Manchester United are seeking retribution against Liverpool, according to Harry Maguire, after a thrashing at the hands of their arch-rivals earlier this season.
When the two teams last met in October, Liverpool ran out 5-0 winners in a humbling defeat at Old Trafford, and United were on the receiving end of a complete humiliation. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was able to keep his job for another month, but the outcome was nonetheless a factor in the Norwegian’s dismissal in November.
United haven’t improved much in the six months after the humiliation, while Jurgen Klopp’s team has gone from strength to strength. The Merseyside club hasn’t lost in the Premier League since the turn of the year, and a win on Tuesday would put them ahead of Manchester City for at least 24 hours.
United are in poor form and have a reduced roster, but they still have a great chance of finishing in the top four. The players are aiming for retribution, according to Maguire, but it won’t be easy.
When asked if United wanted to clear the air, the captain said, “Yeah for sure, that was such a terrible point, the lowest point of the season, one of the lowest points of my career, and I’m sure the rest of the guys’, without international football involved in it.”
“These games don’t require any motivation to play. When you join this club, you are aware of the rivalry, which is one of the most ferocious in the world. It’ll be a game to look forward to. We know we’ll have to play our hardest in order to win, and that’s what we’ll have to prepare for.”
Liverpool still has a chance to complete a spectacular quadruple after winning the Carabao Cup, overcoming City to reach the FA Cup final, reaching the Champions League semi-finals, and being neck and neck with Chelsea in the title fight. In England, such a feat has never been completed, and achieving it would eclipse United’s record treble triumph in 1999.
When asked if trying to prevent that from happening was a motivator for United, however, Maguire said it wasn’t: “To be honest, I don’t think [stopping Liverpool’s quadruple quest] is part of our motivation.
“Going to Anfield, playing against Liverpool, and winning a football match and earning three points for this team and the fans, I believe, is the motivation. The supporters have persevered with us throughout the season, showing up in large numbers wherever we go, and have been incredible during such a trying season.
“It would be a tremendous occasion for us to go to Anfield, perform well, and earn three points for the fans. That, I believe, is the main source of motivation for us.”