Score and latest updates from Anfield
By Alex Shaw
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp and his Manchester United counterpart Erik ten Hag have taken the rare step of releasing a joint statement ahead of the teams’ showdown on Sunday, condemning the “tragedy chant”.
Liverpool v United matches were marred by repeated references to the Hillsborough and Munich tragedies.
The plane crash in Munich in 1958 killed 23 people, eight of them players. 97 people died in the 1989 FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest.
United are part of the Premier League’s working group on tragedy chants and have also worked closely with Liverpool to try and remove the toxic songs and chants.
Both Liverpool and Manchester United websites included joint statements from the two managers ahead of Sunday’s clash at Anfield.
Klopp said: “One of the main reasons why the rivalry between Liverpool and Manchester United is so special is that it’s so intense and nobody should ever want to change that. But at the same time, if the rivalry gets too intense, it can go places that aren’t good for anyone, and we don’t need that. “We want the noise, we want the occasion to be partisan and we want the atmosphere to be electric. What we don’t want is anything beyond that, and that’s especially true for the kind of chants that have no place in football. If we can keep the passion and lose the poison, it will be so much better for everyone.”
Ten Hag added: “The rivalry between Manchester United and Liverpool is one of the greatest in world football. We all love the passion of the fans when our teams meet, but there are lines that shouldn’t be crossed.
“Using the loss of life – linked to tragedy – to score points is unacceptable and it’s time to stop it. Those responsible are not only damaging the reputation of our clubs, but more importantly their reputation themselves.” the fans and our great cities.
“On behalf of myself, our players and our staff, we ask our fans to focus on supporting the team on Sunday and representing our club in the right way.”
Manchester United and Leeds also released a joint statement after February’s game at Elland Road, condemning the behavior of crowds following a series of ugly chants relating to the Munich disaster and the stabbing of two Leeds supporters in Turkey before a Uefa Cup semi-final against Galatasaray back 2000.