Former Liverpool captain and manager Kenny Dalglish has aimed a dig at Jose Mourinho ahead of Manchester United’s trip to Anfield on Saturday, insisting the Portuguese would park the bus once again.
The two sides last met at Anfield back in October 2016 when they played out a cagey 0-0 draw, with the Portuguese opting for a notably defensive approach whilst seeing Zlatan Ibrahimovic spurn the best chance of the match.
Manchester United have been rampant during the early stages of the 2017/18 campaign, averaging almost three goals a game and dropping just two points in the Premier League.
But Dalglish, speaking to Liverpool Echo, expects the Portuguese to adopt a more cautious approach at Anfield on Saturday.
“You would always expect Liverpool v Manchester United to be a tight game,” he said.
“Last year, when United came to Liverpool, Jose Mourinho parked the bus. But it wasn’t just the one bus, I think it was a couple of double deckers he put there” (cue tumbleweed).
“That’s not to give him stick in any way, it was very difficult for Liverpool and (Zlatan) Ibrahimovic nearly got a late winner.
“I think United will come and set up quite defensively, but at the same time they have fantastic frontmen in Marcus Rashford, Romelu Lukaku and Anthony Martial. I think Jose will try to make sure the pressure is on Liverpool, but the pressure is on everyone when it comes to a game like that.”
Let us never forget: Luis Suarez racially abused Patrice Evra and Dalglish defended him, adding that Liverpool fans booing the Frenchman was – wait for it – just “banter”.
So, from the off, Dalglish doesn’t have much to stand on at all. But his point is loosely valid.
Mourinho will not park the bus, so to speak. If you want to see some actual bus parking, watch the highlights of Inter’s Champions League semi-final clash with Barcelona at the Nou Camp in 2010. That, folks, is parking the bus.
But the Portuguese will most likely look to absorb Liverpool’s pressure rather than throw men forward and leave gaps in behind. The onus will be on the hosts to attack and this could benefit United, with the likes of Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford and Romelu Lukaku causing damage on the break.