Liverpool vs Manchester United is one of the most historic matches in club football. A fixture that is more than just a football match; it represents local pride between two of the biggest serial winners in the English game.
Sunday’s 2-0 victory was testament to that notion following Mohamed Salah’s late goal to seal the Reds’ 21st league victory of the season. For the first time this season, supporters gave their rendition of ‘we’re gonna win the league’ – they know the holy grail is tantalisingly close.
It’s not just the fans who feel the emotional strain 30 years without a title bares on the club but players alike. One moment that showcases how much the club means to Jurgen Klopp’s world-conquering squad can be seen in the inside United footage on the Liverpool YouTube channel.
The footage shows both the Liverpool and United players lying in wait before battle commences with both teams alike engulfed in unadulterated focus. As the players walk out to the pitch there are three Liverpool players in particular who make the effort to touch the famous ‘This is Anfield’ sign; Jordan Henderson, Virgil van Dijk and Trent Alexander-Arnold.
Quite fittingly, the trio who could feel the intangible weight that the badge holds is the specific group of players who perfectly embody what it means to be a member of Klopp’s champions-elect.
Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson is someone who wears his heart on his sleeve and is the most selfless member in the Reds’ armoury. The England international doesn’t hide his emotions and this has been evident in the unbridled joy on display each time he gets his hands on silverware – this is more than just a football club to Henderson.
Local lad Trent Alexander-Arnold, in particular, understands the history and aura that surrounds the football club having grown up just a few miles away from Stanley Park. As the 21-year-old has described himself in the past he’s ‘just a normal lad from Liverpool whose dream has just come true’.
Meanwhile, Van Dijk is a player whose career trajectory has taken an unimaginable turn since his arrival in 2018. The big Dutchman has become the focal point and the ever-present figure in Klopp’s record-shattering group of players.
Liverpool have proven time and time again that they are more than a football club. It’s even more special when the players alike share that belief.