When I first saw the Europa League draw last Friday the first thought that came to my head was, “wow, this was a great week for Michel Platini”. The beleaguered Frenchman saw his football ban reduced and then his baby (the Europa League) getting its biggest game ever. Two great rivals going head to head in a European competition was probably more than Platini could have ever dreamed of. Of course I am talking about the Liverpool – Manchester United draw, the two-legged fixture will probably draw more attention than any of the Champions League games during the same weeks.
Ironically it wasn’t long ago when United fans would troll us with ‘Thursday night on channel five’ chants and things have changed quickly in the last few years. As both clubs struggle to qualify for the Champions League, Europa has now offered an opportunity that has never been presented before in Europe.
The winner of the tie will obviously not win any trophies or medals however the bragging rights are huge. For us Liverpool fans we always troll them with big five Champions League (European Cup) wins however we have also won the UEFA (which is now Europa) three times to United’s zero. United’s history in Europe includes a total of five trophies (three Champions, one Super Cup and one Cup Winners Cup) for Liverpool it is a total of eleven European trophies (five Champions, three UEFA (Europa) and three Super Cups).
No wonder the United fans are relishing this moment, you can bet that they believe somehow that by beating us that will have finally put the big Five to rest. No they will not however Klopp and lads will make sure they will not get the bragging rights.