Paul Pogba has explained why Liverpool act as bigger opponents than Manchester City ahead of Manchester United’s clash with Jurgen Klopp’s side on Sunday, noting that the history between the two clubs outweighs that of any other rivalry.
Man United head into the game with Liverpool knowing that a win would take them to within two points of Klopp’s currently second-placed side.
A win would see Jose Mourinho‘s men claim ten successive wins in a row, extending their unbeaten run to 16 games.
And Pogba, speaking to BBC Sport, made it clear that playing Liverpool eclipses any other contest in terms of magnitude.
“The history of Liverpool-Manchester United is a big derby,” he said.
“More than Man City because the way you feel the atmosphere is more.
“For me you want to win, I want to win, it’s good to win three points against Stoke City or any team in the league, but it’s even better, you have more taste when you win three points against Liverpool because it’s a derby.”
The rivalry between United and Man City is indeed huge, but huge in a way similar to how you simply cannot entertain the possibility of letting your younger, louder brother beat you at anything. The relief from not losing outweighs the actual joy of winning. Yes, the derby is big, but the rivalry – at least in my view – has always had the semblance of a relationship with your annoying little sibling.
Contests with Liverpool, on the other hand, are monumentally different. This is the only club in England capable of matching United in terms of heritage, pedigree, fanbase and overall identity. These two took turns dominating both Europe and England, but the rivalry has always remained personal – spiteful, even. The sheer grandeur, the history, the overall importance of this game outweighs any other encounter.