of occasions...but have yet to have been able to take that final step.

    Thank goodness for five European Cups.

Refereeing Decisions

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    The venue doesn't matter, what's gone on before doesn't matter and the scoreline doesn't matter.

    Those big refereeing decisions just somehow always seem to fall on the side of Manchester United rather than Liverpool.

    Johnny Evans and Jonjo Shelvey both go flying in for the same ball? Red card for Shelvey.

    United wingers flying around in the area? Penalty, for sure. Blatant foul on Suarez up the other end? Play on, lads.

    Even outside of the fixture in hand, Liverpool have had penalty calls turned down, perfectly good goals disallowed and poor calls in general go against them.

    United on the other hand, from the point of view of the stands, sometimes seem to get all the luck, none more so than when star striker Robin van Persie escaped a near-death experience earlier this season.

    Liverpool are perceived to have had more refereeing injustices done upon them this season than any other club, and it somehow always seems to happen more often against Manchester United.

The Chants Which Have No Place in Football or Society

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    Let's be clear from the off, this goes for both sets of fans.

    After a year where the breakthrough finally came in the search for truth and justice after Hillsborough, it should be hoped for that United fans accept and respect that the songs and lies they have peddled for too many years are hurtful falsehoods which are now more than two decades old.

    Plenty do, of course, remain quiet about the tragedy. Others will say they only bring it up only as a defence mechanism. But there are still a number who choose this as their first port of call to bait the opposition and think they are clever, or funny, or big.

    The same goes for Heysel.

    In the opposite stand, Reds supporters need to reject the urge to respond—or to incite—with actions or voices about Munich.

    The feeling between the two clubs and the two cities is never going to be one of mutual appreciation, but it also doesn't need to sink to these depths. There's always enough going on on-the-pitch to remain focused on and the rifts will only get wider with each bitter verse aimed back across the stands.

    United vs. Liverpool remains the biggest spectacle the Premier League can show to the world, and while that rivalry will never go away it should remain firmly about the sporting and economic success of the clubs and their homes, rather than being tarnished and sullied by anything else.